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In September 2005, ten years ago, the American Rebecca started, after much deliberation, a ‘safe home’ for vulnerable Albanian girls in Korça. Her personal motto is: “To love children nobody else loves” and she created a safe environment for the girls so that they can work on their future.

In 2003 a day centre for vulnerable children opened in Korca for children who were during the day on the streets, playing, begging and just hanging around. Rebecca got to know them better and found out that within that group were two eleven year old sisters who were being sexually exploited in exchange for cigarettes, alcohol or food It was also discovered that a trafficker often visited their house. Rebecca decided to do something, before it was too late and the safe house project was born.

Long-term decision
The girls’ situation was heartbreaking and the state system had no clear answers for these problems. After thinking, looking around, consulting and praying the Kenedi Foundation decided to provide for these and other girls a shelter-house. This would allow them to grow up in a safer and more loving place and give them time to come to terms with their traumas. It was a big decision, because such a thing is not easily fixed and the establishment of a girls’ home was a long-term project.

Looking ahead
Rebecca: “I would like the next year to go for a deeper level, rather than absorb more girls. Together with the staff, we want to invest in ways for the staff and girls to work with their traumas, to find healing. We do this together with specialists from the United Kingdom who share their experience and knowledge. Although they will always carry the past with them, my prayer is that they may experience the healing power of God.”

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The cellar under the safe home for girls is being converted into apartments and will soon accommodate two young adults. They will be accompanied live there.

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At the end of 2014 the idea arose to renovate the basement under the girls house. After making plans, producing a budget and finding suitable contractors, work commenced in mid-June. Currently work is going on to insulate the basement walls and install new electricity and plumbing.

The apartment is approximately fifty square metres and has a bathroom, double bedroom, storage room and living area. A youth group from the Dutch city of Ommen comes in early August to finish the apartment by, among other things decorating, furnishing and installing a kitchen. The group organized in Holland some fundraising events to cover the rebuilding costs.

Independent living
The apartment is due to be opening soon. One 18+ lady in the girls house will supervise the girls who will move in. It is hoped that the apartment will assist the girls in adjusting to adulthood giving them more independence through having to cook, wash themselves and manage their own finances.

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