Rebeca (27) is the oldest sister of the three Mociran children. Their mother died early this year and her siblings, 14 and 11, were left on their own. Because she didn’t want them to end up in state care, Rebeca and her partner chose to take care of them, in spite of the fact that they also have 3 children together – two girls an one boy, aged 7, 6 and 4 – and Rebeca is pregnant with their fourth child.
The family does not have a steady income apart from the children’s allowances and the welfare benefits, along with what the man earns by doing odd jobs in the village. These circumstances present a high risk both for Rebeca’s siblings and her own children of ending up in state care.
Rebeca, her partner and the 5 children live together in an adobe house, with a tin roof and no legal rights to it. Their home consists of 2 rooms and a hallway and is connected to the electricity network. However, it does not have running water, gas and drainage. On the inside, they have a stove in each room, three beds in total, a wardrobe and a table they use both for meals and as a desk for the three children who attend school: Rebeca’s siblings and her oldest child. The space was already small for Rebeca and her children and it became even smaller, now that her siblings moved in. Although they care about the needs of all children, Rebeca and her partner are having a difficult time coping with everyday needs: firewood, clothes and shoes for the children, money for transportation to and from school, school supplies for all children and food.
Hope and Homes for Children’s intervention, with support from City Insurance
The family’s home was rehabilitated and an extra room was added. Hope and Homes for Children, with support from City Insurance, purchased and donated all the building materials necessary for the construction and rehabilitation work: bricks, cement, nails, tin sheets, double-glazed window and door. The work was carried out with support from the local community. Hope and Homes for Children also purchased and donated the furniture necessary for the room – bed, wardrobe, table and chairs – along with other furniture items and accessories needed to improve the family’s overall living conditions.
Rebeca also received direct counselling and support on the proper medical care during her pregnancy, on maintaining children with the family and on the importance of formal education. She was also counseled on how to become her siblings’ legal guardian.
Due to the support provided by City Insurance as part of the programme to prevent the separation of children from their family implemented by Hope and Homes for Children, the family’s living conditions have considerably improved and the risk of separation significantly reduced. During the follow-up period, Hope and Homes for Children will continue to provide material support and counselling to the family, so that Rebeca, her siblings and her children can continue to remain the family they want to be.
Text by Sorina Moldovan