In our dormitory currently 25 children receive the opportunity to attend a regular school – in their home villages, the schools are closed and the daily walk to the nearest school would be too far. From our staff, the children receive additional individual tutoring, music lessons and creative courses plus also German lessons. The dormitory has helped many children have a good start in life.
With our support we help to improve the learning conditions in the schools, for example with exercise books, writing materials and the transportation of entire classroom equipment including tables, chairs, blackboards, etc. In recent years, we have completely refurbished several schools with funds from the German Embassy, Tirana and with the participation of municipalities and local tradespeople. This commitment will continue to benefit all pupils in the respective locations.
• Home care nursing service and medical help
The male nurse Bashkim Lilo looks after people in need of care, currently 10 physiotherapy and 15 diabetic patients. Some patients come into his consulting room in our social station in Bishnica, but most of the week he travels throughout the entire Velçan municipality.
• Sewing courses
Helping people help themselves: In Bishnica we have set up with donated equipment, a sewing room, in which Florie Gjona gives sewing classes for women without any personal income. There they have the opportunity to produce clothing – for personal use and for making some money.
• Family parcels
There are still many poor families, for which a box of donated clothes, blankets, household items and foodstuffs is a significant help. Hundreds of such parcels are distributed every year, with larger distribution campaigns when needed.
• Christmas packages
Every year we distribute about 3,500 Christmas packages with toys, school supplies and sweets. The practical use in not in the foreground, but rather “Love reaching people”. Receiving gifts brings children joy and gives courage. The Christmas campaign is always a major event, with the participation of many donors and participants helping from all over Germany, Austria and beyond.
• Municipal development assistance
We work together on projects in the fields of education, social and environment directly with the municipalities. Seminars for the training of administrative staff, conducted for example together with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, promote exchanges of experience with partners from Germany and give a new impetus to the local governments.
We are especially pleased that the cities of Pogradec and Wismar are now establishing direct relationships. So the city of Pogradec can benefit during their current community-territorial reform from the experience of the district reform in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
• Equipping the municipalities
We like to facilitate donations to improve local living conditions. In recent years we have, for example, transferred a garbage truck for the municipality of Hudenisht and vehicles for the city Police of Pogradec from Germany and handed these over to local partners.
In Bishnica we support the Methodist church through children ministries, women’s meetings and a monthly evangelistic meeting.
The municipal house in Buzaishte had been empty the last years. At the beginning of 2014 we repaired it and carried out a first evangelization. Since then, every week children’s events (30 children) and church services (ca. 20 teenagers + some adults) have taken place again.
For many years we carried out summer outreaches in Holtas (Municipality Poroçan) with home visits and events for children, women and men. We would like to come more often, but the drive to Holtas is very difficult, and currently we lack the time and the means for it.
In the early 1990’s trees in the Mokra region were extensively cut down. With the project “Trees for the future” about 1,500 trees were annually replanted on open land, but also apple and walnut trees for the farmers. This project should be renewed soon.
• Erosion control
To counteract erosion, barren open spaces are secured with dry stone wall – about 3000 m² a year. After that the land is then used for agricultural purposes, for example trees are planted. The project started in cooperation with the Velçan municipality, and with Agrinas Holland as well as the farmers’ cooperative ELIA from Buzaishte.
• Waste disposal
Some years ago, we created several garbage collection sites on behalf of the municipality Velçan. Twice a week our driver Agron Elezi picks up the garbage there and drives it to the dump.
8–10 farmers obtain from Agrinas Holland choice seed potatoes which they multiply in their fields and then resell as seed. This means a good income for these families: Their harvest has tripled from about 1500 kg to 4000 – 5000 kg per 1,000 m². The other farmers who buy these seed potatoes from the ELIA Cooperative have the advantage of acclimatized seed that are also more favourable than seeds from abroad.