Social exclusion, a missed education and trafficking are serious risks to vulnerable children at the margins of Albanian society. Our kindergarten programs exists to protect these children at-risk whilst providing opportunities for a brighter future.
A2B currently run 3 kindergarten programs: “Another Life – Elbasan”, “Another Life – Peqiun” and “Hope for the Future”. In total over 50 children are enrolled in our programs.
Another Life and Hope for the Future
Another Life – Elbasan commenced at the end of 2011 and has supported over 30 children and their families to improve their lives. It provides key literacy and numeracy skills; help with integration into state school; and opportunities for family learning and improved family cohesion.
Hope For the Future opened in 2016 in collaboration with the Paul Ritzau Foundation e.V. 46 families are currently signed up with more to come. H4F provides a kindergarten for 3-5 year olds, nourishing food and teacher support for after school homework lessons for older children up to the age of 16.
Another Life – Pequin opened at the end of 2016. A2B Albania are working in partnership with FSCI-Bulgaria and the Source of Hope foundation. “Another Life – Pequin” will provide Preschool education and nourishing food every day for Roma and Gypsy children aged 3-6 years old. Also we will work in parallel with the parents of the children by training them about positive parenting.
Edi (name changed) is looked after by his Grandparents and rarely sees his mother and father. Separated from them at an early age, his father is in prison for dealing drugs and his mother although trying to make a better life for herself has previously worked as a prostitute in Italy and Greece but now lives in the capital city Tirana. Edi’s father says that he will kill the Mother if she ever has contact with their son. Three years ago when Edi was just four years old,he was found by A2B staff begging on the streets of Elbasan. He started attending Another Life when it opened in 2011 with his Grandparents permission. At first Edi was very aggressive and uncooperative, using extremely bad language for a four year old. Now, Edi is able to read and to write and is enthusiastic about learning. Linda, his teacher, recognises that he is a bright young boy with his literacy and numeracy skills being well above average for his age. He now regularly uses the ‘special words’ of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and encourages other children to do the same. Edi has just celebrated his 7th birthday and Another Life gave him a small party as he will not get one at home. As with many of the other children, he loves attending the kindergarten and is sad to leave at the end of each day. Over the past two years Edi’s health has improved significantly and this is largely attributed to an increase in nutrition and a greater awareness of hygiene and cleanliness. His grandparents continue to do the best they can for him, but is limited as their only income is the £18 per month pension they receive. We hope that we can also support the whole family soon on our Family Link sponsorship programme. At the end of this academic year, Edi will leave us as he is able and ready to start at state school. Without Another Life, Edi would most likely still be begging on the streets or otherwise at risk of further exploitation or even being trafficked.