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The friend that changed my life

Child sponsorship helped this boy in Albania and his family start a new life.

Around 16 years ago, Rasim’s family moved from Dibra, an area located in northeastern Albania, to Thumanë, a village a few kilometres away from the Albanian capital.

The beginnings were hard. Seliona and her husband invested all their income in building a very small house. As years went on, the family grew and so did the hardships.

All the members, until a few months ago, lived in a small, cold and damp room.

The family has 9 members, 2 parents, and their 5 sons and 1 daughter. Rasim’s grandmother also lives with them. The oldest of children is 12 years old and the youngest is only 6 months old.

Seliona, Rasim’s mother, tells us her husband cannot work and is disabled. Despite her attempts, Seliona has also been unable to find work, not only because she lacks formal training or trade skills, but also because she has had to continuously care for her 6 children.

A life full of challenges, suffering and difficulties, but things started to change for the better 7-8 years ago, when the children were included in World Vision Albania’s programmes.

“The children learned about the organisation when they were in kindergarten. Since that day things have changed for the better for my family,” – Seliona says.

Rasim entered the sponsorship programme at 3 years old. Rasim’s other 3 brothers are also part of World Vision Albania’s programmes.

“God bless all those who help families in need. I wish all children in need find a friend, as my son did.”

“We’re all much happier now. I remember when we all lived in a small room. Our friend has helped us tremendously and for the first time we have a normal home” – Rasim says.

Rasim really likes soccer and wants to take a foreign language course.

Seliona recalls the help she was given in the hardest moments of her life with gratitude.

“I thank them with all my heart. We’ve been supported with food, appliances, children’s toys. The best thing to happen to us was the new house. Now my children have a safe space to live.”

Rasim and his brothers are integrated in their community. Their self-esteem and professional abilities have grown. This experience has been life-changing for them and their parents.

“I’m doing well, but there are still children in my area that need help. I want to continue being a sponsored child, because I still need help. I want to continue school and to become independent in life,” ­ - Rasim closes.

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