Care Day is the world's biggest celebration of children and young people with care experience and Become has been leading the campaign in England since it first began in 2015.
Valeria* lived in a residential institution in Moldova until she was 11, when Lumos supported her to move into foster care. Her physical disability and experience in the institution meant that she found adapting to her new environment challenging to begin with, but with the support of her loving foster family, she overcame any difficulties and adjusted to her new life.
“Entering the care of this family changed my life radically,” Valeria says. “I came back to the community I grew up in and became a part of it. With the support of my parents I have overcome all challenges, and here I understand – in the real sense – what a family means. I have learned what love, care and empowerment are.”
Valeria has a very close relationship with her foster mother, who she describes as her “guardian angel”, and who has supported her from her very last days in the institution until now, as she lives an independent life in her twenties.
“My mother is an optimistic human being, very kind-hearted and caring. She helps you understand what you did wrong and helps you overcome any difficulties. She is the mother I wanted to have. She is my role model.”
Since leaving the institution, Valeria became a self-advocate for Lumos, using her voice and experience to shape our work and help others. Now in her twenties, she has become a social worker herself.
Valeria’s foster family has had a hugely positive influence on her life: “From my perspective both as a daughter and now also as a social worker, foster care service is the most important and positive service for a child who is in a difficult situation,” she reflects.
“Nothing can substitute the genuine human love and care – not clothes, toys, candies or holiday gifts. I feel lucky because I chose to live in this family, and they chose me. I can’t even imagine what my life would look like today if I didn’t grow up in this calm and loving family.”
You can help us support more children like Valeria with a donation today. Everything you donate will go to our project work through our 100% pledge.