The World Without Orphans global and regional teams and organization partners collaborate to support national teams in developing broadscale collaboration that accelerates long-term positive transformation.
It is exciting to see this happening in Albania, where over 30 local church and organization leaders and government employees gathered in Tirana in November 2021 for a ‘Thrive Albania’ event. The Albania Without Orphans (AWO) facilitation team brought this varied group together to share the vision of a world without orphans through broadscale collaboration and ask the key question – what can we do together? Facilitated by members of the WWO Europe facilitation team, everyone took part in a customized program created in partnership between WWO Europe and Albania Without Orphans. They shared from their perspective the challenges they faced and what could be done, looking especially at the WWO Roadmap lenses of orphanhood ‘Prevention’ and ‘Intervention.’
Just two years earlier, a small group began to pray for orphans and attended a WWO Europe roundtable for Southeast Europe in January 2020 that led to an Albania Without Orphans facilitation team. It was a joy for the team to now see a more expansive group grow in excitement for a vision of all children being in families and to impact their country. They have received encouragement and support from civic officials and church leaders and have agreed on the priorities and the first actions to build a national movement together.
All agreed – we had moved from a small group with a vision to now seeing the birth of a movement!
Testimony from ‘Thrive Albania’ participants:
Nadine and Klodi are a young couple living in Erseka, a village outside of Korce, in the Southeast of Albania. Nadine has been involved with orphan care for some time, investing her time with children in a private group home in their community. They were the only ones from that area of Albania to attend the conference and traveled across the country to join us. The first day of sharing the need for child-centered perspectives and the idea of a movement that would grow in impact and beauty, presented by Richard and a 'flash mob' video, had a strong impact on them both. As we spent time together over the 3 days, and they heard and shared more, Nadine was very encouraged, especially in the direction of prayer. Klodi, on the final day, shared that he had come to the conference really not knowing why he was there. Orphan care was his wife's thing more than his. By the end his heart had been touched with a deep desire to become part, in whatever ways he can, of this movement to see orphaned and vulnerable children loved and cared for in Albania. Since that time, they have decided to use one of their weekly team prayer times every month, to focus on prayer for orphans and seeking God's heart for the next steps for their ministry and community.