Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Celebrating Christmas in Fushë Kruja: Making holidays brighter!

This year in Fushe Kruja, ADRA Albania handed out the traditional Christmas packages to all the children. The faces of these kids were once again all smiles thanks to the donors of ADRA Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

In total we gave out 300 gift parcels and shared thousands of smiles! For this special day, we decided to organize, in collaboration with UNDP, an activity about human rights, followed by some music, drinks and fruits for all participants. The goals of the day were to show that they have the right to celebrate every special day of the year and to make it a beautiful day for their children. 
This Christmas we extended the gift giving to include not only the children but the girls and women of the reflect project! 
Since the beginning of December, we had been contacting many women around Tirana, creating a network, in order to collect some «girly» things for our young female students.  We gathered these items and made a package for each Roma woman filled of clothing, jewelry, beauty products, etc. Each package also contained a greeting card with a personal message to each student, which was the most important element of the package. It was a way to tell them again how precious each one of them is! 
We wanted to give these women something significant to help them embrace the Christmas spirit all together! This day was very special, everyone enjoyed the holiday spirit while dancing to some Roma music and sharing some memories from the past few months together!
As mentioned before we dedicated this day to Human Rights education. For an hour, the teacher, the project manager, and a UNDP officer made a brief description about human rights stimulating a very interesting discussion about them in the Roma community.  We used images to aid in the discussion of the right of education, the right to work, the right to have a name, to have a family, to have fun etc. Each image brought comments and discussion from the women as we tried to make sure that every aspect of the issue was mentioned. 
We modified some traditional Albanian songs to have a human rights twist. For example, inserting  “I am red, I am white, I am black, I am proud!” into one of the more lively numbers. We will use these songs for rest of the month and will have the children repeat these lines which have very serious meanings that we what them to understand.

We finished the day with a extensive round of goodbyes, and since the school was closed for the ensuing two weeks it was the perfect way to remember everyone in Fushe Krjua until we returned for the new year.  Our only hope is that the women and children took as much as we did from this.