An Albanian Community Steps Up!

Don’t you love the saying that “children are the future in the present.” One sure way to impact a community’s future is for it to focus on its children. As CHE activities emerge in a community, sooner or later, the focus on children emerges. When this happens, perspectives and priorities change. The community moves from merely being concerned about the present to thinking about the future.  That is great progress!

Through the implementation of the CHE curriculum, essential health topics are addressed. Safe food preparation, hygienic practices, disease prevention, and nutritional education are being taught. Lives are being impacted through these lessons. Our CHE team partners in Albania shared the following story:

The recent health screening for their children at the local school brought together parents in an Albanian community. Led by the CHE training team and local committee, the meeting presented the children’s health report, with tooth decay standing out as a primary concern. Determined to tackle this issue head-on, parents and CHE leaders committed to weekly training sessions on oral hygiene for both children and adults.

 

Recognizing the need for more than just individual action, the local committee and CHE team took another significant step. They approached local government officials, engaging in a collaborative dialogue to address community problems. Trash collection emerged as a pressing concern, and discussions focused on how the government could support effective waste management systems. The lack of a dedicated cemetery posed another challenge, which was also brought to the table.

This proactive approach reflects a growing awareness within the community. Parents, empowered by the health screening results, are actively teaching their children the importance of responsible waste disposal. Children are learning to keep their environment clean and understand the designated collection points. What started as a simple “health screening effort,” became a catalyst for multi-sectoral change in the community.

These initiatives showcase a remarkable shift in the community’s mindset. Parents are no longer hesitant to discuss their children’s health or shy away from advocating for their community’s needs. Open communication with local authorities, coupled with individual efforts towards a cleaner environment, paves the way for a brighter future for this Albanian community.