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Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children

by Partnere per Femijet
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Monthly Mobile Library for Albanian Children
Autumn Sun on the Mountain
Autumn Sun on the Mountain

2016 is nearly over and the children are looking forward to the New Year and family celebrations.  Gifts are exchanged at the New Year and many children look forward to a small gift on New Year's Day and members of the larger family congregating in one house.  Most children will not receive a book as a gift as these are not readily available and those that are, are too expensive for most families too buy, with gifts being new clothes or shoes to meet their children's basic needs.

The Mobile Library fulfils the desire of children to have a book, a drawing or game to play especially now the days are shorter and the nights long, dark and cold.

 7 year old Leon from Pac, said to Ilir: I need a book with pictures, I don't have any of these in my home or at my school.  I know these are books for younger children, but they are beautiful and with colours!"

In Dege village the Literature, Language and Reading teacher always brings the children of his class every month to choose a book.  Shkelzen also chooses a book for himself because he doesn't have a library where he can borrow books and he doesn't have the money to buy books for himself. 

Ilir the Library Assistant and Driver, is a quiet and reserved man with an engaging smile and a quiet assuredness.  He lives with his wife and two children, Arjani seven years old and Aurora six years old in Tropoje e Vjetër.  Every day Ilir drives to Bajram Curri to check-the Mobile Library is full of fuel and that the books are all in order and ready for the next group of children to choose their book for the month. According to the schedule, he then sets off on his journey, sometimes for 15 minutes and other times for 90 minutes.  For Ilir the best part about his job, is when the children call his name and run alongside the library van as it arrives at its destination.  The children's happiness, smiles and eagerness to see what books he has and the games they will play brings joy to Ilir as he feels he is giving something that is really needed. 

 "I love to work as I am giving a service, I feel useful and I am able to organize games for the children."

We would like to thank everyone who has given so generously during 2016, which has meant Ilir and the Mobile Library have continued to provide joy and books to children all over Tropojë District over the last 12 months.  We aim to continue this small, but essential service in 2017 with your help and to provide a new supply of picture books and books for younger children.  Children particularly like to have books with pictures and lots of colours, so this will be our gift to them. 

The Team at Partnerë për Fëmijët and Ilir especially would like to wish all our partners and supporters good health, peace and happiness for the holidays and 2017!

The girl with her book
The girl with her book
Ilir discusses the books with the children
Ilir discusses the books with the children
Young women in the village choose their books
Young women in the village choose their books
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Girls eagerly select their books
Girls eagerly select their books

Dear Supporter,

The children in Tropojë have been on school summer holidays now for two months.  Ilir and the Mobile Library continue to visit all the small communities and villages ensuring that the children have a new book each month to read.  Children gather each month at the same spot eagerly waiting for the library to arrive.  Many of the children have walked for thirty or forty five minutes in high temperatures to reach the spot, but talk excitedly with the other children waiting.

The Mobile Library is a rich source of information for the children whether they are looking for sci-fi, fantasy, poetry, history or science facts or Harry Potter.  Ilir listens to the children and helps them to find a book that they will enjoy.  If a book is requested and the library does not have it, Partnerë për Fëmijët will try to find a copy in Albanian, at one of the publishing companies in Tirana, the capital. 

Rudina is twelve and lives in Bucaj a village approximately 30 minutes drive from the city of Bajram Curri the administrative centre of Tropojë.  The community is sparsely spread over a wide area with mountains and flat land.  The Advanced Elementary School gathers children from many outlying villages and is a central point for children during the academic school year.

Rudina gave Ilir a poem that she wrote about the Mobile Library.  In it she describes what makes the library so important for her; the number of books, the fact that Ilir will help them choose a book and that having a book to read and enjoy can make you smarter. We are attaching the poem translated into English for you to read. 

On 12th September the children of Tropojë will return to school and the library will become a treasure trove of new books and games to explore for the new children who will begin their first year at school.  We plan to purchase a selection of new books especially for these younger children who have yet to experience the delight of turning a page and wondering how the story will unfold or what the author has in store for them.  If you can help us to buy these books and some puzzles this would be much appreciated.

The Library Reaches theTops of Mountains
The Library Reaches theTops of Mountains

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Bright Spring Morning
Bright Spring Morning

Dear Supporter,

The last three months has seen the Mobile Library in Tropoje District continue to visit the villages amongst the mountains providing books and games for the children, young people and teachers.

A new batch of 50 books were delivered to update the library stock.  Many of the books that were first provided to the library over four years ago, now need to be replaced due to the high level of borrowing and wear and tear.  So we are going to visit the publishing companies that operate in Tirana, the capital of Albania in May to see what new editions they have.  Unfortunately, the types and variety of books available for children is not very extensive with many being translations of well-known authors including Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Shakespeare, J. K Rowling etc.  To encourage the children to read we look at those books that develop a child’s natural instinct to explore; to dream; to learn about the world, to be enveloped in fantasy and wonder, science, nature and humour.  Books that are colourful and look attractive for children with pictures and graphics are top of the list.

