Total loan: $1,475


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Elbasan, Elbasan County, Albania / Housing

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A loan helped to cover the house with a roof.

Ismail's story

Ismail has been photographed in the midst of his apple orchards; a typical landowner holds five dynyms of land or about one dynym per person in the household, with some of it being arable, according to poverty assessments done a few years back. Ismail lived in Italy for a very long time, and recently he settled in his village, where his plans are to expand the agricultural business, as he sees it as profitable and enjoyable. He is a 28-year-old married father of a year-old child. The village where he and his family reside has taken a second name, that of “Skanderbeg”, the national hero of Albania. According to history, Skanderbeg and his army passed through the road in the midst of the village, hundreds of years back. The homemade alcohol drink called “raki”, which is made of plum fruits, remains traditional in his village. The way that this drink is made is as follows: the grapes are put in plastic barrels for fermentation for about 2-3 weeks; then, the grape marc is burned on wood in copper bins where a pipe is linked to another pot were the steam is turned into the drink. Up until the 90s, this was a common activity. The more grapes villagers had, the more days and nights they needed to prepare this special and organic drink.