Franco Mararu is eleven years old, and has been living at the Korando Center for the past two years. He had a very difficult childhood before he came to live with Mama Dolfine. Franco was born outside of wedlock, and shortly after his birth his mother left him to live with his father. Unfortunately, Franco’s father was an alcoholic, and unable to provide for his basic needs, emotionally or physically. Franco sometimes went days on end without eating, and the lack of proper nutrition led to his retarded growth. In order to survive, Franco took odd jobs looking after other people’s animals and being paid small amounts to buy his own food. On the days he attended school, he was reliant on the kindness of his classmates’ families to share their food with him.
After hearing of his desperate situation, Mama Dolfine took Franco under her care to live at Korando. This was the beginning of a new life for Franco: at Korando he has found a loving home, three meals a day, and the opportunity to pursue his education full-time. Not only are his basic needs provided for, he is able to focus on his schooling and his ambitions for the future. Because of his struggles in early childhood, Franco is only in Grade 1 – five years behind the other students his age. Since arriving, Franco’s character and self-discipline have impressed the staff. Franco wishes to become a pilot, and dreams of someday giving back to other children in his community who have faced similar struggles.