Poverty, isolation and a lack of the usual resources we expect to find in our towns are the elements of daily living in Tropoje.   Gjergji, a grandfather of three children in Fierzë Commune accompanies them each month to help the children choose their books.  He told Ilir the Library Assistant; “that he is so happy every month when the library arrives.  He and his family have no money to buy any books for the children.  He adds that the books that the library offers to the grandchildren are not to be found in his village or in Bajram Curri the city in Tropoje District”.      

Three young adolescent women are also benefitting from the regular services of the Mobile Library.  Landa, Rozeta and Alehandra are members of the Roma community, a community that has a high illiteracy level and one were many children never attend school due to poverty and discrimination.  Girls are at particular risk of illiteracy and these three are no exception having only attended the first three years of education.  Their lives exist of family and household work with the monthly visit of the library, their only outside activity.  For them the access to a new book and the associated socialisation is the highlight of their lives. 

Your support that enables us to restock the Mobile Library with new books and the sports equipment for the summer months is valued immensely by children like, Landa, Rozeta and Alehandra and grandfathers like Gjergji who look forward every month to the arrival of the Mobile Library.

Mountain View
Mountain View
Children wait for their turn
Children wait for their turn
Remote village setting
Remote village setting
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A stop near the woods
A stop near the woods

Winter has arrived in Tropoje District and that means cold weather and the snow! The New Year has come and gone and the children are now back at school. For many of them this means walking through the snow as the mountain roads and tracks are not cleared. Once they arrive at school many of the classes are not heated and there is a lack of electricity and light. The children sit in their coats trying to keep warm and listen to the teacher’s lesson. 


Despite the difficult weather conditions, blocked roads and snow drifts the Mobile Library maintains its regular routine of visiting the villages, hamlets and children across the mountainous district. Before the holidays, Ilir had given the children some sketches of famous characters that children are familiar with. Barbie, Goku, Naruto, Hello Kitty, Tom and Jerry, Batman and Super Man are some of the children’s favourites. These simple sketches give the children hours of fun colouring them in while they spend time at home.

The children want to tell Ilir about their holidays, the celebrations to welcome in the New Year and also tell him about the books they have read. Those who have enjoyed the book they read, recite and describe some of the parts they liked best. Children being able to remember and describe the parts of a book is really great to hear as many children do not comprehend what they have read. These children are developing good and effective reading skills.

Neither the cold weather nor the snow prevented children walking from their homes and coming to the Mobile Library. In the villages of Kovac, Kerrnaje, Pac, Tropoje and Lekbibaj we had some new children who had never visited the library before. So in the last two months we have had nine new registrations of children between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. The interest and the need for the monthly services of the Mobile Library is not diminishing and is as necessary as it was two years ago.

As the wintry weather subsides the children will begin to look for more activities that they can do outside, so apart from a new supply of books we will also be buying some footballs, skipping ropes, basket balls and jigsaw puzzles. Can you help us to update and renew our supplies for the children of Tropoje District?

Snow in the village
Snow in the village
Choosing the books
Choosing the books
Ilir helps a boy choose his book
Ilir helps a boy choose his book
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Choosing their next book
Choosing their next book

Dear Supporters,


With the start of the new school year, more children are finding out about the Mobile Library and look forward to a new book to read and games to play every month.

During the three month summer break Ilir had an assistant helping him with the monthly library visits and games in the villages. Endrit is eighteen and attends the high school in the main town of Bajram Curri. He decided that he would like to see more of the district in which he lives and help Ilir at the same time. Although Endrit has lived all his life in Tropoje he was surprised to see how far the library travels and how distant many of the houses are to a road or even a village. He spoke with the children who came to borrow a book and learnt more about their lives up in the mountains. Endrit was a great assistant and would set up the games and activities whilst Ilir helped the other children to choose new books. Now Endrit is back at school and has much to tell his friends about how he spent his summer holidays.

“I saw many small places that I did not know existed whilst working on the Mobile Library. I can see why the library is so important to so many children.” Endrit.

A stocktake of the library resources has shown that many of the books for young children need replacing, so October will see us visiting the publishing houses to see what new titles and stories they have. For older children and for the teachers new books are also needed to assist them in their lessons.

Also in October, the new children who have come to school for the first time will be registered as users of the library. All children need their parent or guardian’s signature and agreement to them becoming library members. Although a simple document it ensures that parents take an interest in their children’s reading and also ensures that all the books are returned in good condition.

A busy month for all of us to rejuvenate the books and games and ensure that every child who visits the Mobile Library can find a book that he or she wants to read and enjoy. Your support in ensuring the shelves are full of interesting books is very much appreciated by every child in Tropoje!

All donations on Wednesday 7th October will help us to achieve our aim of more books for the children. Donations will be matched by YOUTH SPARK, so please help us to double the number of books we can buy!

The greeness of Tropoje District
The greeness of Tropoje District
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Organization Information

Partnere per Femijet

Location: Tirana, Central Region - Albania
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ingrid Jones
Tirane, - Albania

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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