Sitar family is so poor that you do not dare to enter their home out of fear the house would fall onto you. Still, there are 5 souls under the roof of this house: 7 children aged between 6 and 17 live with their parents in conditions that are difficult to imagine. The children sleep in two broken beds, while the windows and the door of the house are seriously damaged.
The older children gave up school so they could help their parents. When mom and dad find some paid work in the village, the older children are the ones who take care of the household and the younger siblings. It seems like the children have grown up too early and instead of going to school and learn, they had to take the responsibilities of the adults.
The children’s father has a health issue, but still he is making great efforts and takes seasonal jobs. He speaks about the feelings of helplessness he is experiencing every time he is not accepted for a job due to his disabilities. Also, when he wanted to be hired at a cable factory situated in the area, he was refused because he lacked schooling.
„It is humiliating for me, as a father, to want to work, but to be rejected and see that I cannot offer more to my children. I can work almost everything, except I cannot squeeze my fingers towards the palm bridge.”
The income of the family consists of the social welfare and the children’s allowances. The father receives an amount of money for the seasonal work, but it is not enough to cover the needs of the family.
The parents say that because the financial problems are so great, they could not provide a birth certificate to the younger child, Adrian. Therefore he could not benefit from the state allowance and could not be enrolled in kindergarten, although he would have liked to attend the classes. Every morning he used to watch with sadness how the children from the village go to kindergarten or school by bus, except for him.
Hope and Homes for Children with the support of Farmexpert and Alphega Pharmacies included the family in the prevention programme, therefore the 9 members of Sitar family received the support they needed to remain together. Without this support the children were at risk to end up in state care.
First of all, the parents were advised to make all the necessary steps to register Adrian’s birth. Currently the child has a birth certificate and is happy to be able to attend school. He would like to catch up the time he missed classes because, he says: ”I am looking forward to go to school, to learn and to play with the children.” When the family got the birth certificate, they also received the state allowance for Adrian. He was also registered at the family doctor to be able to receive free medical care.
”It felt like a stone lifted from my heart. I was so upset I couldn’t t take Adrian to kindergarten. Everything changed ever since you came into our home. Thank you so much for all your help.” said Cornelia Sitar.
In order to improve the living conditions, the family received windows and a new door and all the expenses related to the transportation of these items and putting them into place were paid. The mother used to wash all the clothes of the members of the family by hand, therefore a washing machine was also purchased and donated to the family, to ease the mother’s job.
We purchased and donated bunk beds, mattresses, beddings and pajamas for the children. Also HHC Romania donated food, clothing, footwear, hygiene products, school items, toys and also the medicine prescribed by the doctor.
Hope and Homes for Children facilitated the communication of the parents with the local authorities to re-enroll the children in school and keep a constant connection with the teachers. Also they were offered counselling regarding the benefits of schooling for children and the importance to develop an active interest for education.
On the other hand, the parents were guided to start thinking about using the space around the house of the grandparents for gardening and also to raise poultry so that they have healthy food for themselves. Therefore the family will be supported to build a shelter for animals.
The father was also helped to find a job and get a classification for the disability he is having. He already received a recommendation to work as a dyer at a company, where besides his salary, he would get a settlement for transportation and accommodation when he would have to work in another county.
Currently the family is more serene and the children more happy. It meant a lot to them to have somebody by their side, to help them find a way out of that difficult situation. They already have plans for the future: the family is thinking about building a house of their own and are looking forward to put the first brick in place. They know that the day is not far away.
Due to the measures implemented by Hope and Homes for Children with the support of Farmexpert and Alphega Pharmacies, Sitar family managed to stay together during a very difficult period of their lives. In the future Hope and Homes for Children will continue to monitor the family and offer them the support they need.