Artan’s dream for a better future

This is Artan, picture by Johan Petersson.

This is Artan. He is 13 years old and lives in Gjakova. He has four siblings and they all live together with their mother Hidajete. We met them outside their house. Even though we don’t enter the house we can see that it is in bad condition and can imagine there’s not a lot of space in there.

The family’s financial situation is tough. Hidajete is working as a cleaner at a restaurant and she earns only €3 per day. During the time she works, Artan takes care of his younger sisters. When we first meet Artan and his sisters they answer our questions very politely and with a lot of patience.

Artan wants to become a doctor when he grows up. His sister Agnesa wants to be a teacher. Maybe their dreams will come true with the help they are getting from the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children in Kosovo and the Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women’s Organisations of Kosovo (RROGRAEK).

Artan’s sister. Picture by Johan Petersson

RROGRAEK is a non-governmental organisation that strives to strengthen the rights of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) children. Save the Children in Kosovo is partnering with RROGRAEK to raise awareness about the discrimination that these children and their parents face when accessing educational institutions. Thanks to their work, Artan has daily access to school with supplementary lessons in maths and literacy. His favourite subject is maths, he says and smiles. He also says how much he appreciates his teachers and tells us that every child is included and gets good support.

Two years ago, Artan’s family migrated to Austria. When they came back to Gjakova three months later, he was lagging behind in school. Thanks to the supplementary lessons and, with the help of the other students, he was able to catch up with his studies.

What moves us the most is when Artan’s mother talks about her children. She says that her whole life is about giving her children better possibilities than she had. Everything she does is for her children. She also shows her appreciation for the IKEA Foundation, Save the Children and RROGRAEK for making it possible for Artan to go to school and have a chance for a better life.

Picture by Johan Petersson

We left this meeting with a lot of feelings; sad about the whole situation but happy there is hope. The work that Save the Children is doing, together with RROGRAEK, is making it possible for Artan and his siblings to have better opportunities in life. One day we hope that Artan ends up as a doctor and that also he can look forward to a glorious future, where most things remain to be done.

Illustration of future Artan as a doctor, by Adam Younes.