World Vision Albania
article • Monday, January 8th 2018

My Children

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"Within 10 years we were blessed with six children. I remember once that it was winter, cold, and the rain leaked on the couches and beds where we slept in the little room, that was barely standing. I do not know what got into me that made me ask my kids to go to the other side of the room. As soon as they moved, the ceiling collapsed. We were horrified. The only wish I had for my children was to have a roof over their heads and food on the table. Then we put up plastic sheets in place of the ceiling ... how can I describe the immense suffering we have been going through" - recounts Gjyste Toni.

However, this was not the only misfortune of the family that had immigrated from Velipoja. The father of the children passed away at an early age of 34.

World Vision Albania & Kosovo together with the Steel Wings club, decided to come to their aid.

"There used to be only two rooms here, without any reconstruction whatsoever ... they paved also that part in the front because the water used to flow in. They brought beds, mattresses, doors, windows. I always remind the children of the difficulties we have experienced. Even the good things can be further improved, but we are nevertheless very good here"- so does the 39-year-old describe the first day when the evening would find them at ease, not having to constantly wake up at night to check if the kids are safe.

Her little ones are the reason she lives. Her most beautiful moments are those she spends with them. They make her laugh and forget her sadness.

The oldest of them, decided to start working as a waiter this summer, but not just to help his mother provide for the children: "I looked at mom doing the laundry with her own hands in the yard. Here in Kolsh of Lezha , winter is not as mild as in Tirana, and the summer is hot too. I saved the money and made her a surprise. I bought a washing machine. If you could only see her eyes shining of joy. She is my mother and she does all the  laundry.  We are not rich, but we are clean. "

Unemployment has been the cause of failure to fulfil many of her children's desires.

"World Vision decided to come to the rescue one more time. I never forget the day, when all gathered, even officials from the City Hall ... first they told me to work in the fishery sector, but now I am a janitor in the nearby church. I leave the children on their own while I am not at home because I have no one to leave them with. When I go to work, I say to myself all the time, Lord, keep them safe at home because they are small. They can set the house on fire and still not be aware of it,' - she says quietly as if she is scared of her own words, hoping that this situation will never happen.

"The little girl loved her dad, and as soon as the flowers begin to bloom, she starts making two bouquets of fresh flowers. She says that she wants to take one to her dad and the other one is for the Lady, mother of Jesus Christ,” - says her mother while her daughter is hiding behind her.

Children are full of dreams about their future. One of the daughters wants to be a journalist, whereas the son, an engineer, while the other daughter just wants to have a doll as she never had one. But Gjystja stays silent hearing their desires because the opportunities are scarce.

As for herself, she does not require anything but to continue to work, for she would regret her whole life if the oldest son would not be able to continue his education in the university.

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