Albania

How Covid-19 is affecting our work in Albania

Albania has been in a state of emergency since the November 2019 earthquake. The government of Albania has declared COVID-19 to be a national catastrophe and imposed a nation-wide 18-hour curfew. Only one person per family, with an Albanian ID and a valid permit, is allowed out to buy groceries for one hour per day.  Limitations are amended systematically, subject to government review.

Schools and Universities remain closed, but our scholarship beneficiaries who have the means, have the opportunity to continue their studies online. All group gatherings are banned, affecting children at our afterschool project, as well as beneficiaries at soup kitchens. Thankfully, we were able to supply food items to take home before the lockdown. The monthly grocery deliveries to the sponsored families will continue while adhering to strict safety regulations. We keep regular contact with families by phone, offering emotional and spiritual support. Our women’s ministry participants continue to support each other with prayers and encouragement by phone. For families with internet access, there is a weekly online church service with one of our Church partners in Rilindja.

Greetings from Monika

Field country manager Monika Qerimi has worked with MWB since 1992. She said, “The Lord has been very good to us; we have seen the impact and the fruits of our ministry.

"We are particularly thankful to God for all our sponsors and donors – without them we could accomplish very little.

"We should not forget that there is need but there is also generosity and kindness and dignity in offering help and addressing those needs – and there is humility and gratitude in receiving help. 

"We are ready to continue to face the tasks and also the challenges that lie ahead, always relying on each other and above all on the guidance and grace that come from God.

"None of us can do anything alone, things are possible in cooperation and unity, as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27."

One of the poorest countries in Europe

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. One in three young people are unemployed, and for those who do have jobs, income levels have fallen to just 26% of the EU average. As a result, meeting basic needs is a daily challenge for many people and an incredible 56% of all Albanians want to emigrate, a Gallup poll found in 2017. 

Albania is also a major source country for people trafficking and forced labour; and money laundering and drug trafficking are rife. Also, women have poor social and economic status in what is a patriarchal culture, and one woman dies every month as a result of domestic violence.

Our work in Albania focuses on the capital Durres, where many people move from poverty in rural areas to find work, but we also work in Tirana, in Berat and in neighbouring villages.

We work with families and children, addressing issues such as addiction and domestic violence when necessary. By providing a route to self-sufficiency and alleviating poverty, we hope to make families less vulnerable to trafficking and to labour migration. We also run a Soup Kitchen for the elderly, many of whom are alone after their children moved abroad to find work.  We provide educational support to children, making sure they have what they need to get a good education and a brighter future.

Sponsor a family in Albania

307 families in Albania are helped through our sponsorship programme

40 children in Albania are supported at our after school programme

25 students in Albania are currently helped through our scholarship programme

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