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Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic

January 11 2023 - ELBASAN, ALBANIA

#ChristmasForAll
psychological distress

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A group of young people from the Community of Genoa returned to Elbasan, Albania, in the first days of the year. They met over three hundred women and men in the "Sadik Dinci" psychiatric hospital, the largest in the Balkans, and brought Christmas joy to the people living in the institution - whose doors have been closed for almost three years.

The friendship between Sant'Egidio and the people of Sadik Dinci has been going on for many years and is made up of summer workshops, Christmas visits, and the dream of a new life, out of the hospital, thanks to the family homes for people with mental problems that have been set up by the Community and the Albanian Ministry of Health.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, life has continued - with all precautions - in a serene atmosphere for those living in family homes, while for those in psychiatric hospitals the isolation has lasted three years.
It was therefore particularly joyful, at the beginning of this year, to return to the psychiatric hospital to celebrate Christmas together. Music, tasty food, a gift for each of the 310 in-patients brought back a festive atmosphere.
In addition, some ninety people were able to leave the hospital. They were welcomed for a Christmas lunch in the specially decorated rooms in the house of the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida.
Before lunch, there was a prayer for peace in the large inner courtyard. Many entrusted their prayer intentions to Jesus, Lord of peace, who protects and consoles. Some whispered their gratitude in prayer: 'Thank you Lord,' said M., 'because I have these friends, the only ones who never forget me'.



Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic
Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic
Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic
Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic
Christmas could be celebrated again in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, Albania, after a long period of isolation due to the pandemic