Ana is eight years old and she lives in a village of Fier. Her mother does not live for several years. She should take care of her sister who is three years old. But Ana must keep clean the house, cook and take care of her sister. The father is unemployed and mostly not present in the house. At school teachers try to help, but it is not enough to relieve the burden that needs to take this girl on her shoulders. If this area would have a kindergarten, Anna would be very happy for her sister. If this area would have a community service center where she and her sister would eat lunch, and will be able to learn and to entertain themselves, Ana probably will not forget to smile. And if the Health Centre will have doctors and nurses at any time, she will not worry so much when her sister gets sick. But Ana is one of hundreds of thousands of children who try to survive with all her force in this country where services for children are almost nonexistent. Across the country officially are identified 54 thousand children (INSTAT Albania) who are forced to work in various forms, and a large part of them are used for begging or/ and trafficking.
But the lack of services feels more for children that for various health reasons can’t move without the aid of a wheelchair. Daniela is one of them. She lives in the village of Drithas and she can’t walk without the aid of a wheelchair. A few days before the end of the election, she write a letter to the mayor of Vlora by asking him to help her and many other children in her condition to be able to move in the city but also to go to school. “Today I am unable to move alone, as there is no road and the majority of schools are not accessible without assistance of a wheelchair. There is no convenient transportation for me, so please Mr. Mayor keep our needs in mind when you begin your duty”.
After a few days will end the battle between the candidates of the local government, who will be responsible for improving the life of the Albanian citizens but mainly young people, teenagers and children, who make up more than one fourth of the country. Differently from many years ago, candidates of all political forces, have shown us and have promised that not only are well aware of all the problems and deficiencies relating to children and young people, but have promised to commit seriously to solve them. Luke is 11 year old boy who lives in Tirana. He wants to have more space to play but also to develop sports activities. He addressed a letter to the mayor in which he reminds the mayor that the place where he is growing doesn’t have a zoo, and in his neighborhood, there is no free space where he can play with friends.
Observatory for Children’s Rights has compiled a long list of those promises, which listed in this form make us feel hopeful and proud. Candidates have promised that during their mandate will work to build Community Centers for children, there will be alternative services for prevention of institutionalization of children, special programs in protection and care of street children, housing and employment of orphans, creating entertainment areas for children, significant improvements in infrastructure for kindergartens, schools. In neighborhoods where Roma live, they will intervene to have drinking water, and to create the real possibility that all Roma children attend preschool and to be more involved in social activities. But in a house where many things are missing, and where the economy is in difficult conditions, sounds difficult and incredible that everything will be renewed and everything will go in its place. Although children deserve much more, and all of us will be felt much calmer and more peaceful if our children grow in warm nursery with quality food, in schools where the number of students is not higher than 30 and teachers merit to have this status, in health centers equipped with proper medication and trained staff, or to spend free time in parks with trees. I’d really like this to happen and in the streets of Tirana children who beg and sell are not shown, because this is the only way to pass hunger. I’d really like to believe, that these promises will be realized even if many will accuse me as a very naive person.