When we met Marius, he was a 4th grader. His parents struggled to pay the bills, and he was often humiliated by his classmates at school because of his speech deficiencies and him being overweight.
When Marius first joined United Way Romania’s “Learn to Succeed!” program, he was a fearsome child, self-conscious of his condition, at risk of dropping out of school and showing very poor results at school. He was a child with special needs.
Through the program, specialists at the educational centre offered him all the support and attention he needed. He received continued help with homework, and participated in non-formal educational activities. He also received the much needed material support, such as educational materials, clothes, hygiene products (including protective masks) and social vouchers for his family, which they used to buy fresh food.
Although the young student reads and expresses himself with difficulty, teachers and other children enrolled in the program encouraged him to express himself freely, and thus Marius demonstrated a special talent in writing rhyming lyrics and in drawing. He currently composes poems for his colleagues and teacher, and his drawings are exhibited in class. Through United Way Romania's educational program Marius not only got the chance for a better future, but also experienced what it means to be welcomed with open arms and accepted.
Marius’ teacher is very satisfied with the progress he has made in his learning and socially, and said that his progress inspires others around him. Everything becomes possible when you are supported on your path and given a chance! Thanks to the confidence he gained at the centre and the improvement of the food quality at home, he also improved his health and lost some weight.
“Everything has changed since I joined this program. I am very happy and grateful!”, Marius confessed to us, with a smile on his face.
This blog post was originally published by United Way Romania.