Friday, December 2, 2011

Xhuliano's Packet

I received my sponsorship packet about Xhuliano today. I love reading information about my sponsored children and I especially enjoy learning more about the countries that they live in. This is going to be a long post that most people probably aren't interested in. I just like to type up information like this so I have a back up if anything ever happens to the paper copies I have.

Get To Know Your Sponsored Child

Name: Xhuliano
Birthday: December 27th
Country: Albania

Xhuliano lives with his parents and two sisters. His parents strggule to provide for the family. His father is a construction worker and his mother is an animal farmer. Despite their efforts, it is difficult to meet the family's needs.

Xhuliano is growing up in the mountainous country of Albania. The village is very rural and poor. Their single floor homes are constructed of stone and sometimes logs or sticks, with mud for mortar. Farmers grow citrus fruit and vegetables. Bread and dairy products are also staple foods. This is a beautiful country with forests, mountains, and lakes. Summers are hot and dry but the winters are cold and wet.

Xhuliano is in primary school and he enjoys history. He helps at home by doing housework. He likes to play soccer. He is in satisfactory health.

Albania and it's People

Located in southeast Europe, the small country of Albania is bordered by Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, and the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Natrual resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, and hydropower.

Mountains fill Albania's eastern region and constal plains cover the western region, which is home to most of the population. The Strait of Otranto separates Albania from Italy by 45 miles.

The Albanian ethnic group makes up most of the population; Greeks, Roma, Vlachs, Serbians, and Bulgarians make up the remainder of the population. Albania is the official language, but the people also speak Greek.

Most people work in agriculture, growing products such as wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and grapes. Albania's other industries include food processing, textiles, lumber, oil, mining, chemicals, cement, and hydropower.

Albanians cherish close family ties, as well as their ethnic hertiage. Ethnic Albanians call themselves Shqipetars, which means "sons of the eagle."

Challenges in Albania

Despite the economy's recent growth, Albania still remains one of the poorest countires in Europe.

The agriculture sector, which employs over of Albania's workforce, has struggled in recent years. About 12 percent of Albanians are unemployed and a quarter of people live below the poverty line.

In education, school dropout rates are a growing concern for children. Most children enroll in primary school, but only about half actually attend and finish. This problem is especially common among the Roma, who are also known as gypsies.

Country Comparisons

Population: Albania - 3,155,000. United States - 311,666,000
Land Mass: Albania - 11,099 sq. miles. United States: 3,794,100 sq. miles.
Life Expectancy: Albania - 77 Years. United States: 79 Years.
Infant Mortality Rate: Albania - 15. United States - 8
Literacy Rate: Albania - 99%. United States - 99%
Primary School Enrollment: Albania: 91%. United States - 92%.
Access to Safe Water: Albania - 97%. United States - 99%
Average Annual Income: Albania: $3,950. United States: $47,580

I can't wait to learn more about this boy. We're going to have a great adventure together!

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