Viorica is the mother of three lively boys, nine-year-old Dumitru, seven-year-old Vasile, and two-year-old Grigore – and she and her family live in deep poverty in Cantemir, Moldova. Bread has become a luxury to them, like so many other foods, because of the rise in prices and the parents’ struggle to secure well-paid work.
The family lives in a small, old house that lacks basic living conditions. They don't have a bathroom; instead of a shower, they use a basin filled with warm water. The house is not connected to any water or gas supply. They use firewood for cooking and carry water in buckets from the village well.
The family all cram together in the same room. The children’s play area is under the table. Each toy is carefully stored, and Viorica has put some blankets on the floor to keep it cozy.
At lunchtime, the children gather around to eat. Viorica usually serves them porridge, which they frequently comment about. "Mum, are we ever going to have meat again sometime?" they ask.
Viorica appears worn out as she struggles to fulfill her children's basic needs. Her face reflects her worry and frustration as she is unable to provide them with the food they desire. She feels that her sons have been exposed to the harsh reality of poverty at a very young age.
This Christmas, she and her husband are anxious about their financial situation because food and firewood prices have soared. Despite their difficulties, she and Grigore support their children as best they can, and the family atmosphere is loving and friendly.
However, Vasile, Dumitru, and Grigore feel different from the other children they know from the village and school, and Dumitru – who is the eldest – has little hope for the future.
He said sadly, “To be honest, I don’t know what I want to become when I grow up.”
Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Moldova firmly believes that these boys have a promising future – and that with support and encouragement, it will be bright. Vasile, Dumitru, and Grigore are each enrolled in MWB’s child sponsorship programme. They receive ongoing support from Boris, the local staff member, who visits them regularly, encourages them in their school work, and offers them practical help.
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