“The important thing is not to find solutions to every problem, but to create connections and discover that these connections change me and open me up.” This phrase and the photograph of Issa and Samira are one of my unforgettable memories from the days I spent in Kosovo.
I’m grateful for Massimo’s words, for the time dedicated to meeting people and institutions, for letting us visit the most beautiful and significant places. Little by little we began to understand the complex history of Kosovo and the suffering of these people marked by a war that thrust common people against each other, a war that from one day to another has upset and the destroyed the lives of families like ours.
A hatred that has brought death and destruction, and lingering pain and resentment is still visible today in people’s eyes. The trail of poverty is clearly visible in a large part of a society that is seeking a path for physical and moral reconstruction.
The great family in Leskoc showed us that, although we cannot find the solution to all the problems, so much can still be done. One can dedicate one’s life and time to the most needy.
The first time I met Issa and Samira, a brother and sister of 2 and 4 years old and living in conditions unimaginable to us, I thought we had to act immediately, change everything, take them away from there. Massimo and Cristina’s project is different. You cannot change everything immediately. You cannot take all the children from their families, however disadvantaged or disastrous they seem. Nevertheless, one can bring about a slower and longer lasting process of rebirth by supporting people and focusing on each one’s strengths.
Therefore, they try to buy a cow for those who can handle it so they can have milk and cheese for the whole family. They build a decent home for Issa and Samira’s grandfather. They support the education of children from the neediest families. They bring food and clothing to those who need it. They take the time to listen to people’s stories and needs, sowing love and making those who no long have hope know that there is always someone to rely on.
Massimo and Cristina have built a wonderful house and an organization made of things and people that gravitate around it. The children who have grown up in this environment over the years have received care, love, and education, and have become useful to themselves and for society. They have not lost touch with their origins and contribute to the project of growth for the whole society by working on the farm, in the bakery or dairy, or by studying at the university to find their place in this country that is slowing trying to overcome a past that should not be forgotten.
The thing that stays with those of us who returned to our lives is primarily the desire to return to Kosovo, and then looking at ourselves and others from a different perspective.
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