I went to live in a children’s institution at the age of seven. My father died when I was little and my mother couldn’t cope, she was too poor.
But I was ambitious and determined. I always wanted to progress and keep learning, and I did well in my exams at school. I realised that there were many circumstances that I couldn’t change in my life, and I had a choice to either complain about it or value what I do have. Then Mission Without Borders provided me with a scholarship so I could study medicine at university.
While I was studying, I volunteered at a centre for children with Down’s Syndrome. I was amazed and moved at the ways in which families with a struggling child could still know joy and happiness in their lives.
After volunteering here, my ambition is now to open a medical and educational centre for children with special needs. In Moldova, we have an accepted mindset that a child with special needs should be isolated from society and that essentially, they don’t exist. This is a tragedy as there are many children with genetic diseases who can have a normal life and be successfully integrated into society. I now want to give back and try to help these children and their families.
I’m in my fifth year studying medicine and I hope to do my residency programme abroad and then implement all my ideas here in Moldova afterwards. I want to give children with special needs the best start possible.
Ana, a scholarship student in Moldova
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