Written by: World Vision Staff; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
Lidia grew up in rural Romania, where one out of two children live in poverty. Lidia and her family were once part of this statistic. When she and her two older brothers entered high school, the family was only living on the income their dad could manage through occasional construction work. It was either basic needs or children’s school supplies, but not both. It’s no wonder children in their community often abandon their studies to work with their parents.
Nevertheless, Lidia’s strong love for education is the defining factor in her story.
Today, Lidia speaks with passion about every stage of her life, crediting every obstacle as a stepping stone to who she is and what’s she’s accomplished.
The Community Club that Lidia helped lead. Photo: World Vision
“My development has a strong connection to World Vision,” she says. “When I entered high school, I worked with a project called ‘My Desires as a Grade Nine,’” which is a project that seeks to award children who are low on finances but high in academic achievement.
“The chance to be part of the project was a crucial moment in my development because [my brothers and I] were in high school,” she says. “It was almost impossible for my parents to keep us afloat with our studies. I used the scholarship to pay for some of the costs.”
Lidia eventually became the leader of the Community Club, forming a united group of children who attended weekly, eager to grow and get involved in community life. “Children learned how to write and put community projects into practice. Together, we solved many problems in our community. The feeling of fulfillment was huge,” Lidia recalls.
After high school, Lidia entered university at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, all the while remaining close to World Vision as a volunteer. In her spare time, she got involved in educational activities for children in her community. Working with young students is something Lidia feels very passionate about because she’d been there herself.
After some time, she found out that World Vision was looking for a social worker in her community. She applied and was selected.
“For three years, I worked as a social worker,” she says. “It was one of the most beautiful seasons of my life because it gave me the chance to work with children and people in my community. It was my first job and I learned many things during that time: to be responsible, to prioritize things, to work with people. I remember how happy I was that we succeeded in setting up the Community Club, giving children the chance to spend their time in a constructive way.”
Lidia's greatest dream has always been to become an inspector at the National Agency for Fiscal Administration. So, after graduating university and working for two years as an accountant, she took the chance, applied, and earned her dream job.
Lidia’s story is a true testament of how one person’s determination and a community’s effort can transform the lives of many. Today, she is proud to do what she has always dreamed of.
“It wasn't at all easy to get here. It required a lot of discipline and hard work, but most importantly, I didn't give up,” Lidia says. “The unconditional support I received from World Vision, the experience I gathered, the things I learned made me believe in myself and continue with my dreams.”