The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created a global health crisis that has had a deep impact on the way we perceive our world and our everyday lives. Not only the rate of contagion and patterns of transmission threatens our sense of agency, but the safety measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus also require social distancing by refraining from doing what is inherently human, which is to find solace in the company of others.
Within this context of physical threat, social and physical distancing, as well as public alarm, the Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta, founded on Christian principles, has taken immediate action to support the citizens during this period of global emergency. The projects it runs, are adapted to proceed in the context of the laws the Albanian government has approved during this pandemic.
The circulation around the city has been massively reduced due to the confinement restrictions. The government has set up an online system, for citizens to gain permission to leave their house and carry out their daily tasks, respecting the personal hygiene instructions of the World Health Organization. Malteser Albania offers technical assistance to inform and help out the population about the online procedures being applied to arrange the quarantine measures during this time of pandemic. It is essential to mention the availability to transport patients at any time.
Following the instructions presented by the Ministry of Education regarding the online-schooling, the Malteser Kindergarten and the After-school center operating in Shkodër have applied successful methods, such as: online teaching, assisting parents regarding the scholastic program the children must keep up to, compiling an education plan for pre-scholars to follow as well as offering online assistance with homework.
Our staff works hard on identifying families in need and providing them with food, clothes, hygiene products and medicaments, in both cities of the Northern region of Albania, where the organization implements and runs projects.The Counseling and Service Center of the Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta organizes online therapy sessions with children, who are beneficiaries of the programs we execute as well as speech therapy and psychological counseling for their parents.
Living in isolation for a prolonged period of time, is associated with economical problems, negative feelings, especially fear. As social creatures, we need to connect, communicate and interact. Given the aforementioned factors, the Albanian Organization of the Order of Malta has been continuously offering psychological counseling for the children of the After- school program and their parents as well, for the elderly of the multi-functional center in Lezhë and Community Center in Shkodër, the Roma community and other beneficiaries, who represent marginalized groups.