DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
Alexandru, a tall, dark haired boy of only 7 was walking to school, hand in hand with an old lady I would later learn is his aunt. His story is sad because it begins with his mother’s rape and his conception. The mother was under-aged, orphaned, raised by this kind-hearted aunt who also took Alexandru as her own from the first days of his life. Her only means of supporting the little family was by sicking and selling mushrooms and other edible wild plants, her limited income going all towards the happiness of a child that was not even her own.
After he finished 4th grade, Alexandru got very ill and was forced to stay home on medical leave for a whole year. In the next autumn, aunt enlisted him in 5th grade but with another group of children than the ones he had spent his first four years of school with. These new colleagues knew not much of his situation and, as children can be very mean when they want to, the would laugh at his poor clothes, at the fact his aunt walked him to and from school every day, at the fact his aunt would gather fallen tree branches and sticks to make fire, for heating and preparing food, when everyone bought large quantities of proper firewood. Alexandru cried all the time, his school result were poor, and then his head teacher intervened to help.
One of the biggest problems was that at home he and his family spoke very little Romanian and a majority Turkish (his father is Turkish and they lived the 3th years in Turkey ). Despite that, his aunt wanted very much that Alexandru have a good education, to become a man, “to help me when I’m old.”
The school, the mayor’s office, the social services, intervened but Alexandru considered it is better to start smoking at 12 and abandoned school for 20 days. In this time he caught TBC. While in the hospital, he realized the path he has taken is wrong. It was too late to go back to school that year though. He spent another year at home. He healed and re-enlisted in school, with new colleagues eager to help and support him in re-integrating back to school.
He finished high-school, and now he is studying Agronomy in university. He likes to say he will be the best agronomic-engineer of all times. Kind people gave him a job to help him pay his studies. He dreams to go to Turkey one day to work with his father.
He says he doesn’t know if he will ever be able to repay his aunt for her goodness but he will spend the rest of his life trying.
Nowadays, Alexandru works with the authorities in helping immigrated children integrate into society. He helps them finish school and find ways to blend their traditional way of life with the modern world, using himself as an very good example.
School is supposed to educate, but in some cases, its hands are ties by the responsibilities it has to all its students, and the few unlucky children slip through the cracks of what could have been their chance at a better life. In such case, all must unite to help the needy and the marginalized ethnic groups, from local authorities to private individuals with the means to help.
Alexandru’s case is a good example of one of such situations in which the simple fact he was a Turkish, a child from a family with limited means on top of that, made it difficult for him to pursue school, make a person out of himself.