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Mira

The family of Xhemal Balliu lives in a small barn in the Brrete village, which is 50 km north of the capital of Albania, Tirana. Five adult members of this family are mentally ill. Due to this medical condition, the inability to provide food and the level of poverty, Lindita Balliu’s 4 young children have died. Three year old Mira is the only child of the family. She is believed to be the product of many sexual attacks that her mother Lindita suffered. Mira did not officially exist until she was registered after her young brother accidentally died in a fire. This family’s income is based on $4 a day that they receive from the government as handicap assistance for their three mentally ill family members. Aside from this assistance, they live on a goat and by selling wood and handmade brooms, materials for which they collect in a nearby forest, where Xhemali and his wife Memja live.

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