And now for some news about my last trip to Algeria.
I have never been there during the winter time so it was interesting to see that the weather swapped between heavy, non stop rain and warm sunshine. To be honest I much prefered it to the baking hot summer months when I always get burnt and bitten to pieces.
It was an absolute joy to give out so many things to those in need. It was so touching to see children so delighted to receive a pair of mittens, it was as if they had been given a million pounds!
I gave out a few parcels of baby clothing to ‘ mums to be’ everyone was thrilled with the clothing. Baby clothing in Algeria is expensive and is generally not of very good quality so they were very happy to get such lovely things and relieved that they didn’t have to worry any more about what they would dress their new baby in. Other clothes were and still are being distributed to sick babies in hospital. I am waiting for some photos and will post them up as soon as I can.
The housing situation in Algiers is dire, the city centre in particular is a vastly populated area and severely overcrowded. As such many families live in terrible conditions. A lot of families have been unable to find a property to rent so have constructed concrete shacks a bit further out, on unclaimed or government land. These ‘buildings’ often have no heating and only have gas and electricity if they can ‘borrow’ it from a neighbour who owns his property or has the right to be there. They are usually made from concrete bricks, I think we call them ‘breeze blocks’ in the UK with a metal roof, sometimes the floor is covered with cement and others just leave a mud floor, which can get extremely messy if it rains! Frequently the materials used are reclaimed so are broken in some way or have holes in them made by the previous owners. What can I say, people do what they can to have somewhere to live.
Many of the donations were given to children living in such conditions in an area called Beni Messous.
I was unable to take everything with me but the remaining items are due to be sent over next week and then the next batch will go mid February.
I should also say that while there are many poor people in Algeria who are without employment and live in conditions unknown to us in the UK there are also others who are just fine, Some do have very nice houses- I mean villas, others have jobs so they can afford to rent a flat all be it a small one, they have enough clothes, food etc. I am happy to say they enjoy a good lifestyle. But for those who don’t life is hard and it is those people that my heart breaks for.