As we mentioned in the last post, it is our intention to introduce you to each of the women we met who are working with Dawn in Durres. We had the privilege of sitting in the homes of each of these amazing women and hearing their stories. These stories are the reason The Intersection exists. They are difficult and sometimes full of unimaginable suffering, but they are true, and they are inspiring, because in each there is hope.
The first home we visited was the home of Lydia (whose name we changed for this blog). It was fitting that Lydia was our first visit because she is the leader of the group of knitters. She’s the quality control lady and the most experienced at knitting. When she was in primary school she learned to knit in P.E. class and loved it. She has been knitting ever since. If there is a special project that needs to be done or a new concept to be tried out, Lydia is the one to do it.
Lydia is a single mother and has 4 children. She was married, but her husband died some time ago. After he died, she took a number of different jobs in an attempt to provide for her family. Several years ago, she was struck by a car and was terribly injured. She has plates in her legs from the incident, and is not able to walk very well. Because of this, she is unable to work outside of her home because the pain in her legs does not allow her to stand for very long. Where she and the other women live there is almost no work anyway, and so the prospects for her family were not great.
Lydia met Dawn at a daycare program for widows in the community. She told us that the work she has been doing for Dawn has allowed her to make sure her children were fed and able to go to school- especially her daughters, who in Albanian society are worth much less than males. Her situation is unfortunately a common one which often leads to young women being trafficked. Their parents are either unable to support them or unwilling, and when an offer comes in for their daughters to be purchased or taken away for “work abroad,” struggling families often take it. Most have no idea what might happen to their daughters. Lydia’s family is in no such danger.
Lydia is devoted to her family, and a very hard worker. There was an air of peace and contentedness about her as we spoke to her, and we could tell that the job she was doing had brought some stability and consistency for her. She also produces some very nice products, and we intend to keep bringing them to you so that she, and others like her, can continue to work in support of her family.