From an insalubrious house to a fully-furbished household, a family with six children are on their way to a brighter future.
We love bringing hope. We love to see how the involvement and dedication of the Hope and Homes for Children social workers help those in need. One of our success stories comes from the Mercaș family. A mother who has given birth to six children and has always done her best to care for them. Her inability to do more for her children has taken her through hard times. Help finally came, and today we are happy to see that the family has put the hard times behind and is walking on with hope and determination.
Sleeping amongst the rats
The local media wrote about the troubles of this mother and her children. She was married, but she no longer lived with her husband, because of their many fights due to his drinking problem. She tried to file for divorce, but the procedure was never finalized. The biggest challenge was living in a derelict building, on the outskirts of the town, where the two small rooms were always invaded by rats and the dampness and the heavy smell pervaded the entire place. The mother and children were afraid that the rats would bite at night, while they were sleeping. The children’s social allowance was not enough to cover food and utilities, so the Mercaș family accumulated heavy debts for outstanding electricity bills. The mother felt miserable about not being able to care better for the little ones. Due to their financial difficulties, the older son could not attend school corresponding to his age. Furthermore, the woman is severely short-sighted, so unable to find a job. Having to spend so much time with the children and lacking adequate support, she did not manage to go to a doctor’s office to become certified as a disabled person. She found everything very difficult to manage, and whenever one of the children was ill, her worries tormented her. She confessed that a particularly difficult period had been brought about by her middle son feeling often restless and not being able to sleep at night. Quite often, she couldn’t provide her children with proper food and clothing. Destitute and without hope, the mother admits that, often enough, she was one step away from abandoning her children. She couldn’t stand seeing them suffer. They were completely at other people’s mercy and, although she wanted to do more, she didn’t know how.
An action plan for a better life
The priority was to keep the children within the family, so the Hope and Homes for Children intervention focused on measures to help the mother get over their current status. Her anxiety levels were quite high, so she received counselling. She started to feel better understood and to gain self-confidence. She regained her trust. She then received help with certification as a disabled person, as well as for other complex medical investigations, including dental X-rays.
At the same time, Hope and Homes for Children helped the family by providing food and clothing for everyone, they covered the formalities to include them in the guaranteed minimum income programme, they paid the outstanding bills and they helped finalise the divorce. The children were all sent to school according to their age and they received everything they needed for studying. Las but not least, the Foundation started the process of getting the family subsidized accommodation.
For a while, everything went well. Then, the mother started an affair with another man, and the result was another child. Unfortunately, all the old problems came rushing back in. Her new partner left her on hearing she was pregnant. The family was again unable to pay the bills and the rent for the subsidized house. The debts started to pile. We had the mother receive counselling again, focusing on her need to assume responsibility for the payment of maintenance and rent expenses. With difficulty, she managed to cover some of the debts by herself, and Hope and Homes for Children covered the rest. Receiving the guidance she needed, the mother obtained the welfare benefits for her youngest. Again, with the help of the Foundation, the three school-aged children managed to make it on the first day of school with everything they needed for the new year.
The problem of the outstanding bills pestered them once again. Hope and Homes for Children came to the family’s support once more. The family of a local priest joined the effort of enabling the children to stay with the family and bought a house in a village nearby. The new house is surrounded by a large garden, a vineyard and an orchard. The promise of being allowed to live there indeterminately, without having to pay rent and maintenance, came as a godsent. The mother and her children were overwhelmed with happiness, they could hardly believe it was all real and didn’t even know how to react.
The children started attending the local school. Hope and Homes for Children continued to provide food, to cover the costs of medical investigations and medicine whenever necessary, both for the mother and for the children.
The house was connected to the gas, water and sewage networks. The house was renovated and repaired, the bathroom was fitted, the walls were painted. It was also Hope and Homes for Children that purchased the home appliances: washing machine, cooker, fridge, as well as the kitchen furniture, beds and other furniture items. The well in the yard was sanitized and the animal stables were renovated. The mother also received chickens. She promised to attend to the household, to contribute to feeding the children, to caring for them and the household. She promised to be grateful and multiply the gift she had received.
And multiply it all she did. She was helped to get everything she needed for the garden, the tools, the seeds and the seedlings. They had fresh vegetables all summer long: tomatoes, green onions, carrots, parsley, lettuce, potatoes and many other. We were happy to see the mother so much in control. Together with her children, she manages the household and takes care of everything. They keep pigs, hens, turkeys and a cow with a calf. They also have a dog, which they all love. They are finally happy and tranquil in the house they have always wanted. They can now start having wishes, as wishes no longer seem impossible.