A day in my life:
Natalia Făureanu Social Worker, CCF Moldova
“What did you get for us today?” shouted six year-old Vasilică as I stepped on his doorstep. He gets very joyful when I bring him books, crayons and sweets. I met Vasilică and his older sister, Ecaterina, now aged seven, in 2015 when they were living in the orphanage in Bălți. I’ve believed in these beautiful children’s potential and their right to grow up with their mum, ever since.
DadI felt it was a huge injustice for Vasilică, then aged just three months, and his 14 month-old sister, Ecaterina, to be taken away from their mum Ana. They were separated because of poverty, the little boy’s disability and health problems, and homelessness (they were living in an annex which burned to the ground several times). What the authorities missed was Ana’s love for her children and determination to fight.
I knew for sure that growing up with their mum would give the children a beautiful life, but Ana needed a lot of support to raise them.
I joined the CCF Moldova team in 2014 as a social worker. With the team, I have managed to transform many lives, working personally with over 100 children and their families. The greatest thing is seeing children’s progress—the way they positively change from the moment they return home from institutions.
Both children spent two of their most formative years in the institution. Their mum visited whenever she could, trying to build a relationship with them and giving their lives a foundation beyond the confines of the institution.
The greatest thing is seeing children’s progress—the way they positively change from the moment they return home from institutions.
I helped Ana to resume her life. We bought them a small house, and helped Ana access all the social services and benefits available. I supported her with the legal process to bring the children back home. Their family life is totally different now: they are together and really happy. Every night the children go to bed listening to stories, read to them by their mum.
What we do brings change, spurs on the authorities and offers hope to parents who no longer saw it. Every working day is a new story, a story about a new life, which means a childhood spent in a loving family environment.
“I’m extremely happy to have all the children next to me, even if it is not always easy and every day is a challenge,” Ana told me. “I’m doing my best to meet all their needs. I don’t want to remember the days when Vasilică and Ecaterina were institutionalised. We avoid talking about it because it was really painful for all of us to be separated. Thank God and your organisation for your help! I don’t know what I would do without my children.”
Every working day is a new story, a story about a new life, which means a childhood spent in a loving family environment.
Back to my latest visit to the family. Vasilică proudly demonstrates how he gets out of bed all by himself. He shows me how he crawls around the house, building his independence. And he tells me what his mum read to him last night. Ecaterina, always the chatty one, shows me her speech therapy exercises and rhymes, and is getting ready to start school in September. All this is possible with their mum’s love, faith and patience.
On average if costs £299 to monitor and provide support to those families who have been reunited with their children. Donate now to help keep children together.