Although Albania’s economy continues to grow, it is one of the poorest in Europe – hampered by a large informal economy and inadequate infrastructure.
Albania is known as an illegal trafficking route of drugs and people into Europe. Child protection is a serious concern, with many children vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
*Stephen is autistic. His family struggle along on a low income. The only treatment centre for autism is a private facility they couldn’t afford to get to, let alone paying for therapy, so they had little hope for Stephen’s development.
But they had heard about New Day Centre, Global Care’s project in Albania. They watched how the staff at New Day cared for many children with disabilities and liked what they saw. So they asked for help.
Now, Stephen attends pre-school with other children, some with autism. He receives both group and individual therapy, and access to inclusive education and play that is denied to him elsewhere – all for free. Stephen’s progress has been incredible over just two years. Find out how he has grown, and how his family have been supported by the wonderful team at New Day.
What are the challenges?
Bathore is a semi-legal slum suburb on the edge of Tirana. The main challenges are poverty and high unemployment, poor educational prospects, domestic violence – in particular, attitudes towards women and girls – and extremely poor housing
Our work here tackles the problems of poverty, ignorance and the lack of education or training.
Our aim is to empower and support children and young people through a wide range of activities at the New Day Centre, including structured play opportunities, learning support and mentoring. As part of our mandate to support the most disadvantaged, we are also developing a range of services for children with disabilities, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and a special kindergarten for children with autism.
We also support women, who are the focus of much discrimination in this community. Mums attending our women’s group discuss issues and receive basic training in health care, child protection and tackling domestic violence.
The New Day Centre opened in November 2013, replacing our old EJA Centre, which had served Bathore since 2001. Our staff tell us the centre is known by the community as “a shelter for the people without hope”. A safe place, where disadvantaged children and young people can learn life skills and grow in confidence.