Finding a way back to a family life: Corina*’s story

24.03.15
Corina is a happy, friendly girl of 16. She loves learning new things and reading books. Above all, she loves living with her family.
 
Unfortunately, she hasn’t always been able to. Corina spent five unhappy years in a residential institution. What she remembers the most is the regimented monotony of her days there. All the children followed the exact same schedule, with no allowances made for their individual needs. 
 
Corina felt as though she was living a life that didn’t belong to her. She has difficulty with pronunciation, and at the institution her fear of being misunderstood lead her to feel like an outcast. Because of this, Corina became shy and introverted. She found it hard to make friends, and spent much of her time alone. 
 
Her parents and her sister visited her in the institution as often as they could, but each time they returned home without her she felt even more sad and isolated. She dreamt of the day when she could leave her unhappy life in the institution behind and rediscover the safety and warmth of life with her family. 
 
Four years ago Lumos helped Corina leave the institution she grew up in and return to her parents. This move has completely changed her life. She now also attends mainstream school in her home village, which she enjoys very much. However, her transition back in to family life was not easy. 
 
At first, everything about life back at home was new and strange to Corina – the local children, the school, even her new neighbours. School was particularly stressful for her, as she knew almost nobody there apart from her sister, who helped a lot. Her teachers and classmates found it difficult to understand what Corina was saying, and she felt that some people did not accept her. “When I first arrived at my new school I felt like I was constantly analysed by others. Little by little, the teachers learnt to appreciate me for my skills and grades, not judge me for my pronunciation.” 
 
With support from her parents, teachers and Lumos, Corina has managed to integrate in to school life and her self-confidence has grown. She now has many friends who she loves spending time with. She participates in school activities and events at the inclusive education resource centre. She is also an active member of the school’s child-participation group - organised by Lumos - which advocates for inclusive education. Corina is proud of the progress she has made – she has come so far that sometimes she even helps other classmates with their maths homework.
 
Help support other vulnerable families and children to reunite – use your voice to make sure we #leavenoonebehind

She has difficulty with pronunciation, and at the institution her fear of being misunderstood lead her to feel like an outcast. Because of this, Corina became shy and introverted. She found it hard to make friends, and spent much of her time alone.

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