A week of preparation for the celebration of the annual 107th independence day of Albania which suppose to be at the November 28th 2019, turned into a chaos. Most of the flags that hanged for the celebration were down in half-mast.
Rescue teams from around the world arrived, people were missed, buildings were abandoned and the streets where full of internally displaced people, mostly families that looked for food and shelter.
It started at the 25th November, when magnitude 6.4 earthquake heated Western Albania, it took a more than a night to understand how big is the humanitarian crises. From the moment that it spread around the region, people started to gather and collect everything possible, in order to help the people who suffer from the earthquake.
The biggest help came from the neighboring country Kosovo, while the government sent a massive amount of special police forces, soldiers, rescue teams and medical help. The people gathered everything they could and sent to the people. Not only that but also houses where offered for the families that needed.
They were so many countries helping but I was impressed by Kosovo people who helped more than any government.
I met them in Prishtina the capital, in a freezing cold night, collecting AID. From local NGOs to the football fans of Plisat football team in Kosovo everyone were out to help.
My journey via the earthquake took 5 hard days with very little amount of gear, mostly camera and a bit of clothes. I’ve been there capturing the people of Kosovo collecting AID, traveling with the football fans that stop everything they have in life just to get to Durdes Albania, and help. In Albania got into the chaos, joining the groups of volunteers, visiting families that lost everything and still offered their food and clean water.
While many people are afraid to travel to Kosovo and having the stereotype that Kosovo people are aggressive, and the country is dangerous. The reality is that Kosovo is an amazing destination with great hospitality culture and people are always happy to help.
List of countries that sent help and I met them: