SOS Children in Albania

Albania Sponsorship Locations

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe with an average daily income of about £3.00 (£46.60 in the UK). Following the collapse of communism, conditions improved slightly as economic and diplomatic ties with the rest of the world were restored. Yet the services widely available under communism have deteriorated badly. One-third of pre-school-aged children have no access to pre-school. Rates of infant and maternal mortality are very high and many essential primary health care services are in need of investment.

Children in Albania face risks from many directions. In particular child trafficking. Various estimates place the total number of trafficked children at 5,000 to 15,000, most of them ending up in Italy or Greece. During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, nearly 500,000 ethnic Albanians fled from Kosovo fled into Albania, putting great strain on Albania's already fragile economy. SOS Children began its work in Albania in 1995 in Sauk, a small village about 2 miles south of the capital, Tirana, when the first families moved into the thirteen family houses. There is also a kindergarten and a school for 350 primary and secondary pupils which is open to children in the neighbourhood as well as children from the village. Hot meals are provided daily in the dining hall. In 2001 a house was rented in the centre of Tirana for the older children who have grown up in the village. Here they are looked after until they are able to live on their own.

In 2000, SOS Children helped establish Albania’s first ever children’s library in Tirana. As well as a wide range of books, it offers leisure activities such as pottery, painting and computer technology, with the aim of giving children an alternative to being on the streets.

Local Contact

SOS Fshati i Femijeve Shquiperi, Sauk, PO Box 1524, Tirana, Albania
tel +355/43/54 680

Albania Child Sponsorship

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