Some of the children we serve in Tirana work on the streets either as beggars or collecting scrap metal to sell for a bit of money. They come from Roma or Egyptian ethnicities. Their parents have migrated to Tirana in hopes of getting a job, but these hopes are quickly dashed because they have little/no education to get a job of worth. Many young women and mothers are thrown into desperate situations where they are tempted to sell themselves or their children for survival. What I mean isn’t always sexual, though it can be.
Child trafficking is a serious issue in Albania. Poverty makes them increasingly vulnerable, so an education is crucial to their survival. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of Roma and Egyptian children are not in school. Rather, their parents need or encourage them to work on the streets during the day to earn money for food.
Some of the photos below were taken by children in Tirana that we are caring for. Their talent amazes me! They were part of a 10 day workshop where they learned how to use a digital camera and honed their artistic eye. We also had conversations with them about child trafficking and then asked them to take photos that they thought represented trafficking in their community. This was the result. Be sure to read the captions. The children wrote them, themselves. These kids are amazing! Please pray for them. They call themselves “an Albanian youth group with many dreams.”