Vladut used to sit on a chair in the corner, not wanting to have anything to do with school work or learning.
He is now 13 years old, and has grown up in poverty in a Roma village in Danes, Romania. Here, many people have little education and are only able to access low wage jobs, if they are able to find work at all. Children are often born into homes where there is a sense of hopelessness and resignation about the future – and they too drop out of school early, just as their parents did.
“School was something that Valdut found very hard when he first started it – and he continued to find really difficult for a long period of time,” continued Paula, who is Mission Without Borders’ (MWB) children’s worker in Danes.
Vladut was enrolled on Mission Without Border’s child sponsorship programme – and when he first started going along to the Mission’s after school club, he struggled there, just as he did at school.
“Vladut never knew how to express what he felt, and we concluded that he was just tired. As time went on, we realised he had difficulties understanding his work, and he needed more time and attention to help him keep up with it,” Paula said. “Then he got a lot of our attention and he went on to blossom in front of our eyes. He’s now in sixth grade and he’s doing a lot better. He doesn’t need too much help anymore and he likes trying to figure things out on his own."
Vladut was featured in our Back to School campaign in 2016, when he was seven years old –and it’s wonderful to see how well he is doing years later and how much Mission Without Border’s educational support has changed his life. As well as our after school club – where children receive help with their schoolwork every day and a delicious meal, in a supportive, caring atmosphere –MWB also provides backpacks and school supplies to children living in poverty.