Majlinda had only two years at school as a child and grew up unable to read or write. That wasn’t unusual for a girl brought up in the gypsy community in the city of Elbasan, Albania. Her family’s economic situation did not allow her to continue her schooling.
By the time she joined the literacy programme run by Mission Possible Albania she was a wife and the mother of three children. At the Hope Centre, a community project supported by Blythswood Care, she learned to read, to write and to do basic arithmetic.
These new skills have helped her in her job in a shoe factory in Bathore, near Tirana, Albania’s capital city. Now she can read the factory worksheets and even write them too.
But perhaps the most significant benefit is in the education of her family. “Now Majlinda understands so well what she missed out on as a child,” says Besa Shapllo, director of Mission Possible Albania. “She would like to be a little girl again.
“Because she sees the value of education, she encourages her children to learn at school and to be good students. She is so pleased to be able to read her 11-year-old son’s homework, even although she cannot really help him with his lessons.”
Achieving literacy in adulthood has given Majlinda new confidence. “She realises that she is not only to bear babies and do housework but that she can demand more of herself,” Besa says.
Photo Above: Majlinda (right) holding her youngest child when she attended the literacy class; learning to read and write has convinced her of the importance of educating her children