Doorways frame young Brickela.
The seven-year-old lives with her mother and her 10-year-old brother at their home in Bulqiza, Albania. They live in a mining city known for its chromium
, an ingredient in stainless steel. Eight months before this photo was taken, Brickela’s father was killed in an accident while working in an unlicensed mine. His death has left Brickela’s mother, Margarita, fearful that she will have to mine chromium in order to provide for her daughter and her son, Mariglen.
This mining is dangerous, yet many children here do it. Margarita, however, insists her children do not. She wants them in school; both her children attend—Brickela’s favourite subject is math. In Bulqiza, the calculation is simple: If a child is allowed to mine, the child’s future will suffer. There are different doorways you can walk through to change a child’s life. One of those is World Vision advocating against child labour in Albania. A dark chromium mine is no place for a child. It’s no place for Brickela. She knows this. She prefers to stand in the light.
This article appears in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of Childview.