Imagine you’re a 13-year-old boy living in a village in rural Romania. You’re filled with hopes and dreams for the future. Maybe you dream of being an astronaut or becoming a teacher. Maybe you dream of becoming a doctor or business man.
But in an instant, everything changes. Both your parents have died of aids and you are infected too. You’re raised by your grandparents, but because of your health, you cannot attend school. All hope seems lost.
This is reality in the life of Cezar.
Romania doesn’t have home-school but in special circumstances a home-school type program can be provided. Through MLI’s partnership with a local school, teachers from the village go to Cezar’s house to teach him and give him tests. The more he learned, the more he wanted to learn. He began to research and learn things on his own time – especially when it came to planes.
Cezar is passionate about planes. He has never seen a real plane and has only learned about them by watching different videos. He’s never flown in a plane, but he could talk for hours about the aerodynamics and rules in a plane like “you never try to sleep when the plane takes off or lands.” His biggest dream is not to fly, but to step into a plane and maybe even get a look into the pilot’s cabin.
For a child to be HIV positive it means no future. But because of education, provided through MLI’s Back to School partnership, Cezar found a passion and that keeps him literally fighting for his life.
Education brings more than just knowledge, it brings the opportunity for children to be passionate about something; for children to be hopeful about their future. Cezar is just one of hundreds of children who have benefited from MLI’s Back to School program.
Cezar may not be a typical student. he may not be the typical child served through Back to School, but his story has one things in common with the other children who participate in the Back to School program: he was living in brokenness.
MLI sees the brokenness of village children, like Cezar, and they meet the need by not only providing education, but even more by introducing the Gospel message to these children, which in turn brings hope, love, and healing to their dark and hopeless situations.
***Though the story is true, the photo and name used is generic in order to protect the persona of the youth involved***