For a time we forgot our age and our problems. I’m 75 now, and it was the first holiday I’d ever been on.
I’m from Mirdita, a mountainous region in Albania’s north, and I have seven grown up children: five daughters and two sons. There were many days when the older children went to sleep hungry. We didn’t have enough food for all of them, so we fed the youngest ones, telling the others there would be bread in the morning. Those were hard times under communism – there was poverty and hunger.
We worked hard and hoped for a better life for our children. But democracy did not usher in a brighter future, as so many of us had hoped. My children grew up and moved away. They have their own families and all of them are facing different problems. Poverty has separated us – and I have a wounded heart.
But I am grateful for the help I get because of Mission Without Borders: a meal at the Soup Kitchen every day, and clothes and blankets when I need them. I could not cope without that help, but this summer camp for the elderly, organised by the Mission every year, is a time of feeling carefree and forgetting your everyday worries.
One of our friends celebrated her 90th birthday while we were there last year, and it was a wonderful time with lots of laughter. God bless you for giving us such wonderful days full of love and happiness.
Prena, who is part of our projects working with older people in Albania
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