"We were very scared when earthquake hit. However, the worst was yet to come, because we had no idea on what to do with our damaged house. On rainy weather, many times, the water entered from the roof and from the windows that were cracked. Sometimes it seemed to me that the roof would fall on our heads, because I saw parts of it hanging down. But, I feel calmer now, because it looks like the house is much brighter. With the help of World Vision we could rebuild a higher, we could change the roof completely, whilst the walls were plastered and painted and the windows and doors were replaced with new ones. It looks like a brand new home to me,” - says Leonora, 12 years old from Kamza.
Leonora lives with her grandmother, her mother, and two siblings. Her father has been working as an emigrant for a year and a half now. She sees him very rarely. Because he couldn’t find a job in Albania, he has moved to an African country and works there in construction. Leonora's mother is unemployed, but she tries to earn a living by sewing shoes at home, for which both Leonora and her brother give some help. Her older brother is 16, but after finishing compulsory education, he couldn’t pursue his studies due to the economic hardships the family is facing. He also has some problems with his eyes, and World Vision has continuously supported him with glasses throughout the years. The family lives in in the suburbs of Kamza and a typical day of the family looks like this: mom sews shoes, grandma cooks, while 12-year-old Leonora attends school.
We contacted Leonora's family, which has been part of World Vision programmes for years, right after the November 26 earthquake. She tells us that like all Albanians, the whole family experienced that moment very badly; everyone was scared and afraid to stay inside because of the damages in the building.
"The next day we talked to my father over the phone and told him about the horror we experienced. We told him we were ok but he was very worried about our health and he couldn’t believe we were all well," said Leonora.
The earthquake damaged the walls, the floor and the roof of Leonora’s home. “Even though the house was damaged, we found it impossible to live anywhere else”, says Leonora. So the family was sheltered in the room that had the minor damages.
With the support of an engineer assigned by Municipality of Kamza, World Vision Albania assessed the damage of the house, which at the end was evaluated with a DS3 (Damage Scale) level. Assessing the degree of damage, the family was provided with all the necessary materials (doors, windows, roof tiles, cement, etc.) for the reconstruction of the house. The works lasted about three weeks and during this time, the family did not leave the house but stayed in one of the rooms.
The pandemic has made it more difficult for the father of Leonora to return from emigration. He isn’t working right now and he can’t either return home. The mother continues to provide small incomes for the family by sewing shoes at home.
Leonora's family is one of 11 families assisted in Kamza Municipality in response to the emergency caused by the earthquake of November 26, 2019. During this year, World Vision has supported 150 families with winter packages, as well as provided specialized psychological services for 108 children and adults who due to the event, were experiencing anxiety and insecurity.