Her whole life, Mirela has been living in the “Pirita”.
Pirita is a small slum in the outskirts of the city of Baia Mare, close to the sewage treatment plant. More than 50 families with close to 100 children live in unsanitary conditions in the hovels built on the site of the former refuse treatment plant, with no electricity or running water. Mirela is a single mother of two, a 10-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy who is in constant need of his mother’s attention because of a disability. In her wish to provide her children, especially the sick one, with better and safer living conditions, she left her packaging covered hovel, with no electricity or water, and accepted Hope and Homes for Children’s offer to relocate into a real house in the city centre.
Leaving Pirita was not easy for Mirela. With a heavy heart, but knowing this is the best decision for her children, she gathered her few belongings and children’s clothing in a couple of bags and rode in a neighbour’s carriage to the edge of Pirita There she met “Ms. Carmen”, a social worker for Hope and Homes for Children, who led her to her new home. No word was uttered throughout the journey, Mirela was noticeably emotional and on the verge of crying.
“Leaving this place is very hard for me, but I think about the children, especially about my little boy, who is sick. The hovel is very cold, no matter how much I light the fire. The floor is bare earth and there is a lot of humidity. As soon as snow melts, water comes in and stays until spring. It will be much better for the children, this is why we accepted to move”, said Mirela as she set for her new home.
Upon reaching the new dwelling, emotions overwhelmed her. She could still not get herself to believe she would be living in a “real” house. That she would have heating, warm water, furniture...
Her daughter, Aurelia, burst into happiness as she saw her new home and could not help but listing her surroundings filled with joy.
“I think that’s my bed because it has princess bed sheets, and the other, bigger bed is for my mother and brother. We have a TV, a fridge as well, toys and books, too. I like it a lot here. I also have a desk to do my homework”, said the girl.
Mirela’s life story did not lack hardships. She has not been a single day to school and cannot read or write. Having lost her father since she was a child, she got along by begging and other survival means, together with her mother, two brothers and three sisters.
She has been in contact with Hope and Homes for Children for a long time now, often asking for support after her child with disabilities was born. Throughout the time, she was helped and guided to become a personal caregiver for her son and received food coupons, clothing and shoes for her children .
Aurelia is in the fourth grade, and Hope and Homes for Children saw to her being transferred to a school close to the new home. Mirela is very proud that her daughter likes school and has quite good grades. They support each other, love each other and learn from each other something new every day. Mirela knows she has to provide her children with more, in order to help them have a better life than hers.
“Aurelia taught me to be a mother. Thanks to her I am a better mother every day”, said Mirela, proud of her daughter.
Hope and Homes for Children is taking steps for Mirela to take part in the programme A doua șansă “The second chance”, which would allow her to learn to read and write. Mirela is a very trustworthy and responsible mother, never missing the therapy sessions of her sick son. She takes care of the children, she loves tidiness and focuses on providing her children with good living conditions.
Mirela is thankful for every good thing that happened recently, for the home provided by Hope and Homes for Children for her and her children. The courage to start such a life for the children is a noteworthy example.
Text and photo: Sorina Moldovan