All in this together

All in this together

CERI helps youth across the globe through sponsorships. Child sponsorships help create lasting relationships across the world while ensuring youth have the support and resources they need to develop into resilient young adults.

The following is Eugeniu’s story. A powerful testimony reminding us that we are all connected, and that love, and friendship can change lives.

My name is Eugeniu. I was born in Chisinau, Moldova, into a family where my mom fulfilled the responsibilities of both a mother and a father. I had a very difficult childhood. When I was only two years old, my mom took me to an institution where I would spend five days and nights every week.

On Fridays, my mom would pick me up and take me home. Well, not actually a real “home,” because it was actually “anywhere”. Wherever we found a place to sleep, with a roof to protect against rain or snow, we called “home.” This is what my life looked like until I turned seven, when my mom decided to take me to an orphanage.

I don’t remember my first year at the orphanage, but I do remember the first summer. At the end of the school year, all the children were taken to a summer camp outside the city. That summer, I learned about a new nation.

A group of Americans was volunteering at our camp. One day, I met two sisters – Rebekah and Jessica Beasley. They became my friends, and that summer, we spent an unforgettable time. At the end of the summer, Rebekah and Jessica gave me some news that would, though I didn’t know it at the time, change my life.

They decided to become my CERI sponsors.

Jessica and Rebekah Beasley meeting Eugeniu (7) for the first time

After that summer, Rebekah and Jessica, together with their parents and friends, came to our orphanage’s summer camp every year.

The best week of the summer was the week they were there. I felt like I had a family.

I knew somebody was there for me, to love me, and support me.

During the school year, I wrote the sisters letters. The summer of 2008 was the last summer I saw them. Rebekah married and started a family. The Beasleys kept sending me emails and letters and pictures from every special event they had. They considered me part of their family.

In the spring of 2012, I went to technical college in Moldova. While I was pursuing my Physical Education degree, I enrolled in CERI’s Transitional Care Program.

I learned life skills, volunteered in the community, and gradually worked toward my own independence.

All through this, the Beasleys were my sponsors.

Eugeniu volunteering in his community

Four years later, I earned my diploma and applied for a scholarship in neighboring Romania and am now a student in the Physical Education and Mountain Sports Department. When I learned that Rebekah was coming back to Moldova, I could not believe I would be seeing her after 10 years!

I flew to Moldova to see Rebekah. I was unsure if we would be able to connect and relate like we had before, but all my fears vanished the moment I saw her. Though it had been ten years, we picked up right back where we left off and spent the next several hours talking and crying.

Michael and Rebekah (Beasley) Haynes with Eugeniu in Moldova in 2018

This is my story.

With CERI’s help together with child sponsorship, not only have I achieved independence, but I have found a path to an education that can help further my plans and life goals.

CERI sponsorships work. A child’s life can change from the investment you make in a child sponsorship.