To be a single mother is a constant battle and, more often than not, Monica - a mother of 7 - has had the feeling that she cannot win this battle. Three of her children are grown up and no longer live with her, but the other four  - Irina (14), George (13) and twins Eugen and Doru (5) - remained in her care, once her divorce from the children’s father became final.

When Monica was still with her husband, the family lived in a rented place in Brașov County. The relationship between spouses had always been tense, with frequent episodes of both verbal and physical violence. Her children were Monica’s strength. Together with them, she learnt to face hardships, battles and fear. Not for one moment did she think about quitting – neither the battle, nor her children, especially not her children.  

After she got divorced, she had to rent a different home in Râșnov, as the rent in Brașov became too high for her income. She does not have a job and the family income consists of the children’s state allowances - 336 lei / month and the food provided weekly by a local NGO. She tried to look for solutions, to ask for help in order to avoid the institutionalization of her children, because she had no support from her extended family. This is how Monica and her four children drew the attention of the authorities and became part of the Hope and Homes for Children programme.

The local authorities supported her to apply for a council flat. She received a studio apartment, which needs renovation and repair.

Investment for decent living conditions in their new home

Hope and Homes for Children included the family in the programme to prevent the separation of children from their family in March of this year. Our specialists assessed the family’s situation and drew up a personalized intervention plan centered on the needs of the 5 family members.

In April, Monica received the council flat and Hope and Homes for Children decided to help the family and pay for both the renovation work and the rent and utilities for this new home.

In order to renovate the place, Hope and Homes for Children’s intervention plans includes purchasing the necessary materials (plaster, paint, bathroom tiles), paying for the work and purchasing furniture which would help the children do their homework. The plan also included paying the rent and utilities until the renovation is complete, donating clothes and shoes for all the children and paying the kindergarten fees for the twins.

Because the twins’ legal status is not clarified and they do not receive alimony from their father (he refused to recognize them as his children), Monica received counselling on how to legalize her children’s situation.

Another important part of the intervention plan is to support the mother in finding and maintaining employment.

Thanks to the measures implemented by Hope and Homes for Children with support from Farmexpert when Monica and her family were in a very difficult situation, the family will remain together. The mother is making all the efforts to keep her children with her. She attends counselling on a regular basis, both to overcome her problems more easily and to find employment and facilitate the children’s access to after-school services.

The family continues to needs support with paying the rent and utilities (in order to avoid eviction) and with the expenses related to hygiene supplies, food and preventing school abandonment.

Currently, the family has been included in our programme to prevent the separation of children from their family and the renovation work is underway. Hope and Homes for Children will continue to support the family until their condition is stable and Monica and her children will no longer be threatened by being separated. We will return with news about Monica and her children and we hope that soon, happy smiles will brighten the home of this struggling family!