September 5th marks the International Charity Day. This year, on this special day, the members of the Community & Social Services Department at the U.S. Embassy Youth Council Albania, paid a visit to the “Romani Baxt” school. The first day of school being just a few days away, we decided to give the kids something that could make them look forward to going to school. The first day of school is a special day for every child, and each one of them should experience the happiness of carrying a bag for the first time. There is something special about your first school bag. Carrying it to school for the first time makes you feel so grown, even though sometimes it’s so heavy that it weighs you down. It’s one of those things that you never forget, no matter how old you get. You never forget the color, the size or any other details about that bag. And that’s exactly what we wanted to give the children on this special day: something to remember. So we bought some beautiful, colorful bags for them.

When September 5th came, we were all excited to meet the kids. As soon as we entered the Romani Baxt school, we immediately fell in love with those children. They gave us a warm welcome and they had even prepared a show for us, with different songs and dances. All the  performances were wonderful, but one of them was exceptional and really got our attention. A little girl in elementary school recited a poem about corruption. Hearing a child talk about corruption was weird and painful and it made us realise how much adults have poisoned our society with corruption and greed. Children are supposed to sing and recite about birds, trees and everything that is pure and beautiful. Instead, in our country, corruption has such deep roots that even children are conscious about it. That little girl’s poem inspired us even more in our fight against corruption. We truly hope that we can make Albania a better place for the sake of these children, who don’t need to grow up in a country where you can get anything through corruption and nothing through meritocracy!

After the show, it was time to play! The members of the USEYCA had prepared different games for the kids. We were so thankful to the kids for making us feel like 6 year olds once again. Thanks to them, we now know that our inner child is still alive!

When the playing was over, we started giving out the bags to the children. The smiles on their faces when they first tried the bags on were priceless. We had forgotten how it felt to be so happy over such small things. Those kids didn’t need expensive toys or the latest playstation games to be happy. All they needed was some love and sympathy, and someone to play with. At the end of the day, it’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving!