The silent hero of Tirana:
Learning to love in Albania
Ilir Hoxholli is on a simple mission complicated by a cultural reality: in a place where people need more love and kindness in their lives, they are hesitant to accept it.
“Poverty is the toughest reality facing Albania today,” he says. “But hearing a good word or receiving love without demanding anything in return is uncommon in our society. A simple act of consideration can be a cultural challenge.”
Ilir is studying economics at a local university while running his charity organization DhuroDashuri, or ‘Give Love’, encouraging Albanians to work together to alleviate poverty.
He wants Albanian society to learn to show consideration in small ways, like letting people cross the road in safety. “One has to be careful here,” he warns. “Drivers are not considerate of others. We want a city where people show respect for one another.”
At an assembly with students at the Albanian College International School of Tirana, Ilir exhorted his audience: “Be kind to each other. Appreciate what you have. The more you give, the better people you become.”
During the meeting, around 30 students raised their hands when asked if they would volunteer for Ilir’s charity. “Some do not understand our work in charity, and what it means to help others and get a smile with out any strings attached,” he told the students. “Just lend a helping hand. Share love.”
His closing remark brought a spontaneousoutburst ofapplause from the students: “Life is short. Live it as honest and decent people.”
The Piece Prize will make a donation of EUR1000 to DhuroDashuri through the Albanian College – TheInternational School of Tirana.
The Piece Prize spreads hope throughout Europe
Mark Fuhrmann, a 60-year-old Canadian born father of three living in Norway since 1986, is on a solo kayak tour from Oslo, Norway, to Athens, stopping in selected cities to reward silent heroes with a modest Piece Prize, and promote positive values, actions and thoughts.
Silent heroes can be anyone of any age. They may run community organisations, be involved with charity work, be a friend to those in need, do good deeds, anything that promotes positive values and demonstrates compassion for others, regardless of the scale of the activity. In short, they are good neighbours, and good people!
Since leaving Oslo in April, Mark has stopped at Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Bremen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Nice, Venice, and Zagreb,Budva, and Tirana. His next and final stop isAthens. His route has taken him over open seas, canals, and rivers, and will cover more than 5600 kilometres when completed, taking nearly seven months.