“My name is Marsela. I am 16 years old. I live in a village in the Vlora area. My father passed away last year because of a sudden illness. We were ruined, spiritually and economically. No one at my house worked except him. It’s not that my mom doesn’t want to work but she cannot be employed as there are very, very few possibilities to do so in my area. My family is made up of five members, including my mother, brother, sister and my grandmother. The time [after my father died] was so difficult for all us. Our only support was my grandmother’s retirement pension, only $60 (USD) a month. Obviously, under such difficult circumstances, I could not ask my mom to purse school. Once my mother told me that if she could find a job, I could go to school. But, she didn’t. I will remember for a long time how this last summer was one of the most difficult for me.
“I have always thought that I would continue my education not only through high school, but even in the university. I was dreaming of being a doctor. [But], after my father’s sudden death, everything was uncertain. I knew my family could not fulfil my needs to buy books, clothes and other school supplies. They cost more than what grandmother receives. So, I decided to drop out after I finished the ninth grade. I remember that only me and one other boy did not continue our education, everyone else did. It was very painful to me when people were asking: ‘Will you go to school? Have you bought new cloths for the first day of school?’ Those words were lake a knife in my heart; penetrating sharply into my soul with no mercy.”
World Vision lights up the darkness
“I never thought someone would be able to help me find myself again. I don’t know what I would have done if Marsela, a World Vision staff member, wouldn’t have come to my house and offered me a way to get out of this darkness. Her words: ‘We can do something for you.’ where the most beautiful words I have ever heard. I was shaking like a leaf, I got read faced... I don’t know much to say... All I knew for sure was that I was looking forward to meeting up with my friends and going to school, just like them. If I think what would have happened if I was not helped, I think, perhaps, I would have been married as some girls here do when they reach their sixteenth birthday. Or maybe I would have just stayed at home doing the housework.
“World Vision provided transportation for me to go to the village where the high school is. Now, I am very happy and surrounded by people who support and care for me. I am also very happy that I have accomplished my father’s desire, to continue my education and become someone in life.
Today, Marsela goes to school happily, like all her friends. As her family is still in a difficult economical position, World Vision helped Marelsa by providing her a bag and school supplies. More then 120 other children in need were got supported by World Vision with school supplies;74 of them were registered children.
More cases solved
In the area of Vlora, World Vision is working with so much passion and love to bring change to the lives of girls, like Marsela. This is the third year that Vlora program has been intentionally focusing on this category of youth who do not continue to high school, with a special focus on orphan children. As result of awareness raising and the continuous support from World Vision, five vulnerable children, including Marsela, who were at risk of missing high school, have been able to continue their education. There have been several family visits and meetings with parents to help these children to continue their education and improve their overall living conditions.