After just nine months at TK2, Ionel has progressed from getting frequent F grades at school to being an above-average student. The 12-year-old’s rapid progress is testimony to the intensive tuition he has received at Blythswood’s after-school programme for junior secondary pupils in Romania’s Timis county.
Without Blythswood’s support and encouragement, Ionel could not be expected to do well at school. Home is a small mud-brick house on the outskirts of a village 10km from Jimbolia. It lacks running water, bathroom or kitchen. His father has been abroad since last year, looking for work. His mother can find only casual employment.
Blythswood’s minibus picks up Ionel and seven other students from outlying villages after school. He really appreciates the nutritious cooked meal that they receive at TK2 and hasn’t missed a day of the programme. He is eager to accept the help on offer from teachers, social workers and the psychologist and gets on well with the other children.
And at TK2 Ionel has discovered his talent for percussion. “He likes playing the drums and is now very good at it,” says Adrian Popa, director of Blythswood’s work in western Romania. “He played in all our musicals and did so very ably.”