In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School

by Nehemiah Gateway USA
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
In Gjirokaster, Help Roma Children Stay in School
After school homework help in Gjirokaster
After school homework help in Gjirokaster

Dear friend,

Our program manager in Gjirokaster recently shared this short video from a mother whose children are participating in the after-school program. Please find the time to watch it if you can-- it is only one minute long. Your donations have helped her and her children, among other Roma families in Gjirokaster area, to choose education and work toward a brighter future.

She says "I am a single mother raising three children, with great difficulty. I collect cans and other recyclables to sell it, and then feed my children. I thank Nehemiah Gateway Albania, because for three years they have helped us with food packages, education, school materials, and other essentials like clothing, backpacks, and shoes. They help us with food to eat, because I cannot afford it. They’ve also helped my children a lot with their homework. I didn’t have education, so I cannot help my children with that. Thanks to Nehemiah Gateway Albania, because they are the only ones who care for my children and me."

This program is ongoing, and you can support it here.

Gratefully yours,

Sarah Pita

Development Director, NG USA

Links:

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Ledjana, 7, at lunch
Ledjana, 7, at lunch

Dear friend,

Seven-year-old Ledjana is in the second grade. She comes from a very poor family in the southern Albanian city of Gjirokaster. In Gjirokaster, unemployment is a perennial problem and there aren't a lot of options for supplemental income. Last year, tragedy struck Ledjana's family. Her ten-year-old brother was trying to earn some extra money collecting cans on the street when he was hit by a car and killed, leaving the family devastated.

NG Gjirokaster has been helping their family with aid parcels, and enrolled Ledjana in the school program so that she would have plenty of care and support. In addition to a daily hot meal, she has begun enjoying opportunities for activities  and social time with other children, as well as social/emotional support from our team. Thanks to NG Gjirokaster, she is learning to smile again.

Albania is feeling the same forces of inflation that are affecting the rest of the world, with additional complexity as war in Ukraine impacts supplies of fuel and commodities like wheat. Did you know that before the war, Albania got 50% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine? Prices on everything are going up, which disproportionately impacts families like Ledjana's. It also impacts NG Gjirokaster, which now has to pay more for each aid bundle. Anxiety about an unknown future causes tremendous stress on families that are already stretched thin every day. 

Your support is helping us to lessen the hardship and uncertainty experienced by Ledjana and families like hers. Thanks to you, their children are going to school instead of begging, and they have a source of food and medicine they can count on. For most, it's the only help they can count on.

You can continue to support this important program here. 

Gratefully yours,

Sarah Pita

Development Director, NG USA

Homework time at the Gjirokaster soup kitchen
Homework time at the Gjirokaster soup kitchen
Aid delivery
Aid delivery
Focusing on learning
Focusing on learning
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Aleksi and his grandmother at home
Aleksi and his grandmother at home

Dear friends--

Ten year old Aleksi is new to the Gjirokaster after school program this year. Aleksi is in third grade, and lives with his grandmother. He and his grandmother get a hot meal at the soup kitchen every day, and a monthly family aid parcel. Aleksi enjoys daily after-school activities and homework help from NG staff. Soup kitchen director Arjan Kociu reports that "Aleks loves the school. We are so excited to help this family in need."

Material aid helps to keep children like Aleksi in school, rather than begging or picking trash on the steep, cobbled streets of Gjirokaster. Education will give him more options as he grows up. Your support of this program is making it possible for Roma children in Gjirokaster to plan for a brighter future. 

This program is ongoing and you can continue supporting it here.

Gratefully yours, 

Sarah Pita

Aleksi and grandmother receiving NG aid parcels
Aleksi and grandmother receiving NG aid parcels
Kids in the program get new coats and shoes
Kids in the program get new coats and shoes
Daily temperature checks at the soup kitchen
Daily temperature checks at the soup kitchen
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Bebeka, age 12
Bebeka, age 12

Dear friend--

In Albania, as in many places, school is on break right now. For children living in poverty, this can be a time of increased insecurity and even personal risk.  NG's youth programs in Albania put a lot of effort into making sure the children we work with have enough to eat in the summer, and that they can access appropriate social and developmental environments. And, we find opportunities for them to have fun!

NG Gjirokaster's Roma youth program hosts the children for lunch most days, and provides activities at the soup kitchen. Sometimes, there are even field trips. Recently, the team took the children to a nearby park for fun and games-- something all children should get to do in the summer.

School starts up again in the fall. With your support, NG Gjirokaster will make sure each child has the clothes and supplies he or she needs to return to the classroom, ready to learn and gain the skills for a brighter future. 

This program is ongoing, and you can help here.

Thank you very much for your generous support! 

All the best,

Sarah Pita

Development Director, NG USA

Playing at the park
Playing at the park
A tug of war in the shade
A tug of war in the shade
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Dear Friends,

Thanks to your donation, nine year old Senada goes to school every day, and comes to the NG Gjirokaster soup kitchen for a hot meal, social time, and homework help afterwards. She says "I love the school and I want to learn, because I do not want to be like my mum and dad who are illiterate."

Knowing how to read and write is a huge step forward for children like Senada, and will give them opportunities their parents never had. Single mother Liljana sends her two sons to school for this reason, and adds that NG's after-school program provides her children with the homework help she is unable to give them herself.

School is fully in session in Gjirokaster, and the children report that they like learning core skills like reading and math, as well as fun subjects like art, music, and dance. 

COVID-19 has made things harder for most people in Gjirokaster. Tourism is the main industry, and prior to COVID, the city was seeing record numbers of visitors. For now, there are almost no tourists, and unemployment has increased dramatically. The families of children in our program have been receiving aid since the pandemic began last year, which has created an added incentive to keep the children in school during this difficult time.

Thank you very much for your support of this program, which is ongoing and will continue helping Roma children in Gjirokaster gain an education as they grow up. 

With gratitude,

Sarah Pita

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Organization Information

Nehemiah Gateway USA

Location: Boulder, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sarah Pita
Boulder, CO United States
$12,814 raised of $14,000 goal
 
75 donations
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