Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer time in Fushe Kruja city- 17 July 2013

Summer time in Fushe Kruja city- 17 July 2013

In summer time Fushe Kruja is emerged in a very hot weather and polluted environment. When you get out of the bus you feel like you have just been dropped near a metallurgic factory. The air is hot and very hard to breathe; it smells of gas, oil and polluted water.

In summer, Fushe Kruja has very high temperatures and a few places where people can find fresh shadows. Parks are inexistent, trees are rare and the river that passes by is polluted by garbage and city sewage water. The Roma children of Fushe Kruja find a way to fresh up by going to the river and play there with each other.

This activity gives them a lot of infections and that is why ADRA medical staff goes there often and talk with children and parents to avoid the river water as much as they can. In two years, ADRA staff has managed to convince many families of the community not to use the river water but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this aspect.

Reflect project is closing the first phase of “Social training for Roma men, women and children in Fushe Kruja”. It has been a really good year in terms of activities, relations, community collaboration and positive results. For ADRA staff this is just the beginning because now it is the moment when problems, challenges and solutions are better identified. Now, it is the moment to start working more intensively with the community, involving it in public activities, engage community leaders in raising awareness on common issues, and be persistent in the integration of Roma children in the public schools of Fushe Kruja.

During these two months, May - June 2013, ADRA staff has worked closely with the Roma parents to make them aware about the importance of taking children to school.

It has been difficult to make them listen because of their urge to go to work as it is summer time. As our readers already know, Roma people start their journey at the beginning of April and they try to work as much as they can to collect money for the winter.

Summer is the most lucrative time of the year because of the enhanced commerce of second-hand clothes and collection of plastics and metal scrubs. Another way of earning money in summer is the fortunetelling at the beach. Many Roma women, wearing suggestive clothes, go in touristic areas, especially at the beach and practice the hand reading to tourists.

 In Albania it is not allowed to practice such thing but for the Roma women this represents the most lucrative job they can ever have. So, during summer season, there are Roma women who earn considerable amounts of money going mostly at the beaches of Durres and Vlora.
It has been a real challenge to take women to the ADRA centre these two months because of their summer and house work. That is why ADRA staff tried to reach them by going house to house and paying visits which were very much appreciated.

In June, ADRA staff organized the first Roma children’s camp in order to motivate and prepare them for the next schooling year. 25 children of 5-8 years old and 8 girls of 11-14 years old were present to the camp together with 3 women from the Roma community, 1 woman from the nearest neighborhood and ADRA staff who managed the camp activities. It was great to see how women got along together, working and collaborating in everything. Children were so happy to have this opportunity that couldn’t stay on their feet. They were very energetic, full of positive emotions and motivated to learn and listen.
 This was a great first experience and ADRA staff hopes Roma children understand the aim of this camp: motivate children to go to school because together with it comes friendship, education and many other good experiences, just like the ADRA summer camp.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Help ADRA defend the rights of the girls around the world!

ADRA Albania has been working for years in the Roma communities all around Albania. It was time to speak out loud about what happens to young girls at the age of 12. Finally, our voice was heard and here we stand on the gift catalogue of ADRA International to get visibility and raise awareness against early marriages in Albania! 

One amazing week with 25 roma children from Fushe Kruja - 24.06-28.06.201

This year ADRA staff decided to move step further and invite the children of the Fushe Kruja Roma community to Tirana. This was a big step for the staff and for the community itself because it was the first time ADRA took the initiative to take 35 Roma children and organize a weekly camp for them.
We planed and organized a jungle camp to prepare Roma children for the coming school year and to motivate them by giving a nice experience together with ADRA staff.

The camp with the jungle theme presented to the children the wide world of animals, and through this issue ADRA staff prepared different kind of stories related to school, healthy life style and hygiene. Each day, the program had a special theme such as: what the jungle is, why we should eat healthy food, hygiene, excursion day in the zoo and park and relationship between friends and in the family. 

Our goal was to combine interesting stories about the jungle with educational issues for the children. So we had every day a special time table. It started with morning gym, after that breakfast and then washing teeth and themselves.  We created for every day special games with the daily theme and organized some role play games to explain the children for example how they have to clean their hands and teeth. Our ADRA health team supported our camp team with these activities. Every day we had school time that means we repeated with the children numbers, letters and songs.

At the beginning of the camp the children were very nervous and full of energy and it was a challenge for our team to follow the organized plan. It was nice to recognize how the children got used and improved with these activities, listening and concentrating more and more each day.

 It was very nice to notice this positive process.  It was amazing to sit down with them and to do every day some creative activities for example producing soap. They enjoyed working with their own imagination. It was special to see how they looked to the animals in the zoo or how they play in the park and in the free time at the ADRA compound.
Not only our special medical man who explained and talk with the kids also our team with 3 community women supported the ADRA team very well. The goal to give to the children a special time and to prepare them for the new starting first school year was our  main goal and even though for a short period of time, 1 week, we realized our goal. Now, September will be a challenge for us all as we have to work hard with the parents and the Roma community in order to take Roma children to school.

 A warm THANK YOU to ADRA Germany that financed the summer camp and to the amazing ADRA Albania staff which worked really hard to give these children a great experience!

Summer camp June 2013