Children receive educational support at our After-school club

“One day, I realized that my son couldn't even read or do simple math exercises.”

Children growing up in poverty in Albania are at a higher risk of dropping out of school. At home, parents are preoccupied with survival and how to find enough money for the next meal – and often don't have the capacity to support struggling children with their schoolwork. The Covid-19 pandemic and the earthquake in Durres, Albania, in 2019, disrupted children's education even further. 

Seven-year-old Aldo lives with his parents, grandmother, and two older sisters in the exswamp area of Durres, a place that suffers from frequent flooding and pollution. His father, Kastriot, doesn't have a stable income but takes up temporary jobs where he finds them in construction. Aldo's mother, Elsa, takes care of their home and her elderly mother, who is paralyzed and needs extensive support. It is challenging for the family to make ends meet – especially if Kastriot can't find work.

Elsa, Aldo's mother, said, "Aldo wasn't able to attend pre-school, which is good at getting them ready for school, and then when he started school, the pandemic happened. Everything closed down, and he had to attend first grade online.

"One day, I realized that my son couldn't even read or do simple math exercises. He'd already finished first grade when I understood that." 

The family was thankful to be enrolled in Mission Without Borders' (MWB) family sponsorship programme – and as a result, Aldo began going along to the after-school club.

Qualified teachers tutor the children there, giving individual attention to each child and helping them overcome any difficulties and become confident in their work.

"From the moment Aldo started coming to the after-school club, I noticed that he had some problems," said Oriola, MWB teacher.

"He couldn't read or do basic maths such as addition and subtraction. Aldo was scared and insecure, but he was a loving child, obedient and eager to learn. The earthquake and the pandemic created a particularly difficult challenge in schools. I also think that Aldo's family found it tough to help him. His insecurities at school had led to problems in his behavior, making him sensitive, irritable, and impatient," Oriola added. "He refused to admit when he was wrong. But Aldo has come a long way and changed a lot in a few months.

Aldo's face lights up when he is asked about after school club. "I love it," he said with a big smile. "It's not like school. I go there and learn new things, and I understand the lessons. I'm not afraid to ask when I don't understand something. On Monday, my schoolteacher said, I'm doing well now.”

When I grow up, I want to be a chef.


His mother is relieved to see Aldo doing so well. She said, "He's a better reader, and he's more involved in the lessons thanks to the professional support he receives. Every day he can't wait to go to the club." 

Now Aldo feels secure in himself and excited about the future. "When I grow up, I want to be a chef," he said. 

Aldo's future is already looking brighter – he is more likely to succeed because he is engaged in his education. Your support can help children like Aldo grow in confidence and choose their own future.

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Vulnerable children are being helped with educational support at 16 After-school programs across 5 countries.




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