Besa Shapllo witnesses both joy and heartbreak as she delivers Blythswood shoeboxes to a children’s hospital in Tirana year after year.
“When we entered Santiljo was having dinner, but when he saw us he stopped eating,” Besa says. “His beautiful eyes shone with joy. We had met him the previous Christmas and remembered that he loves football. They call him Santi and he’s just four.
“Qemal our driver helped him open his box while we hear his happy voice saying ‘wow, a hat and scarf and gloves’ and ‘wow, a car and an aeroplane!’” In other wards Besa met with anxious parents, like Alehandro’s mum.
“Alehandro’s box had lots of nice things,” Besa says, “but most special to him were the puppets. He suffered from leukaemia and had been in hospital for 25 days. He had no brothers or sisters. I prayed that God would give his mother strength and hope.”
Photo above: Santi with his mum and Qemal: anxious parents appreciate the joy and excitement that your gifts bring to their children in hospital