May 14, 2020

Update from Peza

A tent home in winter
A tent home in winter

Dear friends--

The people who lost their homes in the 2019 Albanian earthquake are now living through a second crisis-- in tents. 

Because the Albanian government moved quickly to close schools and lock down the country after the first cases were discovered in Tirana in March, there have so far been relatively few cases. 

For the four thousand families who lost their homes, including the 63 living in the village of Peza outside of Tirana, it has been particularly important to avoid exposure. Tent living makes everyday hygiene very difficult, with whole new difficulties washing hands, bathing, and cleaning clothes. It also complicates tasks like cooking and doing homework.The lockdown seems to have kept the virus away from these vulnerable families; NG partner ProFamilja has helped them to get through long days in their tents.

Following all best safety practices, the ProFamilja team have brought meals and food deliveries to the families, as well as clothing and blankets. They have also been creating and sharing Albanian-language content via their Facebook and YouTube channels, reinforcing positive parenting practices and supporting healthy families doing this trying time. They are even "hosting" a daily storytime for local children-- a particularly important activity for children with no books in their temporary homes.

Your donation has helped the ProFamilja team to help these families during a doubly difficult time-- both meeting immediate needs and offsetting the challenges of sheltering in place for months, in tents.

With gratitude,

Sarah Pita

Apr 21, 2020

Gjirokaster COVID-19 Update

Dear friends, 

On March 10, we sent you a report about Roma children in Gjirokaster who were in school and thriving with your support. That same day, all the schools in Albania were closed after the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in that country. Restrictions on movement and public gatherings followed quickly, and lifeline services like soup kitchen meals were put on hold. 

The children in the after-school program have been home ever since. So have the guests who usually rely on NG's soup kitchen for a hot, nutritious daily meal, company, and access to counseling. All of them had precarious existences even before the pandemic, isolated by health conditions or poverty, and in many cases living on the brink of homelessness. 

The Gjirokaster team can't provide hot meals in a communal setting right now, or group homework help, but they have diligently brought aid bundles to each household every other week since the lockdown, contributing food, cleaning supplies, medicine, and counseling services at a safe distance. They check in regularly with each child in the school program, maintaining their connection to education even while the schools are closed-- so that when schools do reopen, they all go back.

Your donations have made this ongoing care possible. We thank you for your generosity and will keep you posted as the situation in Albania continues to unfold. 

We recognize that this is a challenging time for many people. If you are able to contribute to this ongoing program, you can still do so here.

Gratefully yours,

Sarah Pita

Development Director, NG-USA

Mar 9, 2020

A Need That Doesn't Go Away

Fatime at the gate of her daughter's house
Fatime at the gate of her daughter's house

The humanitarian team at NG spends many hours every year visiting the villages around Pogradec, not only bringing needed food and supplies to people in difficult circumstances, but also showing compassion and making them feel less invisible. The food and supplies are always welcome, and they give our team a chance to connect with people who are often forgotten. 

Fatime, pictured above, lives in the village of Çerravë, southeast of Pogradec. At 75, she suffers from hemiparesis (paralysis on one side of her body). She lived for a long time with a daughter with special needs; after that daughter passed away, she lived with her son for a while and now is living with her other daughter. Nehemiah Gateway provides Fatime and her daughter with food parcels and home visits to make sure there aren't other unmet needs.

Fatime's is just one of 190 households the NG team regularly visits. Sometimes, aid  is the boost that makes it possible for people to begin building a more self-sufficient existence. Other times, it is a needed support for people who are perpetually falling through holes in Albania's social safety net. 

Your generous support helps people like Fatime. You can contribute to this ongoing program here.

With gratitude,

Sarah Pita

Development Director, NG-USA

Fatime outside the house
Fatime outside the house
 
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