Home is the place where I am happyVictor is 21 years old and wants at any price to recover as many of the opportunities he can that he has missed in 12 years and to fulfill his dream of getting a job, so he could be able to afford the basic things for life independently. At the age of 20 years he has started a new life. In just half a year he managed to learn, to read and write, to shop and cook, take photographs and film, etc. Victor was given the chance to learn and do these things only at maturity, because 12 years he has lived in a residential institution – an institution for children (boys) with severe mental disabilities in Orhei. Victor currently leads a normal life with family and friends.
He was only eight years old when he left home as a child and came back as a 20 years old adult. But this tall and handsome young man did not have any community living abilities, skills of self-service, communication and nor even the basic knowledge of writing or reading. Living in the institution has left its mark on him. Svetlana Chiriac, Victor's mother, recalls that when he finally returned home, his son was afraid of other people, he could not even formulate a sentence to the end; his eyes were running everywhere being without expression. Meanwhile, she says, Victor has progressed a lot psychologically and intellectually, and the positive changes that she notices every day brings her a great joy. "Victor started talking more, he is no longer afraid of people – he feels free asking what he wants, she says. In addition, he became more attentive, he can focus on concrete things or activities which he could not do before, he thinks more independently, expresses his opinion and you can have a discussion with him. "
In addition, Victor has become more independent – he shaves, goes to the store to shop, cooks not very complicated dishes. For example, he can make a tea, fry eggs or potatoes, and under the guidance of the mother he can even cook a soup. If he sees that more dirty dishes gathered, Victor goes to wash them himself and takes care to get out the trash bucket when it is filled, he cleans after and takes care about the younger family members – the casts Marius and Murzic.
"At the institution where I stayed I washed the floors. Every day I’ve been doing this until 15:00, Victor says. There, we children with disabilities did not get paid anything for our work." Victor says that he feels good at home, because together with his mother he is much happier than in the institution. Since the time he came home, Victor has made many friends who come to help him and make him useful in their entourage. He likes to learn, listen to music, to walk and go with his mother shopping at the market.
In October 2009, with the support of the "Community for All – Moldova” project, Victor began a literacy course, because at the institution he has not received any training. Often, children such as Victor are considered incapable to acquire some particular subjects and apply knowledge in practice. Victor, however, managed to make up quickly for lost time and within half a year, having only a few hours a week, he learned to read and write.
"Victor is a diligent, responsible pupil knowing the reason why he studies and for what he’ll need in life the aquired knowledge”, staes the teacher Veronica Turcan.
Victor is very anxious to obtain a profession and, subsequently, a job and is aware that in order to achieve this goal he needs to learn more. So far he has managed to learn 10 words, read short texts and small dialogues, writing sentences from memory (after reading the sentence in the book, he closes the book and writes sentences recalling how the words are arranged in the book), tells stories guided by images, counts to 8, knows who are the neighbors of figures, knows the odd and even numbers, knows to compare them - which is bigger, less or equal; he can arrange them ascending and descending.
"Whenever I give him an assignment, Victor makes it at a higher level than I would expect. I love that he works in addition to what I give him as homework: writes letters, reads additional books besides the ones recommended by me so that he could recognize letters in other books too" says Veronica Turcanu. Victor already knows the synonyms of more words, trying to express the meaning of some of them, pronouncing them correctly. "Typically, children come to school with the interest to study. But when I started working with Victor I felt more useful, because he needs not only to learn something, but also to discuss how he spent his time, what has impressed him the most, the moments of joy he has experienced. I’m glad to be useful to him and he appreciates it. This assessment, as well and his willingness to learn gives me an incentive to go forward" the teacher added.
Honest and open, Victor expresses his opinion when someone is behaving badly or makes something bad to him, as well as to others. "At the institution I learned nothing, he recalls, we’ve been only told stories and the teacher was bad, talking bad things about me, saying that I am a big idiot. I do not know why I’ve been spoken in this manner. You should not talk so badly with children with disabilities. I wish that Lydia Popa (the director of the institution for children (boys) with mental Orhei) could see me now, how I’ve changed and how I’ve learned to read and write, "says Victor.