Elena, Maria, Kristo, Luiza, & Viktorie with Anila
Maria (11), Viktorie (9), Luiza (7), Elena (4), and Kristo (2), pictured above with NG social worker Anila, live in the village of Nice (pronounced Nee-cha) in rural Albania. The younger girls were playing "makeup" right before Anila arrived, which is why their eyes look so alarming!
These siblings live with unemployed parents who suffer from mental health problems. Much of the household work falls to 11-year old Maria, and to her grandmother, who is staying with them right now to help out. This year, the small village school did not open on time, and the grandmother has not been able to get in touch with the school director, making her wonder if the school will even open this year.
In Albania's remote villages, life has always been hard. Although schools, clinics, and post offices came to the villages in the Communist era, those services have eroded in recent years.Given the choice, many people left for better opportunities in the city, or abroad. Those who have remained have remained because they cannot leave. It takes money to find a place to live in a city. People with health problems, like the parents of these children, have no employment options and nowhere to go.
Nehemiah Gateway is one of the only sources of help for this family. Our team visits several times each year, with food aid parcels, donated clothing, a caring heart and a helping hand. Although NG cannot solve their situation, we make sure that these growing children are getting food to eat and are having their basic health needs seen and addressed. Most importantly, our team shows families like these that they are not forgotten by the world. We can't fix the villages, but that doesn't mean that we can't make things a little better
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Development Director, NG USA