Kocani Church, Macedonia
Through their church, our partners run a daily kitchen for 30 children in Kocani, eastern Macedonia. These children are from the Roma community and are exceptionally impoverished. Most families struggle to feed their children or send them to school. Our partner’s food kitchen not only provides hot meals daily but also offers informal education so the children can begin to experience the joy of learning.
Kiko is 5 and attends our partner’s kitchen. He is a very bright child who particularly enjoys maths and making things with building blocks and craft materials. Kiko comes from one of the Roma families who our partners seek to support through their project. Kiko has an older sister called Katerina. His parents are unemployed and earn money by collecting and selling plastic bottles, though this leaves them with very little money and they struggle to feed their children.
For a while Kiko attended a kindergarten established to serve children from this community, but it has since closed. The soup kitchen is run by Pastor Venco and his wife Katia, who is a teacher. Katia has used the soup kitchen to encourage informal learning for all the thirty children who regularly attend, helping those who do not attend school to experience the joy of learning. Pastor Venco and Katia both hope that all the children will be inspired to take the next steps of going to school.
This is certainly the case for Kiko, who can’t wait to go to school. Though not old enough yet he is dreaming of becoming a teacher just like Katia!