It’s incredible what the right incentive will accomplish especially in the lives of the gypsy kids in Lazareni where much is to be desired in the excitement department. Motivated and with a clear goal in mind these kids achieved what most parents and teachers believed to be impossible.
Against all kinds of weather, transportation issues, discrimination they attended classes and had some of the highest academic achievements ever recorded.
We know these celebratory achievements have a lot to do with the passion and love our teachers and instructors have shown while investing in these beautiful lives.
In the years past we have had various ways of rewarding their efforts and this year we decided to take 47 of them to a four-day camp up in the mountains. While we were all excited about the camp, the leaders could not hide the fact that they were nervous, as never before had we taken these kids out of the village for more than half a day.
We would like to thank all of those who have made this life changing experience possible for the After School champions!
Here are some highlights from the team leaders:
Salomea, team leader
“I went to the camp having some expectations but didn’t really know what to expect. It was an amazing experience for the kids but also for all of the leaders. I went to camp hoping for a change in their lives, but on top of that I was changed and my life will never be the same after this experience. I really believe that with love, care and education we can break the cycle of poverty and literacy. Really looking forward to our next camp.”
Denisa, team leader
“We were blessed beyond measure at this camp. One thing that really touched me was when the last day at camp I asked the kids: “Are you happy that you are going back home?” and with a sad face all of them answered: “no miss, we want to stay here longer.” They have learned new things, new songs, new Bible principles but the most important thing is that they have experienced love in a new way.”
Doroteea, team leader
“I am a not a brave person. Really, I am not. And this camp was like a Goliath for me, and I was not a David. I was too scared to take the kids to a camp for 4 days. This camp was a life changing experience for me. I have learned that teaching is not about being smarter, not at all. The key in education of these kids is love. The best moment from camp it was when Mea, one of the leaders, said to us “let’s go and put the girls in bed and love on them” So we did that. In that moment, I realized that they have never experienced this kind of love before. Maybe some of them never heard their parents saying to them “I love you”. It was a heartbreaking moment for me but also a life changing experience. Love is the key for all our endeavors that involve these kids.”