In February 2015 many villages were flooded in the Southern part of Albania, due to heavy rains. Since the first week of February several villages were evacuated and the state, private sector and civil society organized humanitarian aid delivery to the most damaged areas.
Youth Center “Perspektiva” together with an NGO Projekte Vullnetare Nderkombetare (PVN Albania) and Russian community in Albania “Bota Ruse ne Shqiperi” organized humanitarian aid gathering which included collection of food, clothes and basic hygienic items. During the whole week, our Team was receiving calls from people, most of whom we have never met before – they all were willing to provide their contributions and express their solidarity. In Albania these days many organizations got involved in the gathering of the humanitarian aid – and it was amazing for us to see how much people can achieve, when they are united by a good idea… The final surprise came from the Russian community – the whole car of food, clothes, waterproof shoes and hygienic items came to Durres on Friday night. Volunteers of Perspektiva stayed until late night, preparing the packages and boxes with aid and separating them equally – and we all were quite surprised to see that the results of our joint efforts could be barely loaded in three cars.
We wanted these packages to go to the areas that are not yet tackled by the governmental support and to those people, for whom the recovery after floods will be the most difficult. Following the reports from the flooded areas, we decided to send the packages to the flooded villages of Hoxhar and Darezeze around Fieri – these areas are under water for more than two weeks, but so far, there was no aid delivered before. With the help of local activists was made a list with families that need help in the first place – those that have people with disabilities and very small children, or their houses were badly damaged by the floods.
On Saturday, 14 February, three cars with help and volunteers from Perspektiva and PVN Albania left Durres in the morning. The road was good until the villages, but the landscapes on both sides with houses like lonely islands in the endless flooded fields showed that the situation is still very hard and the water is unlikely to leave in the coming week. Hoxhar is a relatively big village with few 3-store buildings and lots of sad barrack-type houses. People were already waiting for us at the main “square” in front of the remaining since communism times long barrack that serves as the local administration. Around 40 families received packages with food and clothes – we tried our best to give it to those, who are really in need, because it was simply impossible to provide it for the whole village. The village of Darezeze is a bit further if you follow the same road from Hoxhar – same sad landscape, but the village looks a bit friendlier than the first one – probably because of lots of planted trees and colored houses. In Darezeze we delivered food to 10 families and we truly wish, we had more.
It was a great experience for all of us and we are very thankful to all people, who contributed to make it possible – volunteers, people, who brought their contributions and helped to organize the packaging and delivery! Thanks to all of you more than 50 families – first of all, those that have people with disabilities and very small children – received a package of food, some clothes and hygienic items for babies. We know that big troubles are very hard to solve – whether it is about floods or any other problem – but we also know that the change starts with one person – and it becomes The Change when there is a Team.