31 January 2022 | Tirana, Albania [Elda Bashkimi with Vanesa Pizzuto]
Adventist Kindergarten, the first Adventist kindergarten in Albania, opened its doors in September 2018 with only seven children. Today, 36 pre-schoolers are benefiting from an Adventist education based on Christian principles that prepare them to live fulfilling lives.
“The growing number of children that enrol every year is the best indicator of the impact we are having on this community,” said Elda Bashkimi, kindergarten director. “Our bilingual (Albanian/English) kindergarten offers not only the national curriculum, but also personalised learning plans and fantastic extracurricular activities like gardening in our greenhouse, cooking, crafting, music and arts.”
The kindergarten welcomes children from all faith backgrounds. Only two students enrolled are Adventist, giving staff members a unique opportunity to share their faith. “A non-Christian family was going through a difficult time and told me the comfort they found in hearing their little child praying, something he learnt to do here,” said Bashkimi. “I am really blessed to work with such wonderful staff members in a Christian environment.”
Adventist Kindergarten is a pilot project envisioned by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Albania. “Our vision was to turn the old ADRA compound in Tirana into an education centre, and to use innovative education methods to share with these families the Christian way of living,” said Altin Rexhepi, ADRA Albania director.
The kindergarten is only the first stage of the project. ADRA leaders dream of opening a primary school right next to it. “With the success of the kindergarten we have shown our commitment… We believe this will inspire people who share our vision to support us in making this dream come true,” said Rexhepi.
“We believe there is room to grow, to expand our influence,” said Bashkimi. “Please support our Kindergarten, ADRA Albania, and the Albanian Church with your prayers.”