“Poverty followed us everywhere we went… Even though I’m 76-years- old, I remember as if it were yesterday.
My grandmother told my older sister: ‘Pashako, give a loaf of bread to these two youngsters. It’s a shame for them to sleep without any dinner. They’re still young, they have to grow’. Those were words straight from her heart.
My mother came to Korçë, searching for work so that we could survive. She looked for farm work, but they would not give her anything. Finally they gave her a job in the farms, where she worked for almost nine years.
Meanwhile, my father was in prison and he would write letters to my mother. He used to tell her to send us girls to school. He wanted us to become teachers because he thought that if we became teachers we would be honorable girls in Korçë. We read his letters too, and were determined to fulfill his wish.
I was in the 5th grade. We did not waste a single minute.
We’d wake up at 4am to collect corn cobs in the morning because their leaves would fall off and we couldn’t collect them later in the day.
We also collected chamomile.
My mother had a cousin who was an artisan and she would help us with the straw. We would cut it, soak it in water and then make hats with it. Our hands would bleed, but we would still continue to work.
We weren’t allowed to play, because we had to work...
We had to weave straw, so that we could earn money for our books.
We completed our studies by sacrificing a lot…”-Shpresa Ballolli Merdani (4 of 7) .
#ShpresaBallolliMerdani #RememberThem #PostthePeople #WomeninHistory #RememberThem #PostthePeople #WomeninHistory #Albania #Shqiperia #ChildLabor #Childlabour #shqip #Shqiptare #neverForget #History #photojournalism #Documentary #humansofthebalkans #humansofalbania #mother #daughter #slave #slavelabor - 2 months ago