From our initial visits it became clear how under resourced the community was to deal with emergencies. There simply was no infrastructure in place. As a result the community was at risk in the event of a fire and responding to emergencies. Due to the lack of transport, reaching a hospital in time to seek medical attention was a massive challenge.
We have sent 2 fire engines to Albania – this was through the incredible efforts of a firefighter and his youth group. Driving them down was a huge adventure. We still see one in use in Sarande and regularly meet the firefighters there who remain very proud of their now aging vehicle. We believe the other one found a new home in Vlore.
We have also sent a 4 wheel drive ambulance – to be based at the hospital in Sarande. This was fully equipped with the assistance of Berkshire. The vehicle can reach more people as it can travel on the mountainous terrain. This vehicle was sourced by and adapted by Mastoria UK – without whose amazing skill and assistance it would not have happened.
We have also sent a vehicle fully adapted for adults and children with disabilities. This is to provide transport to the centre in Sarande. This vehicle was sourced in Holland by our Dutch friends and was also driven by them to Sarande. We are so grateful for them.
We sound like vehicle specialists – we are not! It is just the way things have developed and what we have been offered. Our focus is currently very much off transportation, however we remain open to their needs!