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CHILDREN AT RISK: TRUE STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION & SUCCESS

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Striving to Achieve Despite the Odds

Laurentiu Baldovin is a 16 year-old boy with great ambition and a strong desire to achieve, a fact that is all the more remarkable considering his background. Laurentiu currently lives with his 70 year-old grandmother and his 5 brothers. His father died when he was a little boy and his mother left them soon afterwards. Laurentiu lived in a state-run residential care institution for a period of time before coming to live with his grandmother.

The house he is currently living in is in a poor state. It is without a heating system, without warm water and even without the possibility to cook food, due to lack of money for actually purchasing the food and also due to lack of gas.

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.

We have obtained a more detailed description of Laurentiu as a person from our psychologist, Maria Tudor. After several counseling sessions, she has reached the following conclusions:

On the outside Laurentiu is a very happy, sociable and communicative boy. However, this is the image of himself that he wants the others to perceive: the image of a person without any kind of problems or concerns. This is his manner of trying to hide his real self, who is actually having a lot of problems and difficulties.

The most important things for him are his family and friends. He has a drive to accomplish as many things as possible when he grows up, but there is a certain fear of failure due to a serious lack of financial resources within his family.

He is very happy and content now that there is a Daycare Center within the school where there is someone who can help him solve some of the problems he is facing. But above all, he appreciates the tutorials and homework assistance provided by the teachers. This support is very helpful for him, as his school records have improved. Moreover, it is very important for him because he is preparing for his 8th grade final exam. This exam is crucial for the completion of his education, as the exam results will enable him to apply for high school or vocational studies.

As with so many other children in his situation, continuing his studies after the 8th grade is the only chance that Laurentiu has to develop independent living skills and a future career. Many children in the Ferentari district are interested in going to school and have all the necessary abilities, but it is almost impossible for them to achieve this, because they lack financial resources and do not receive any assistance with their homework.

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(c) Phillip House Foundation, 06.2003
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