The story of Avni Hasmuca
Avni Hasmuca lives with his wife and two children in extreme poverty and terrible conditions. His disease began when he was a child. While the time was passing by, the disease was deteriorating and he was at risk to be totally paralyzed. He needed a surgical intervention and two plants in form of a disc had to be placed at his spine.
This intervention cost approximately € 6000, but a private hospital offered to make the intervention for € 1000.
“A different weekend”, which is an initiative that helps people in extreme poverty initiated a campaign in every supermarket of Tirana. The campaign lasted 20 days and at the end, they managed to secure the money for the surgery. The surgery lasted 7 hours and it was successful. The hospital was paid in coins, with the intention that everyone who has contributed to find himself when looking at how everybody’s donated coin saved a human life. The powerful message behind was that together with a small contribution, we can achieve great things!
A COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FUNDJAVË NDRYSHE
Fundjavë Ndryshe is a community foundation. They battle social issues with the power of the community. Apart from fundraising for cases like Avni’s, they promote philantropy with campaigns and fostering involvement, through volunteer work and engaging the large Albanian diaspora.
Fundjavë Ndryshe, “A Different Weekend” is the initiative of Arbër Hajdari that has turned into a great support for vulnerable families. First such families are identified, then, the next charity is planned, under the motto “Donating does not make you poor”. Such journey was a modest initiative based on goodwill. So, each of these families, living in the brink of their existence, can enjoy gifts and meals prepared for them, almost every beautiful weekend.
THE FOUNDER ARBËR HAJDARI
Arbër Hajdari is an Albanian lawyer who decided to foster social change in his country by founding an organization that involves the community into solving social issues. He is very active in initiating a constant public debate on solidarity, philanthropy and community solutions.
A few months ago he launched another enterprise: by seeing the necessity of the promotion of free speech, he decided to create an online media portal, Tirana Today.
BUILDING NEW LIFE WITH COMMUNITY
The next example shows how Fundjavë Ndryshe works; not only by initiating a public collection for an individual cause, but deeply involving the community. The Qershori family encountered a desperate situation, and the foundation mobilized their relatives and neighbours, together with other volunteers to build a new house together.
The Qershori family lives in the village of Picallë, 10 km from the center of Tirana. The family has 8 members: 5 children, the parents and the grandmother. They live in extreme poverty and the father, Mr. Adriatik is disabled and can not work. The house is very far and the children need 1 hour and a half to go to school. The house where the family resides is 70 years old. Mr. Adriatik, the owner of the house, since he became disabled was unable to contribute to the construction of the house during all these years. The house almost collapsed and posed a danger for all the people inside. A group of volunteers from Fundjavë Ndryshe promoted this issue in media and invited all people to contribute for the reconstruction of the house. Taking into consideration that the house was in very bad conditions, it was decided to build the house from scratch. For 2 months and a half, all the contributors in money, in materials and time volunteered to rebuilt the house.
Fundjavë Ndryshe is not a top-down charity: their help is a community effort, and their long term benefit is building community, and promoting community solutions in Albanian society.