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Albania: "Shpres" (hope) for the New Year

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by Mentor Rama/RBU, 2011/01/13

At the beginning of December 2010 we once more reported the same news as last year: heavy floods which this time affected Albania. In many regions the water reached a level of up to three metres, numerous people lost their houses and everything that was within and could only be rescued with boats.

The situation aggravated even further due to the fact that winters can be freezing cold in the mountainous north of the country; at the time the disaster occurred, temperatures had already been some degrees below zero. These dire circumstances were reported by our partner organisation Christ for the Nations (CfN) Albania and they asked humedica for help.

humedica contributed 10,000 euros in order to support relief measures for hundreds of affected families in the flooded region surrounding the village of Shkodra. On behalf of all those benefiting from this support, our Albanian partner organisation expressed its thanks by means of a letter.

"We are deeply grateful that you have helped us to be a blessing to the people in North Albania, and by means of this short report we would like to share with you the results of our relief measures and the experiences we have gained.

When our honorary assistants distributed the relief goods in the region surrounding Shkodra, we could experience how exceptional and at the same time alarming the situation was for the people living there. More than 700 families could not celebrate Christmas and New Year at their own houses, since they had been destroyed by the water masses.

The water, which had partly reached a level of up to three metres, had caused substantial damage to a large number of houses. Furthermore, the walls of the houses were contaminated by germs that had come with the flood. It will take a lot of time and energy to make those houses inhabitable once more.

Thanks to direct contact to a local pastor, we could adjust our aid to the specific needs of the affected families. We distributed important basic food, blankets, bed linen and clothes.

Furthermore, we could return the beginnings of a new home to many people, by providing them with new furniture, such as beds, tables, chairs, mattresses and wardrobes, as well as new heaters and cooking facilities for those houses that had already been cleaned.

This was only possible thanks to your financial support. Thank you, humedica!

What will happen next?

Further support is definitely necessary. More than 700 families have slid into poverty and have to find a new way of making a living. They need to clean their houses and villages from slush and mud and have to reconstruct the buildings.

Please think of these people with us and pray for them to have the strength and courage to go on, to find some hope in every-day live and to be provided for and protected from diseases.

We are planning to expand our relief measures to even more families and in order to do so we would like to ask you for your continuing support. We want to show the people living in particular in the flooded regions surrounding Shkodra that they are not alone.

We are pleased that we could offer our help right in time. Two days before New Year - one of the most important holidays here in Albania - our support brought "Shpres" (hope) for the new year to the people."