When Valeriu started a club for children in the ghetto, hardly any children were attending school there. Children and young people were dying every month of malnutrition, abuse, drug overdoses and suicide. The Alternative Education Club became the focus of efforts that helped change the lives of Europe’s poorest children.
Today, hundreds of children come to the club to get help every year to cope with school, learn about their rights and get support to develop and live a good life. The poorest children are given shoes, clothes and sometimes food. Children who take drugs and/or are exploited and forced to sell drugs and/or sex are given support to leave that life behind and have the childhood to which they are entitled.
“I get so angry when people pick on you and fight. Playing football with Valeriu makes me happy.”
“I love the Education Club because I learn new things here and get to play with friends. Valeriu and the others are kind and support us. Irina (photo) is good at helping me understand things!”
“My favourite subject at the Education Club is maths. I also want to learn computer programming and be better at football!”
“I like learning to dance. When I’m older, I want to be a dancer and teach other children to be good dancers.”
“Our teachers at the Education Club are like really good friends or extra parents!”
“I’ve been going to the Education Club since I was little, it’s helped me a lot. Now I also help the younger children.”
“The thing I hate most is when boys fight and when it snows! My favourite is playing football. When I’m older, I want to be a chef or a waiter.”
Text: Carmilla Floyd
Photo: Joanna Pelirocha