Alina is one of the many Romanian teenagers who became mothers too soon

Her daughter, Raluca, was born in 2012, when Alina was only 15 years old – which led to their being separated. Alina was pregnant as the result of an affair with a young man, also a minor, who did not recognise the paternity of the child. Alina’s father did not support her and did not have the resources for bringing up and caring for a newborn. This is why the future mother went to live in a mother&baby centre for eight months, before delivering Raluca. The baby girl was placed into care until Alina would be 18.

Marked by her mother having abandoned her when she was only six months old, leaving her in the care of her father, Alina decided not to give up on her daughter. She decided she was not going to be the kind of mother who abandons her children. So, she visited Raluca all the time, she was permanently interested in her life and, in 2016, when she was 18 years old, she initiated the proceedings for being reunited with her daughter. For this to become reality, Alina needed a proper job and a place to live. She met a responsible, hard-working young man and they moved in together in the house he had inherited from his parents. They got married and he became her source of support and, most importantly, a father to her young daughter.

Hope and Homes for Children was notified about the situation of the Popescu family by the Iași General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC). In February 2017, a Foundation team went to the village where they lived to observe their living conditions. The adobe house was old, very small, it had a kitchen and a bedroom; the house was very clean and kept in perfect order by Alina. But the house was very degraded, it was too broken down to resist even the winter snow, so it was a danger to the family. They had no home appliances, not even a stove and they were not connected to the electricity network, a neighbour was sharing his own. Alina’s husband had managed to lay the foundation for a new house but, because their income was very small, he was unable to go on with the building.

In less than one year, Hope and Homes for Children managed to provide all the necessary construction materials and the new house was finished. It was also with the support of Hope and Homes for Children that the new house was fitted with electrical appliances, a washing machine, furniture, a wood stove and many other basic supplies.

Raluca will be 6 in March. She is a happy, energetic child, enjoying every day at kindergarten and at home. Since there is no risk to have the house fall down on them, which had been their greatest worry, Raluca will live in a safe, warm, cosy environment, with her mother; she will live a happy life in the arms of the one who brought her into the world.