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March 2018

“I feel so bad and so different” A family struggling without a father

“I hate going to school,” said 14-year-old Elton Hyseni. “And I hate having no father to take care of me and my brother.” (The boys’ names have been changed to protect their identity) Elton lives with his brother, Klajdi, 12, and his mother Djana, 45, in a deprived suburb of Durres, Albania. The swamp area where they live frequently floods and living conditions are desperate and poor. There are high levels of unemployment and many children drop out of school. “I feel so bad and so different,” said Elton. “I feel under pressure every time we have to talk about our parents at school. It seems the teachers ask me intentionally. I want my father to be close to me, to be a good role model. But he abandoned us. I think everybody judges me because of him. It’s not my brother’s, my mum’s or my fault – but we all have to suffer the consequences.”

Stolen Childhood Ever since he can remember, Elton and his brother have helped their mother with makeshift flood defences to protect their home when it rains. They use sacks filled with sand, bricks, wood and anything else they can find to stem the flood of water. “It’s supposed to be a man’s job. But we have done it ever since we were small,” said Elton. Water has already invaded the yard outside the Hyseni home, and inside, it smells strongly of damp. The walls of their small house are covered in mould, the doors are falling apart, and there is very little furniture. Very often, the boys go to school with wet feet. Djana, the boys’ mother, tries to light a fire as often as they have wood. She uses a wood stove to heat the house, to cook, to dry out the damp walls and to dry the clothes hanging from a clothesline. To earn money, Djana sells sunflower seeds and collects cans. She keeps the cans a secret from her boys, to save them embarrassment. As well as battling poverty, Djana has suffered from cancer – and without the support of Mission Without Borders (MWB), she would have been unable to feed her family. “Djana is a divorced woman who struggles every day to provide for her sons and to take care of her mother, who lives with them and is quite elderly now, ” said Nikolino Kosta, the family’s MWB Coordinator. “Recently, Djana was also diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her uterus and ovaries and had an operation to remove them. Because of this, there were weeks that she didn’t show up on the streets to sell, so had no money.” Thankfully, the food and hygiene packs provided by MWB gave Djana and her boys food on the table, and met their other basic needs. The encouragement, support and prayers from this family’s four Australian sponsors (through MWB’s Family to Family Program) enabled Djana to get through this difficult and dark time. Image right: Djana reading a letter from her Australian sponsor.

Hope Restored The family received furniture and a washing machine from MWB to ease the burdens faced by Djana as she has battled her ill health. Djana said, “I am very grateful to God and the Mission for being such a support for my family. I was so worn down by the difficulties I was facing and the life I was living, but the Mission truly made it easier for me. Now I will no longer be doing the laundry by hand with cold water – no more!” Family support is crucial for hundreds of families just like Djana and her boys. With your contribution, either as a sponsor or through a general donation to this ministry, you can begin to restore hope to families in crisis on every level. Your support provides food and hygiene parcels for the family, plus clothes, shoes, blankets and other practical support. This lessens their financial burdens and means they can begin to save money to support their children rather than falling further and further into debt – providing a break in the cycle of poverty. Thanks to the Coordinator’s encouragement, Djana and her boys now attend the local church every Sunday. “I pray every day to God for our daily bread and for my sons to become something in life. But most importantly what I hope for them is to have good health,” Djana said. “I am worried about their future. They’re not doing well at school. But you are helping me to manage this. They have begun to trust the Mission’s staff.” The Coordinator is also working on improving the communication between Djana and her sons, which have caused much animosity in the past, and already it is having an impact. Elton and Klajdi are becoming less angry and have started thinking more about their futures and would both like to attend MWB’s free computer course. Nikolino said, “This family needs constant counselling and emotional support because both children are at risk of dropping out of school. We have also been in contact with the teacher and the psychologist at the school. It’s not easy to change their attitudes, but it’s not impossible and we are praying we succeed.”

FAMILIES IN CRISIS NEED YOUR HELP 1. Give a donation to bring immediate relief to a family in crisis through our ministry to them. 2. Sponsor a family ($40/month) - We have families needing sponsors right now. 3. Pray for our ministry, for the families and Coordinators, that God will continue to bless them and the work they do.

Hope - Change - Healing - Restoration By giving this month, you can also empower our Field Family Coordinators to provide emotional and spiritual support to families and encourage children and young people to complete their educational studies. Through your donations or sponsorships you can create sustainable and long-term change, helping families find a better life, filled with hope.

Almost 40% of the population of Albania live in poverty – on less than $5.50 per day. 5.8% are in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 per day. (Source World Bank data, 2016) For just $1.30 per day ($40/month) you can sponsor a family and help ease their existence in extreme poverty. If God has called you to become a sponsor, please contact our office on 02 9647 2022. MWB works in the swamp area in Durres, Albania, to support over 100 families through our Family to Family sponsorship program. Families are given emotional and material support and helped on a journey towards self-sufficiency. Each Christmas, these families are also blessed with Operation Christmas Love parcels, filled with food to help them celebrate a happy Christmas together. With your support, we can help many more families to know they are not struggling alone, that there is a God whose heart is to lift up the least of these and reveal to them His Goodness and His Grace. Together, we can reach out to families such as the Hyseni’s. Included in this package are 3 information cards of families currently needing loving sponsors. Perhaps you could pass the cards on to family members or friends who can show them how God is able to heal and restore their lives and give them hope for a brighter future. PO Box 7533 Silverwater NSW 1811 | 10 Stubbs Street Auburn NSW 2144 Phone 02 9647 2022 Email Website

MWB Families in Crisis March 2018  
MWB Families in Crisis March 2018