Mariglen, the 9-year-old boy, is the second son in the family. He was born a year after his sister’s birth, Irena. His mother, Hatushja, says that at birth, everything went well. But as he grew older, relatives began to tell her that the boy was not developing like his peers. He was not speaking like them… After some time, they took the boy to Elbasan. Mariglen was diagnosed with autism. "The doctor told us that the boy was not well, and that was why he did not speak. Where do we know… He is still not talking. Just mom, dad, - he says. He doesn't even say "I want bread" - says Hatushja, 35 years old. The poor family lives in the village of Gizavesh in Librazhd.
Mariglen started in 4-th grade this year. Although he goes to school, he has received little from school. His mother says he only knows how to write his name.
He has no friends. His sister, Irena, tells us: At school, my brother is insulted because he doesn't talk. They push him and hit him. I defend him. But they are not my friends either. Then I tell mom. She protects us ….
Life is hard for him. Despite his young age, he has to deal with economic hardships, his disabilities as well as the physical and psychological mistreatment, often violent, of his peers. Although he needs the support of specialists, he has never had the opportunity to receive services such as speech therapy and psychological support. "We receive a disability pension for the boy, but with that money we buy flour. What can we do…we don't have money…there are 4 children to feed”- says Hatushja. The house where they live belongs to the husband's uncle, who left it to them after he went to live in Durres. They have neither a house nor land. The only wealth they have is a cow, which at least provides them with milk. The only clothes and toys that her children have were bought by her grandparents. They live in Elbasan and visit them whenever they can.
Mariglen loves cars. He dreams of becoming a driver when he grows up. For Mariglen and other children like him to live a dignified life, World Vision has launched the “Hello…life”, program, which provides specialised support and services for children with disabilities in the remote areas of the country, in their own homes.Our latest study showed that about 70,000 children in the country live in abject poverty and 92% of them do not have access to the services they need.
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