I smiled when I saw a picture of the main square in Tirana, Albania this Christmas with a brightly lit Christmas tree adjacent to the ancient Mosque that stands there too and when I read how the school children of the city were being given Christmas gifts by the Municipality! Changed days from those when I first travelled there and people had little concept of Christian values and traditions.
The Partners and Friends of PovertySwap were extremely busy over the Christmas period “making it happen” for children in remote and neglected communities in Albania, Ethiopia and Romania. Response to our appeal for Christmas Gifts for Albanian Children was very encouraging and we were able to send £500 to our Partners. If I let them tell you, in their own words, a little bit of the story of how they endeavoured to get to children in remote villages I hope you will catch the genuine compassion that we see compels each of our Partners to go further and do more in the countries where they work.
“I went to meet the director and to speak why we must give to children these parcels because it not aloud to give Christian parcels to children in public schools. I took with me my wife which was pregnant and 7 months old daughter Hosana in these country roads of these villages and make her sick. After having all this I lost the right road to go at this school and we went to another village and find another school and met there not the director but a teacher and we explain her why I need to find the right director and school and she gave to me phone number for her director and I call him in phone and he was exited and I went home with my sick wife. But the next day the director said this project can not be done if we do not get the permission of Education Directory Director of Tirana , so we must write official note and show to them why we want to do this and what is in parcels. I said to him that I want just to give to children the parcels and not be formal because every children in Tirana will get a parcels for new year or Christmas from Tirana municipality and Albanian government but those in villages like them will take nothing because are neglecting by government and local commune . I did everything to be done by me and took the permission .
On 21 December 2011 from 10:00 pm – 05:00 am I did all 340 parcel by my self all the night at our church yard putting inside chocolate and Christian booklet for kids “ Meet the King” full story of the gospel for painting pictures for children and the toy for girl or boy. We gave for 5 school and 2 kindergarden and all because of my mistake because I miss the right road to go to right school. God worked every thing for good. Now we have a very good relationship with both directors and director of Education directory of all Tirana city and villages state public schools. Children were so happy . the joy was breath taking…..I know many of children in muslim villages have prayed to God to have their gift for Christmas or New Year and God brought us there.” (From our partner in Albania)
The detailed report, with all costs and how money was used to spread that same joy in the midst of extremely hard times, goes on to tell about the events and deliveries of Christmas parcels to around 2000 children! In fact this has had such an impact on all of those communities that our Partners are currently taking steps to work full time amongst them. There is clearly no doubt that PovertySwap has been part of making something very valuable happen there this Christmas. Thank you to all who were able to contribute your skills, resources and knowledge to Make It Happen!