This project will provide 20 low-income Roma children ages 5-12 in Gjirokaster, Albania with support to help them succeed in Albanian public school, giving them a better chance at a brighter future. Your donation will provide them with appropriate clothing and shoes, school supplies, and food aid for their families so that they don't go to school hungry.
Staying in school is a challenge for Albanian Roma children. More than 50% of Roma adults are illiterate; lack of education perpetuates poverty in their community. Children help their families by begging or picking up trash, rather than going to school. Nehemiah Gateway's new Gjirokaster soup kitchen provides daily meals and afternoon activities for 30 Roma children. The children come from poor families; some are homeless. Many parents resist school because it brings them neither money nor food.
This project directly addresses the obstacles many Roma children face in attending school. Monthly food parcels offset income families lose by enrolling children in school, provide an incentive for continued attendance, and make it less likely the children will go to school hungry. School supplies and clothing reduce the stigma of visible poverty at school. Daily after-school homework help at the soup kitchen addresses education gaps.
Every Albanian Roma child that learns to read and write is a success story. The children supported by this program will demonstrate that they can succeed in school, and make it easier for their brothers, sisters, and cousins to follow them to school. This will help the Roma community to begin to break the cycle of poverty while developing success stories, role models, and advocates in Albanian society.