In the hilly, historic city of Gjirokaster, summers are hot, and people continue navigating restrictions on gathering designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. For Nehemiah Gateway's soup kitchen there, this has meant feeding people in shifts, with only a few people eating at once. Our popular summer camp for local youth was cancelled. The Roma children who participate in our school support/after school program miss coming to the soup kitchen every afternoon for activities and social time with their friends, but our team is bringing meals to their homes and checking in with the children regularly. The school year is currently scheduled to start on September 14, and a model involving "blended learning" is likely to educate children with a mix of classroom and virtual learning.
The Roma children in our program come from very poor families-- some of them live in tents. It will be challenging (to put it mildly) for them to participate in online learning without computers or even, in some cases, electricity. The NG Gjirokaster team is working to support them so that they do not fall behind.
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