Mixing colours, putting ideas onto canvas with creativity, Armando slowly began shaping his passion and desire for painting. He is one of the most engaged kids in the City of Kids in Korça. Even though a little shy, the boy has found another communication channel: art.
A few years ago Armando was diagnosed with autism and it hasn’t been easy for his family to accept it. “I began to understand that something wasn’t right, says Armando’s mother, “but it was difficult for me to accept it and even harder to communicate it to the rest of the family. To them, Armando was perfect.” Armando’s mom began to accept with the passing days that the boy needed to be diagnosed. She had made up her mind even if she would have to go against all her family.
With the support of World Vision Albania, Armando began taking therapy every day for a year and a half in a specialized centre in Korça. Improvements were noticeable. He was integrated into the education system and began to interact with teachers and his classmates.
Recently he has even taken up a painting course at the City of Kids. While Armando seems happy practicing his passion, he listens attentively to the advice of his teacher, Figena Nini.
“During the first days, I thought it would be difficult for him to be comfortable and fit in with friends of his group,” says Figena, who has been mentoring Armando since his beginnings in painting.
Time passed and during these two years of attending the course Armando also started socializing.
“He would go to the course joyfully and talked a lot at home about the relationships with friends,” says his mother.
In the meantime, Armando’s mother’s life was not as colourful as her son’s paintings. In fact, Rezarta was forced to quit her job and take care of Armando and her younger son. Their economic situation worsened due to this decision. His mother was emotionally restricted, but she didn’t give up.
“World Vision has supported us occasionally as a family, sometimes with material goods, other times by compensating the payment for Armando’s private classes, or even better by encouragements. They are always helpful,” says Rezarta smiling.
Thanks to his mother’s insistence and his love of painting, Armando can reproduce a technically good image and interpret colours with an originality and independent style that makes him unique in his art.
It is two years now that World Vision Albania, in partnership with the Municipality of Korça and Sport Centre of Korça, has offered education services for children in the fields of sport, art and sciences. Currently, 729 children attend City of Kids and in 10 different courses organized by the Cultural Centre of Kids “Mihal Grameno”, Korça and in five other programmes organized by World Vision Albania.
City of Kids through the educational, cultural, and entertaining programmes aims to promote the psycho-motor development of children, promote intellectual development and social engagement, planting a feeling of social cohesion by increasing awareness of the community on children’s wellbeing.