“Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.” (Principle of Humanity – IHL)
Bubq is a small village located in the municipality Krujë, with a population of 5,951 inhabitants, according to the last census conducted in 2011. At first sight, it seems to be a desert village where only elderly people reside. Not a lot of facilities are present and most of the houses have been damaged or collapsed as a consequence of the earthquake occurred in November.
Even though the distance from the capital city is only 28 km, the time seems to have stopped in this village. I spent a few hours there but, in this lapse, I spotted unusual scenes far from what I accustomed to see in the chaotic big cities, like cart towed by donkeys or old women with a white headscarf as well as black mourning clothes.
Wearing mourning clothes, according to the past custom, is a social symbol to let others know that the male relative passed away and widows seldom remarry. Thus, most of them choose to wear black for the remainder of their lives.
But let me explain why I was in Bubq.
On the 23rd of January, as part of the emergency response project, ADRA Albania has inaugurated a Friendly Space in Bubq in order to support children and adults who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder with psychosocial activities.
What is Friendly Space?
A Friendly Space is a safe space where ADRA Albania staff created nurturing environments in which children and adults can access free and structured play, recreation, leisure and learning activities and receive educational and psychosocial support and other activities that restore a sense of normality and continuity in both children and adults.
Indeed, through the activities scheduled by our psychologists and volunteers, ADRA Albania is attempting to bring some ‘normality’ to daily life by re-establishing family and community connections and routines, enabling children and adults to fill the social roles that are customary for them, strengthening predictability in daily life, and providing opportunities for affected populations to rebuild their lives.
Special attention has been given to the children inasmuch they are obliged to attend a school in Fushë Krujë as Bubq’s school is not usable.
In the coming months, supplementary classes will be held. Our staff in the field opted to postpone them for reinstating a sense of normality earlier.
A special thanks, to whom made Friendly Space’s inauguration more special: Teleperformance and Amazon who delivered 15 boxes with no food items to 15 families most in need, selected by our psychologists.