The Lidia Foundation
We are a Christian charity assisting children with disabilities and special needs. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only such organisation in southern Albania. Our teachers work in the Sarandë and Delvinë areas of southern Albania. We have also helped in Shkodër, Kosovo, Tiranë, Tepelenë and Vlorë. We would like to help more children nationwide in future, and we welcome collaboration with other organisations that have a remit for assisting children in need.
The Dutch organization “Kom Over en Help” sowed the seeds of the Lidia Foundation in 1991, when a team of volunteers visited Albania immediately after communism fell. In 1998, the state of Albania recognized the Lidia Foundation as a legally chartered charity. Since 1998, a board of directors and management team who are Albanian nationals run the charity. “Kom Over en Help” and different Christian churches continue assisting us.
We have provided professional training to over 1900 young boys and girls since 1998. Lidia Foundation has been the only source of literacy classes (ABC Classes) for some of the Romani communities in our area for the last 14 years. One of our goals is to support local and central government by giving extra teaching support to children from Romany communities, so mainline schools will accept them.
In Delvinë, with co-operation from the Mayor’s Office and the help of KOEH, we run a homework project for 68 children.
In Sarandë, with the help of Hope to Albania and Education Department, we have a smaller Homework project for 14 children.
We are currently assisting more than 50 disabled children with speech therapy, development therapy, physiotherapy, parental group therapy, diagnostics, treatment prescription, and integration in normal education institutions.
We helped to repair 29 schools in the area and equipped classrooms with desks, chairs and teaching aids. We have trained teachers from almost all schools in Sarandë and Delvinë in improving their work for children with disabilities and special needs, also providing teachers with skills to help children in need to become successfully integrated into mainline schools.
Here is a summary of some of the other things we do:
- we give food, clothing and shelter when emergencies happen, such as when a community loses their homes due to subsidence or flooding.
- we publicise the needs of under-privileged communities and children.
- we teach “single parent” mothers how best to care for and support their children.
- we give development therapy, speech therapy, integration support and physiotherapy to disabled children of preschool age.
- we give supplementary and “development support” education in schools – especially to disabled children and children from under-privileged families.
- we train teachers and parents of children with disabilities.
- we renovate school buildings, and give materials and classroom equipment.
- we organize distribution of clothing and food to families when there is an emergency need.
- we organise “Summer Camp” activity vacations for children.
- we offer ABC classes and homework support for children from three Romani communities.
Please see the “How we Help” page for more details.