Winter in Moldova is hard for people living in desperate need. Already living in harsh conditions, without enough warm clothing, firewood or food, the freezing temperatures make an already difficult life unbearable. Children walk to school in the bitter cold without proper footwear; icy winds slash through broken windows, and there is no central heating or firewood to make homes safe from the elements.
The Apostoliuc family in Moldova lives in an unfinished house they are building themselves. There is Gheorghe, 31, Cristina, 27, and their children, 11-year-old Marius, four-year-old Silvia, and baby Amedeia.
The family lives in two rooms, one where everyone sleeps and the second, a living and cooking space with a basin where they wash. There is no central heating, running water, bathroom, or inside toilet.
Gheorghe said, "Every day, we must carry water from the well for drinking, cooking, and washing. We have to walk about a kilometer to get to the well – it's not close to the house. I use the cart when we need to collect a lot of water, and other times I walk. My son Marius also helps carry water, but he's still a child, so he can only carry a six-liter bottle at the most. We're doing our best to deal with our situation."
Cristina uses a manual machine to wash the clothes. She said, "It's not easy, but I'm glad Marius helps me with the housework, and Silvia gets very involved when I cook."
The Apostoliucs are a hard-working family. Cristina is at home with the children, and Gheorghe takes on jobs wherever he can in the village. All in all, the Apostoliucs' monthly income is barely enough to cover their basic needs.