The village of Kraboris can only be reached via a long and winding mountain road that is wide enough for only one car and for much of the year, coated in slippery mud and curves around a cliff-edge. This is the same road the village children take to school every day– as their fathers used to many years ago. The children no longer have to walk to school, however, but at least one of them has to ride in the trunk of the car, as there are not enough seats for all the children. This is what parents have to allow though if they want their children living in this remote mountain village to have an education.
‘’Many more families with children used to live here. I used to walk down to school with my friends’’, says Samir, now aged 40. Today he is a father of three, with a two-year- old daughter and two sons aged 10 and 12, who all attend school.
World Vision has been partnering with the villagers and the school since 2009. A leaky school ceiling has been fixed, thermal insulation has been installed and classrooms have been equipped with teaching boards, but the greatest joy of all for the children is to finally have a school playground
Life is a struggle for village parents like Samir and his wife Mirela. They get up at the crack of the dawn to go looking for work and are prepared to do any kind of physical labor that will provide the means to feed their children. Seldom have they found it. Over the period of the past three months, they have worked for only ten days. While the couple is out, the grandmother looks after the youngest child and takes care of the house.
The house where the family of five live is old and dilapidated, yet the family has hope. World Vision donated a heifer to the family three years ago and since then, life has been easier. Half of the food for the family comes from this one cow -- milk, cream and cheese make a good portion of their meals. What is left is sold to the little neighbors they have.
For three years, they have had a steady flow of milk and dairy products, and finally, after several expensive visits from the veterinary clinic, the heifer gave birth to a calf. The family will sell the calf and the money they get will be a significant boost to the family income. If the next calf is a female, they plan to keep her.
Today, their house smells of fresh bread.
‘’It is still hot!’’ they all shout together, as Mirela scoops sour cream and cheese on to the plate.
For a farmer, living on the top of the mountain, cattle is the most prized possession one can have. One heifer means food and means milk for the little one, it also gives fertilizer for the soil, but above all gives them hope for a different future.
* Story by Nejra Baltes, Sponsorship Communications Officer