THE run-up to Christmas is always a very busy time for all our National Offices and for our teams on the ground in Guatemala and Albania. Although we are still dealing with many restrictions on our work due to Covid, this was still very much the case this year.
We are so grateful to all our sponsors and supporters, who have continued to give extra money to enable us to provide Christmas gifts to all the children and vulnerable adults registered with us in Guatemala and Albania again this year. The cost of these is not covered by the monthly sponsorship contributions, but receiving an extra gift at Christmas time is such a blessing for these struggling individuals and families that we always make sure that everyone receives one. Our National Office teams in the UK, Canada, Germany and the USA were kept very busy processing all the extra donations for this Christmas Fund at the end of last year.
In Guatemala, items were ordered in October to make up special family food baskets and Christmas goodie bags for the children. Staff worked tirelessly to make up over 3,650 family parcels and 7,250 children’s bags for distribution during December, bringing some much-needed hope and cheer into communities at the end of what has been another very difficult year for everyone. It was even possible to have some small outdoor nativity presentations at some of the centres, which brought a smile to many faces.
In Albania, where covid case numbers are lower and restrictions are much lighter, our churches were able to have Christmas nativity presentations and concerts indoors. The children love being involved in these and much rehearsal went on beforehand! The aftermath of covid is still having a huge effect on incomes in Albania, however, and many families are struggling to provide the basics of food and shelter. In this climate, items for school are not very high up the priority list, but education is so important for tackling poverty going forward. For that reason, most of the children on our programmes in Albania received a bag of school supplies for Christmas this year, and so they have gone back to school this month much better equipped to further their learning and build a better future for themselves. Younger children and adults received other age-appropriate gifts. In all, around 1,200 gift bags were distributed in Albania.
We are always humbled by the reaction from children and families to such basic gifts – they mean so much to them – and we are privileged to be able to provide some extra help and brighten their lives in this way.
To see the range of extra projects we run in Guatemala and Albania, including the Christmas Fund which accepts donations all year round, have a look at the Projects page on our website: https://uk.adopt-a-child.com/projects.