Jul 27, 2018
On a warm, sunny day in early June, I joined Nehemiah Gateway social workers on their twice-yearly visit to the mountain villages in the Mokra region near Pogradec, Albania. The villages seem to be close by on a map, but it takes several hours and excellent driving skills to reach these remote places. Arnold Geiger, founder of Nehemiah Gateway, first visited these villages in the 1990s, after the fall of communism. Since then, the organization has been visiting twice a year, bringing parcels of food and donated clothes and shoes to the poorest people in a very poor region. According to Albania’s 2011 census, about 46,5 % of Albanians still live in villages like these—a number that continues to shrink, as it does in many parts of the world.
In the late 1980s, Arnold Geiger started helping convoys of humanitarian relief to many countries, for example Russia, Romania and Turkey. A 1991 trip to Albania, then newly emerging from 50 years of totalitarian government, profoundly moved him.