Summer Camps - a safe place to play

Albana, a nine year old girl who's always dreamed of a summer holiday!

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Durres is one of the most poverty stricken communities in Albania.

Durres is an ex-swamp community and is very poor. The land here frequently floods and there are few amenities. Most of the people who live here struggle to find well-paid work and many families live in poverty. 

Albana is a nine-year-old girl who lives here with her parents and three siblings. Her mother, Lavdije, 38, finds taking care of the children and household tasks overwhelming. Even before Albana was born, she was assigned the role of being her mother’s helper – and at her young age, she already carries a lot of responsibility.

Albana is like a second mother to her younger siblings, three-year-old Gesi and two-year-old Olivia. Every day after a long walk home from school, Albana feeds them, spends time with them, and puts them both to bed, as well as helping her mother with chores. 

“I try to help my mother as much as I can,” Albana said. Her days are packed with responsibility, with little opportunity to play or relax. Even in the summer, she spends her time at home helping out, and rarely ventures beyond her neighbourhood.

Nikolino who works for Mission Without Borders supporting families like Albana’s, who are enrolled on our family sponsorship programme. The family receive regular material support, as well as encouragement and help towards becoming self-sufficient. Today, Nikolino has some exciting news for Albana – this summer Mission Without Borders will be running a summer camp for children from sponsored families, and Albana can join them. 

The camps are full of fun activities, sports, games, lots of good food, friendship and Bible lessons. 

“I know summer is still far away, but I’m already thinking about it all the time,” Albana said excitedly. “I know my mum will get tired when I’m away… but it won’t be for too long.”

“We’ve never been on holiday,” her mother said. “We’ve only been a couple of times to the closest beach for a few hours, but that was a really long time ago. Albana has always dreamed of a summer holiday.”

When asked how she imagined summer camp would be, Albana said, “I think summer camp is a place where you laugh and play a lot.”

“We believe that Albana will have an unforgettable time at summer camp and will really enjoy all the activities. The experience will help her grow as a person and learn new skills,” Nikolino said.

So many children in Albania and Eastern Europe live in poverty and have little opportunities to play and enjoy their childhood. You can help send a child like Albana get to summer camp and give them a safe place to play this summer. 

Please consider making a donation today – and support us in giving as many children like Albana a wonderful summer holiday they will never forget

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