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August 11 2008

Elbasan, Albania: Summer of solidarity in psychiatric hospital

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For the third consecutive year, a summer of solidarity has come to fruition in the Sadik Dinci Hospital that serves the citizens of Elbasan and is the largest psychiatric facility in all of Albania.

Within its eight wards, in which live almost 350 recovering patients, the arrival of friends of the Community entails a series of consecutive events. The most anticipated of these are the excursions out of the hospital facilities: visits and trips, topped with large lunches and dinners.

But this year’s novelty is the launching of two workshops, one in carpentry and the other art.

Working together, unexpected capacities emerge that change the groups’ dynamics. Some faces change. Like that of M., one of the painters, who passed from sad immobility on the first day to then a glowing contentedness and affable demeanor in her interactions with the teachers from the Community.

At the end of the first week, an exhibition was set up displaying the works created in the art school, in frames crafted in the school of carpentry. 

The award ceremony- filmed by local television channels – was a very solemn occasion, in the presence of citizen authorities and with a notable crowd of public from “outside” the hospital. 


Thursday 31 July in the beautiful Oriental church of St. Peter, a moving prayer took place for the sick, in which many patients of the psychiatric hospital participated.

It was an important moment during these days of vacation and relaxation, because, as several of the patients said, “prayer gives strength and peace to the heart.” 


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