February 4, 2022

‘Children Learn to Pray Here’

The first Adventist kindergarten in Albania is thriving, leaders say.

Vanesa Pizzuto, Trans-European Division News

Adventist Kindergarten, the first Adventist kindergarten in Albania, opened its doors in the capital city of Tirana in September 2018 with only seven children. In 2022, 36 preschoolers are benefiting from an Adventist education based on Christian principles that prepare them to live fulfilling lives.

“The growing number of children that enroll every year is the best indicator of the impact we are having on this community,” kindergarten director Elda Bashkimi said. “Our bilingual [Albanian/English] kindergarten offers not only the national curriculum but also personalized learning plans and fantastic extracurricular activities like gardening in our greenhouse, cooking, crafts, music, and arts.”

The kindergarten welcomes children from all faith backgrounds. Only two students enrolled come from Seventh-day Adventist families, 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 learned to do here,” Bashkimi said. “I am really blessed to work with such wonderful staff members in a Christian environment.”

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Extracurricular activities include gardening in the greenhouse. [Photo: ADRA Albania]

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 center, and to use innovative education methods to share with these families the Christian way of living,” ADRA Albania director Altin Rexhepi said.

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,” Rexhepi said.

Bashkimi agreed. “We believe there is room to grow, to expand our influence,” Bashkimi said. “Please support our kindergarten, ADRA Albania, and the Albanian Seventh-day Adventist Church with your prayers.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.