Nicolae Poraico and his brother Grisha spent several years in a residential home for children with mental disabilities in the Republic of Moldova. Nicolae was diagnosed with a moderate intellectual disability and his brother with a severe intellectual disability. In 2010 Nicolae and Grisha reunited with their mother in the village of Lapusna. This was made possible with the assistance of the Community for All – Moldova programme, which is implemented by the Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association with financial support from the Open Society Mental Health Initiative and the Soros Foundation Moldova.
Perspective: I want good memories
By Nicolae Poraico
I was 11 when I went to the institution with my brother Grisha. I am now 16. Our mother sent us there because we did not have enough money to buy or rent a house, and she had to work nights. She came to see us often.
I do not remember the day I went to the institution. I even forgot some of my memories of being there, and I hope in time I will forget the other ones. I want new memories, good memories.
At holidays the food was good. It was also good on other days; we were fed four times a day. After eating I cleaned the kitchen.
The teachers taught us to recite poems and sing songs and showed us different games. I know a poem about Gigel, and two about Mother.
We had nap time from 1 to 4 p.m. I would not sleep: I laughed, talked to other boys. I put my head on the pillow, kept my eyes open and looked at the boys. We were all living in one room, all 16 boys from my class.
There was one boy, Victor. He worked in the kitchen. We went to the stadium nearby. He took just me to the stadium; he had bread and sour milk, and we ate together. When my mother took me and my brother home, Victor did not know as he was sleeping. He gave me his picture so I would not forget him, but I forgot it there.
Sometimes the staff beat us. I do not know why. They beat me so much with different sticks that my back was injured. I was not the only one. Other boys were injured, too. And some boys had knives. Some boys hit others, and sometimes I fought with them, with fists. What could I do? If I did not defend myself, they could kill me. They beat Grisha, but I defended him.
I didn’t want to stay there. If my mother had left us there, the administration could have sent us to different families and my mother would never find us. But I want to visit the institution, just to see Victor and take his phone number.
At home, it is very good. I now play with Colea, Igor and Dima. Here, nobody beats me. Sometimes we discuss problems with our mother and ask for advice. We get along very well and I go to school every day. I like physical education and Romanian language classes. I am glad I came here. I am happy that I am in Lapusna.