“Today Anna is that confident, independent girl, who didn’t only turned dreams into reality – studying to be a doctor, but also revealed her personality, clearly understanding what she wants and what she can do. No more room for doubt, fear and insecurity!”
This was Anna’s answer for the question “Who has Anna beome today?” After three years of being involved in Dream House project, Anna improved her life holistically, developing strong personality and being ready to go outside and live free of risk and vulnerability.
However, everything started when Anna was still very young, when her father simply ceased giving importance to the family and left. Later, because of financial issues her mother went abroad to Russia to earn money. In time, Anna found out that her mother was pregnant and that soon she would come back home with their new father. Anna describes the inner struggles she was going through at that point, saying, “Who was he to take away my mother? Of course, I could not hate my mother, after all, she was still my mother.” As time went by, her mother gave birth to the third child in the family, a baby boy, and together with her husband they decided to go back to Russia, leaving Anna in Moldova.
Coming to Dream House, at first Anna was very withdrawn, with low interest for socialization and as all the other girls she had a certain fear and hesitation towards all aspects of adaptation into the program. She was open for dialogue and active time only with the girls she came in with, but only few weeks later she began to ask questions and learn about the other girls who were already at Dream House. We saw the first fruits more than half of a year later, when Anna made great progress in things like cooking, housekeeping, time management and so on. In spite of her struggles, at the end of the first year Anna managed to exceed most of the girls, becoming one of the best, especially in math.
In the second year, Anna enrolled for Way to Success trainings, with great desire to understand her weaknesses and strengths, to become more confident and strong in her own abilities. The trainings opened a new world before her, going deep into her character, revealing positive sides she previously did not recognize. Anna start developing leadership abilities, which today are very prominent and growing. Later, in the third year she fully began to practice her medical knowledge, both within the center, helping the other girls with their health issues and outside in the summer camps where she volunteer as medical assistant. Moreover, she gained great stability in terms of time and budget management, not once complaining about overload in tasks and lack of money. Within the ‘Way to Success’ classes, she was already volunteering in helping new students deal with the issues she had to face in the beginning, acting as mentor.
Today Anna has great desire to finish studies and work here in Moldova, where her home and heart is. She developed strong leadership abilities and confidence in her own talents and skills. There is no more fear in fighting for what is right and no hesitation towards socialization and friendship. She is not afraid of not making enough money or living independently, as she is already fully capable to manage not only material incomes, but also emotions and relationships with people around her.
“Before Dream House I was afraid to do something independently, as the lack of knowledge, experience and life skills could simply ruin many aspects of my life. I used to be easily manipulated, deceived or used by others, but year after year, the life in the project formed, helped me understand people, be independent and take position in life’s situations. Most important, Dream House formed my values, beliefs, gave me faith in God and confidence in me. I am very grateful for all these changes.” – Anna
(Story originally posted here.)
Anna’s story is a dynamic example of the transformative resources offered through the Urban Centers of Beginning of Life, a Moldova-based nonprofit!
Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, is a small country tucked between Romania and Ukraine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moldova returned to being an independent country. The transition has not been an easy one. Moldova’s citizens are facing extreme poverty and one of their largest challenges is the absence of available jobs.
The effects of the lack of employment and low wages manifest in human trafficking, organized crime, a corruption-dominated society, and a generation of children with extremely limited access to attend school. Faced with limited opportunities, many Moldovans are desperate to emigrate from Moldova to find a better life, and more than 25% of Moldova’s small population have already migrated from the country since its independence in 1991.
Many children like Anna have experienced abandonment as a result of their parents seeking employment opportunities outside of Moldova. Through Beginning of Life, Anna became a part of the following two programs:
Dream House is an intervention center for at-risk teenage girls who are coming out of vulnerable family situations within rural communities. Many girls in their mid-teens who have been left behind in villages due to labor migration or addiction, are deprived of education, love and proper supervision, and are in greater danger of exploitation by the sex industry, child pornography or heavy labor. Dream House provides support within a safe and healthy family-style environment.
WAY TO SUCCESS
Ninety percent of young people in Moldova want to leave the country, but do not know what will they do abroad, and lack a healthy self-identity and life skills. Ultimately, these factors leave them deeply vulnerable.
Way to Success is a two-year training program designed to equip and empower young people, ages 16-21, to become self-sustainable and resistant to manipulation and risky behavior. They will learn to respond to the acute needs and problems of local communities with a holistic approach that lends equal attention to the development of professional and life skills, healthy relationships and habits, and the formation of holistic character based on Kingdom values.
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