It’s hard to imagine that it was a whole year ago that we gave out the very first tentative notice that an opportunity existed to make donations so that our Partners in Albania could buy Christmas parcels for up to 2000 children in the communities where they serve. The events they organised led to whole communities celebrating the Christmas message and strengthened those important links with schools, local leaders and local people in a unique and practical way. The smiles on the faces of those children with large, brightly wrapped Christmas parcels is a picture not easily forgotten.
And so we come to the Christmas celebrations once more. Contacts with those communities has developed over the year and once again our trusted Albanian Partners have an excellent opportunity to share their lives, the story of God who sent His Son and the faithful love of that same God in many unique and culturally relevant ways. As we are given the opportunity to share in this Christmas Gift Giving we can be assured our Partners will put in the hard work…and not only at Christmastime…and that they will match many of our donations with what they have.
While much of Europe feels the harsh winds of economic chaos this winter it is the children of the most vulnerable who will be the ones who will go without this year. In Albania it is still a tough place to grow up. Even for those with hard working caring families the demands of daily life are a struggle. For the families of those on the margins of society the cruel grip of poverty can be a dehumanising reality. By holding a series of events leading up to the Christmas period during which they will give out thoughtful and practical gifts to the children of the area they are hoping to reach more than a thousand families as part of their continuing work. That work is constantly seeking to find sustainable solutions for the lives of those most at risk in the many villages and cities where they serve.
PovertySwap friends will now be familiar with this photo of the brother and sister whom we met during our trip to Albania in 2010. Last year they were amongst those who received Christmas parcels. The little one started school this year and our Partners have been able to work with them in their community to develop their educational base, attend to health needs and provide a safe and enjoyable community for their welcome and warmth.
At PovertySwap we are enthusiastic to partner with those who are hands on in the process of turning Tears to Smiles. As you approach the great Christmas Shop and all the preparations made to celebrate this wonderful Festive Season perhaps you would like to join us in sharing a few gifts for children in Albania. We would be so glad if you could.
Donate online or to our postal address on the Contact page – remember to mark your donation “Albania Christmas”. If you can make your donation before 13th December 2011 even better. Many thanks.