Viorica’s son, Daniel*, is 12 years old. He is severely disabled with epilepsy and needs a high level of care. Viorica has made many sacrifices to make sure that Daniel could stay at home with her.
In Moldova, it is often the case that children with disabilities are placed in institutions. Doctors told Viorica that Daniel needed to go to school to develop and improve.
“But I said, where is that school? Just tell me where it is and I will find it. And the doctors would answer that they did not know where such a school was.”
With no local school able to cope with Daniel’s needs, Viorica used to take him the long journey on public transport to Chisinau. But, in a society where disability is hidden, these journeys were difficult. People were not understanding of Daniel’s needs and Viorica had to deal with other passengers complaints about the noises he made.
Thanks to the generosity of Lumos donors, we have been able to open a Special Education Centre. This will provide an inclusive education for all children regardless of whether they have a disability.
Opening its doors to the first pupils on 1st September 2016, the centre welcomed 22 children with severe disabilities. For many, this was the first time they had ever gone to school. With the opening of the Centre, education in Moldova has taken a huge step forward. If more schools of this kind are opened, more children will be included in society.
For the first time, Daniel can attend a school with other children, including his sister, Dana. When Dana was asked what it would mean for her brother to be able to come to school with her, she said:
“…he will be integrated into society just like other kids. He will study. He will try to be just like us, and do the same activities. And this way he will develop and will be tolerated by everyone. There will be no difference between him and the entire community.”
*All names have been changed