“I can confidently say that my time with World Vision has always been well spent. I have never lost anything; I have only gained from you. Every day, month, and year, I have learnt more about my rights, how to protect myself, I have seen some of Albania's most beautiful cities by visiting them firsthand, I know more about health, friends, group work, loving each other, accepting each other with our differences, because after all, what's the purpose of being the same?”
These are a few lines from Jorida's letter from Durrës. She is now a youngster who is attending university and has many goals in mind for her country. In a letter, she discloses her first steps as a member of World Vision Albania's children’s and youth groups. World Vision is proud of her accomplishments, as well as the accomplishments of thousands of other children and young adults whose lives have changed and transformed over the past two decades.
Here is the full letter that contains inspiring messages for many other children and young people.
“My name is Jorida, and I live in the city of Durrës. I am now in my first year of university, studying at the Faculty of Foreign Languages. In this letter, I want to write about my experience with the organisation “World Vision” and how wonderful it was to be a part of it. Now that a significant amount of time has gone, it appears to me that not only I have grown up, but also you “World Vision” did grow through the work accomplished.
When World Vision Durrës was initially presented to us I was in an elementary school, I wanted to be a part of it as much as any other child in my class. Not only the assistance, but the fun and games were what attracted me. Every time my friends returned from their meetings in groups of children, I saw a great smile on their tiny faces. Then one day, I joined a group. I started exchanging letters with a friend, but not simply letters; she also shared her life, trips, and good and bad days with me. What a lovely thing it is to have a friend who wants to get to know you through letters, like our predecessors did when they were apart. I recall the school meetings when we were gathering in groups under the supervision of the organisation’s staff and were discussing a variety of educational and very practical topics.
These meetings have taught us about our rights. I was delighted to learn about my rights, which no one can now violate. How thrilled the students were at the end of the year when World Vision had a present for every child in our school. Throughout my journey, I recall several activities, games, presents, and smiles. One of them, June 1, Children's Day, was not an ordinary day at our school; I could not wait to celebrate and enjoy the show, which always began with children's rights. Adults were watching the shows together with us.
I will also never forget the wonderful trips we had around Albania, where we learnt, shared our experiences, and gained a better understanding of the history of each place we visited. Only because of you, I could learn about my country, which would otherwise be impossible due to economic struggles and daily challenges.
Thank you for making my ordinary days into exceptional days, “World Vision”. In Tirana, you took us to the movies. I had never been in the cinema before, and I was in grades 7-8. First time in cinema, I remember laughing nonstop. Year after year, these visits, educational meetings, have continued, and each time I have learnt something new. As a result, I grew up with you. The most recent meeting I attended was related to the internet, which was useful since, now that everyone is on lockdown due to COVID-19 restrictions, bullying has begun to surface on social media. I have never lost anything; I have only gained from you. Every day, month, and year, I have learnt more about my rights, how to protect myself, I have seen some of Albania's most beautiful cities by visiting them firsthand, I know more about health, friends, group work, loving each other, accepting each other with our differences, because after all, what is the purpose of being the same? I have felt like a happy child because of the staff's hard work.
It has been a long, dedicated, and committed journey that has expanded and will hopefully continue to expand each year. I am sure that every child who is or has been a part of it is as happy as I am, but children sometimes do not know how to express their joy and gratitude to you, so on behalf of these little ones who do not know how to string words together, and on my own behalf, I want to thank you endlessly for every day, from the beginning until now in 2021, that you have given me a smile and knowledge. With the voice of a child, I express how I feel, and you know how powerful this voice becomes when many children come together.
Let us always be together, real yet different, to love each other, the family that no amount of money in the universe can buy. Your mission is not only to assist financially, but also to provide knowledge, education, and socialization so that people may learn to love one another in a society, and you have succeeded in this. You have shown us that forgiving and giving only makes us and others happy. Even though I am now beyond the age of 18, I still feel like a happy child whenever I am invited to join your activities. I am grateful for everything, including the friend who picked me and shared everything with me, for every second spent with “World Vision,” and the love and respect I have for each and every one of you who have worked together to build such a great organisation as “World Vision.”
Finally, I would want to close my letter with the first words that should have been at the beginning: “THANK YOU WORLD VISION” for being a part of my journey and growth throughout the years.