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CHILDREN AT RISK: TRUE STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION & SUCCESS

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Giving Hope and a Future

One exceptional child we have been pleased to work with is Alexandra Rosu. She is 11 and she is in 3rd grade.

Before the beginning of the new school year, in the summer of 2002, a Roma Association named “Romani Criss” solicited our assistance with the goal of providing social and educational support for a family living in Ferentari. This is one of the organizations that we collaborate with by sharing useful information and materials.

From the social inquiry made by our social assistant, we found out that Alexandra’s family had 8 members: 2 adults and 6 children. The apartment they live is disconnected from the heating system, water supply and natural gas, because they did not pay the bills. Due to the lack of heat, the walls are moist, so there is a high risk of falling ill. The living standards of the family are extremely poor.

Alexandra’s mother is unemployed and she didn’t graduate from elementary school (8 grades). Her first husband is deceased. From this marriage, she has four children: Vasile – 19, Daniela -15, Aurelia- 14 and Alexandra – 11. Currently she cohabits without legal marriage with the father of her other two children: Maria – 7 and Mihai – 3. Her partner does not have a permanent job either. He is a day-laborer.

Due to lack of income, the school-aged children were about to drop-out school – the parents couldn’t provide school supplies, clothes, footwear and sufficient food. After Phillip House’s intervention, the three girls – Daniela, Aurelia and Alexandra - were integrated within the social and educational program of the Daycare Center, beneficiating from all the services provided.

The school records of Daniela and Aurelia were low before coming to Phillip House, but after consistent support from our teachers, their grades have greatly improved.

Alexandra is a more special case. She is very intelligent and her results in school were excellent even before she was assisted by Phillip House. Her problems were mainly related to social integration. When she came to Phillip House she was very shy and lonely. She did not look for the company of other children, preferring to do her homework by herself and not talking to anyone. After several counseling sessions and getting acquainted with the children, she has become a part of the group. She is now very active in all the activities developed within the Daycare Center, very cooperative and creative.

We are really happy that we could help her continue to go to school. It would have been a tragedy to see such a bright young girl lose her chance to a better future simply because she couldn’t afford to go to school.

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(c) Phillip House Foundation, 06.2003
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