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Elisei’s Story

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Now Elisei and Matias have everything they need for school

Victoria, Romania, is one of those towns where almost everyone here wishes they lived somewhere else. Although beautiful mountains surround it, the town itself is crumbling and full of closed-down businesses. There are few job opportunities, and young working adults are moving away in droves. 

Elisei is seven years old and lives with his family in a two-roomed apartment in Victoria. The town has many dilapidated apartment blocks in desperate need of renovation where people live in poverty. 

His mother, Rahela, said, "I've never had a job. I only went to school up to the seventh grade. What can I do?" 

After three months, her partner was fired from his grocery job and is now picking blueberries. He hopes to find work in Germany soon.

Rahela said, "We don't have a place of our own, we have almost no income except for the children's allowances, and we barely get by. The utilities haven't been paid for some time now, as we never have enough money."

It is common in Roma communities to drop out of school at a young age. Children with uneducated parents lack the support they need when struggling with schoolwork. Due to poverty, children may sometimes feel obligated to drop out of school to contribute to their family's income. Additionally, Roma children may struggle to see the value of education if they face discrimination at school and lack support from uneducated family members.

Fortunately, Elisei, his older sister, and younger brother are enrolled in Mission Without Borders's child sponsorship programme. As a result, they receive all kinds of support, with regular visits from MWB staff member Radu, who has just brought them backpacks and school supplies. 



Rahela said, "We've been lucky to get school supplies and school backpacks from MWB; otherwise, it would have been very hard, if not impossible, for us to buy them. Now Elisei and Matias have everything they need for school, and hopefully, they'll be determined enough to study hard, as I'm incapable of helping them much."

Elisei already has a big dream for the future. "My dream is to become a firefighter. I want to help people who need rescue and help save houses or other things that get on fire. I know I'll have to be quick and not take too long; otherwise, people will lose their homes." 

My dream is to become a firefighter.


Radu said, "At MWB, we love to support children and young people in their dreams for the future. In many families, talking about your dreams does not happen much, and many children never get the chance to express these things out loud. They keep their dreams well concealed in their hearts, letting them slowly fade away.

"Dreams do come true, and working with so many children over the years, I've come to realize that most of them do have the capacity to transform those dreams into reality, but they need someone to believe in them and support them in their education, help them stay focused and push away the fear of failure in their hearts." 

Victoria is a place where it seems hard to dream, with its failed businesses, dilapidated apartment blocks, and lack of economic opportunity. Hope is possible even here, however. As MWB supports children living in poverty with the backpacks and school supplies they need, it is a step towards them getting that education they need. In the meantime, Radu and other staff are there to encourage them to keep dreaming big. 

With your help, we can support more children, like Elisei and his siblings, to keep their dreams alive and one day break out of the cycle of poverty.


More than 8 000 children were helped with backpacks and school supplies last year.

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