Pic Anjeza

One more opportunity

“After school, I help my mom with the chores. I like school very much, but I also take care of the goats we own. I feed them every day and I look forward to the birth of their little ones” says Anjeza from Thumana, a second-grade student.

Only eight years old, but the little girl is so free and confident when she speaks, which is astonishing for her age. Her smile seems to diminish her family’s economic struggles, whereas her eyes radiate hope.

Anjeza’s family lives in one of Thumana’s most remote villages and is supported by goat farming to sustain economic development. It is one of 100 families in the municipality of Kruja, affected by the earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic, which are relying on the project “Transforming Households Resilience In Vulnerable Environments”. The project is funded by UNDP in Albania and implemented by World Vision Albania. This family was chosen for this project, as it has the potential to develop agricultural and livestock inputs and creates the opportunity for a small, sustainable family economy.

Anjeza's mother, Vera, tells us that 10 years ago her family moved from Puka to Thumana in hope of a better life. Like every new beginning, they encountered many difficulties. All the savings were spent on building a small house.

Vera has never been able to find a job. She uses the plot of land that they purchased and mainly deals with agriculture and livestock. The family lives on the income her husband provides by working in construction from time to time.

“We do not have steady job. We are a family of five and we live on 5000 ALL of financial aid provided by the state. We have a little land, a cow and a few chickens. Now they have given us two goats, which is very helpful,” she admits.

Vera has a successful history in goat farming. In Puka, where she lived 10 years ago, she had managed to set up a farm. The difficult terrain of the area, the abandonment of the village by other inhabitants and the lack of basic services such as infrastructure, schools and hospitals forced her family to move to Thumana. Vera plans to add to the herd again and create a sustainable economy that provides decent income for her family.

”I had 200 goats in Puka. It was very tiring, but they provided us enough income. The village became uninhabitable and we were forced to leave because we thought about the future of our children. I wish I could increase the number of goats again. From the goats I’ll obtain milk and cheese,” shares Vera.

The tragic earthquake of November 26, 2019 caused some minor damage to her house, but Vera says that “God has protected her family from the coronavirus.”

She looks forward to the future, hoping for a better life for her children. Anjeza hopes to become a teacher one day. Vera herself has not had the opportunity to go to school, but she is trying to fulfill her daughter’s dream.

“I will do my best so that my children have a better life than mine,” closes the confession Anjeza’s mother.

The project “Transforming Households Resilience In Vulnerable Environments” is implemented in Fushë-Kruja, Bubq and Thumana, Albania. Through this project, in the municipality of Kruja it is aimed at improving resilience skills and building the foundations for a more sustainable economic development for children, youth and families. In the framework of the project, 65 families have been assisted with food and hygiene packages, while 35 other families are being supported with agricultural and livestock inputs. Additionally, the project beneficiaries and the community around them will be supported to build a set of skills needed to better cope with future emergencies.