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Everybody should have a chance; a chance at a future, an education, a fair life. Unfortunately, this chance doesn’t exist for everybody. There are less fortunate people and children who don’t’ get the love they deserve. For them, life hasn’t been easy, it threw them in the streets, abandoned them when they needed help or simply betrayed them.
Several Romanian and foreign foundations gathered young people from all social environments, taught them to dance and staged a show. But the most importantly - they changed these young people’s lives.

Before this programme, there was not much hope for Ionela and Nicu. Ionela had no future. She was bouncing between the streets and the shelter, she had no hope for a better future and didn’t get along with school, either. Nicu was sharing the same faith. “I didn’t leave home because it was rough or because of a bad situation. I ran off because of my peers. I used to like to wander around with the ones who were already children of the streets”.

After the performance they both can see the image of a better life, in brighter colors. And you can feel it in their voices and see it on their faces. They are relaxed, they know what they want in life and can’t even imagine living on the streets or in the sewage system. “We proved that we too are able to do good things. We proved it to the others, but, most important, to ourselves”. Nicu too, visibly changed, fact acknowledged by his tutors, wishes a different life. “I want to get a job as a chef and make my own life. Before entering this programme I was shy and I can’t say I had too many dreams. Now, I am confident I can and will succeed in everything I set my mind on”.

Still, what determined these young people to wish for a different life? First of all, it was the people who showed them confidence and who believed that they too have something to show to the world. Second of all, it was the closeness to other young people with a different social status. That was the purpose of The Firebird programme: to give confidence to those who feel “different”, but, most importantly, to prove to society that they, street children, are not all just thieves, prostitutes or criminals but that in every one of them there is a child’s heart and a soul full of big hopes.


Author: Lavinia Peter