YES Albania’s First Charity Drives

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By Olta Myslimi, Alumni Coordinator for Albania

Ina Male, YES Albania '13, hands out donated clothes in the village of Maliq.

Ina Male, YES Albania ’13, hands out donated clothes in the village of Maliq.

In September 25th, YES alumni in Albania combined a recruitment trip to the city of Pogradec, where they gave recruitment presentations to 64 10th and 11th grade classes, with another alumni activity.  Prior to the trip, Ermioni Qafzezi, ’11, Katerina Margariti, Rudin Mucaj, Ina Male, all ’13, led clothing drives to collect items for those in need residing in Maliq, a village near to Pogradec.  According to Ina, who handed out the clothes, everyone was very happy and thankful for the donation.

Ina and an elderly woman from the village of Maliq.

Ina and an elderly woman from the village of Maliq.

Also in September, alumna Katerina Margariti, ‘13, led an activity at the library her town of Gjirokastra.  With YES funds to start her off, Katerina bought four books, along with another three from her own funds, to donate to the library, the only one in town.  “I have always loved books.  Starting to read a book—it’s like starting a new, exciting journey that takes you to so many wonderful places, and when you finish reading, it feels like you have lost a friend.  Unfortunately, many people are or have already lost interest in books because everything can now be found online.  Gjirokastra is a small town, so we only have one public library, which doesn’t have the variety or capacity to fulfill the needs of those who still chose to read.  So as a book lover, I thought it would be a very good idea to enrich the library or at least make an effort.  These are baby steps, but I still think of them

as valuable because it’s very important to emphasize the need to read and spread the message to those who can donate more books or money to the library.  I am really happy to have taken the initiative because my effort was highly appreciated even though small.  The ladies who work at the library were really excited to put those new books on the shelves.  I’m really hoping that someday I will be able to contribute more to that library I really love. Until then, I will keep trying.”

Katerina Margariti, YES Albania '13, with library staff in the town of Gjirokastra.

Katerina Margariti, YES Albania ’13, with library staff in the town of Gjirokastra.

This month marked the first time that YES alumni in Albania had organized charity events, and it was a great feeling to help people in need.  No matter how small or big our contribution is, what matters is that we want to make a change in people lives.  We are looking forward in collecting more clothes and books from our communities and helping others in need in the future.

Keep up with all YES Albania alumni events by checking in with them on Facebook!