World Vision and SPAR together for children with disabilities

In three years, 72 children have been supported in Albania

World Vision Albania has selected SPAR, a company of Balfin Group, as the main partner for the project "Tungjatjeta ... Jetë" (“Hello… Life”) which focuses on children with disabilities in the most remote areas of Albania.

Thanks to this cooperation, funds that have been collected has provided for 72 children about 2048 different services and therapy sessions, such as speech therapy, developmental therapy, psychotherapy, physiotherapy, etc. Parents of children are also informed and trained to better understand the specific needs of children and how to better help them develop. So far, the project has been extended to the areas of Dibra, Librazhd, Prrenjas and Bulqiza.

The Executive Director of Spar Albania, Elona Hametaj, is proud of this project: “SPAR is a company that pays special attention to children. For three years, SPAR Albania has been supporting "Tungjatjeta ... Jetë", a project developed by World Vision, because we believe that helping families and children by better living conditions is the key to a good and healthy society. And if businesses operate in such a society, success is shared. The collaboration with World Vision has been extraordinary and is one of the social responsibility projects that has been rated as one of the most important by SPAR International. We will continue to contribute to children in the most remote parts of Albania, as all children are special and they deserve the same conditions.” – she stated.

Even the Director of World Vision Albania, Eljona Boçe Elmazi, is very optimistic about this cooperation and speaks about its importance. "Our cooperation with SPAR is an example of how different sectors of society work together with the same mission: to serve those most in need. Through SPAR, the citizens of Albania have become part of "Tungjatjeta ... Jetë", a project from the heart in favor of children with disabilities. Food donated by citizens in SPAR supermarkets are distributed to families of children. SPAR is one of our most important collaborators in the project for children with disabilities. We are grateful for this joint service, ”- she said.

Between SPAR and World Vision in Albania, several campaigns have been built in the framework of the project above mentioned, which have managed to raise awareness for children with disabilities in remote areas of the country, but also to create funds to support the treatment of these children.

SPAR itself has agreed to donate 5 lek from each bottle of "Spar water". Spar water bottles have personalized labels with the logo of World Vision’s social program "Tungjatjeta ... Jetë" and an awareness text. SPAR buyers have also been very cooperative and ready to join the call. Loyal buyers of SPAR Albania, have donated and continue to donate food to help these children, filling specially placed boxes. In addition to donating food packages, many have chosen to contribute by donating to the savings boxes located in SPAR supermarkets and bearing the project and World Vision logos.

What is "Tungjatjeta" project?

‘‘Tungjatjeta... Jetë’ is a social program implemented by World Vision Albania that offers specialized home services for the integration of children with disabilities in remote areas of the country. This program has been supported during the last three years by SPAR Albania.

According to the first national study on the prevalence of disability in children aged 2 to 17, 70,000 children with disabilities live in Albania. Only 8% of them managed to get basic services. Economic hardship, distance from centers, lack of transportation or mentality, are just a small part of a long list of factors why children could not get the specialized services they needed.

In these circumstances, the specialized team of "Hello ... life" drafted an individual development plan for each child with disabilities that is part of the social program and offers home therapy once a week for each of them. Children are followed step by step based on the individual development plans that are designed for them.

During the period of forced stay at home to prevent infection and spread of COVID-19, therapists have interacted with family members through video guides.

What makes this program unique is the fact that every child works with all the elements of the basic triangle that affects the child's life: the child himself, the family and the community.

In this way, not only does the child receive health care, but legal guardians, family members, peers, and other community members become key actors in the child's development plan. They are consulted and trained for each specific case to help the integration process of these children.

Among the many cases being handled by World Vision, we chose Jessica's. The little girl has a plus chromosome in her genetics, but she also has the ability to fill the house and any environment where she goes with light and sweetness. Jesse was born with Down syndrome 8 years ago in a village in Dibra. Her parents at the time knew nothing about the syndrome. Today, Jesse articulates the words with difficulty and needs speech therapy, but his parents cannot bring him to Tirana for specialized therapy.

"Jessica managed to sit for 20 minutes during the therapy class, combined with relaxation, she managed to concentrate and get to know and write the range of numbers up to 10," said Kreshniku, the team's speech therapist..

"To us, it is a great help that specialists come and work with the girl at home. You see how far we are, we have nowhere to go but school. She learns new things with Ken (the speech therapist), he has started to make improvements and say more words,”- admits Valbona, the girl's mother.