Empowers Children to Read and Write
Mission Possible encourages Albanian children to read and
write via publishing Mrekullia (Miracle) children's magazine and working with public schools. Editor Ledia Ikonomi explains this creative
ministry to MAI intern Christine Kindberg.
In Miracle we try to encourage reading through games and
questions about books or writers. We also encourage children to write and then we publish the best poems and stories in our magazine.
In addition, we hold activities with public schools in the capital,
Tirana, partnering with the municipal office of education or city hall. In the city of Bathore, where children can't afford books, every other week we
give the children free back issues of the magazine and other Christian literature.
Last year we also donated a library to the school in Bathore so the
children can borrow books there. We organized an activity on International Children's Book Day, and the children recited poems and told stories that
they had read in the library books.
These different initiatives are like links in a chain with each
part having its own importance.
When we invited children to submit articles for publication in our
magazine, we received more submissions than we could count! Even now, we have in front of us a box of letters that hasn't yet been opened. Children
all over Albania are sending their writing to the magazine. Even from Bathore, children have begun sending us their first poems. (Read
the first-prize poem in the right column.)
In their letters, children write about the seasons (especially
spring), flowers, animals, their moms, teachers, friends, Jesus, the motherland, the flag, emigration and Miracle magazine, among other
things. The children of Bathore write mostly about their moms and their dreams for a better life, but in general their writings are sad.
Sometimes we give children prompts for writing. In a recent
magazine, we gave them the beginning of a story, "Once upon a time there was a lonely lake...", and asked the children to write the rest. We also
publish the best stories and poems that relate to the theme of each issue.
We just received a letter from a reader, Paola B., from Elbasan, a
city in central Albania. She reminded us that she was one of our competition winners two years ago. She wrote, "This has encouraged me to write more
and to become a writer and publish books."
We never stop trying to encourage children to write. Albania is
still in a time of transition and, given the many problems that families face daily, reading and writing certainly are not a priority. This makes us
feel even more responsible to go on with our work.
We have found publishing and writing to be a great way of
evangelizing as well. Teachers, parents and even children know that we are Christians and that we give love to others in every way
Read more about Mission Possible Albania's ministry.