Viorel sits in front of his house playing with his dog, whilst waiting for his mother, Geta, who has is gone into the village to get some sawdust for the heat. His father, Ioan, hasn’t come back yet from the factory where he works. Cristian, the big brother, is still at school in Beius, in town, because in their village there isn’t a high school and he just finished primary school. Today he’s staying on at school after hours because he’s also taking some computer classes after regular classes have finished for day. Sometimes he dreams of having his own personal computer like some of his classmates.
Geta can now be seen arriving home, pulling a cart along the potholed road. The cart contains two sacks of sawdust, just enough for two days of heat for the single room where the entire family live. The room is very small, hardly enough space for two beds, a wardrobe, a table with two chairs. In a corner is the heat: a barrel with 3 legs.
The house is old and delapidated, it have just two rooms, but they warm only one to save what money they have. This room is used as a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a livingroom. On the same table they cook, they eat, the children study and do their homework. The toilet is in the back of the house, in the garden, and when they wash they do it in a wash tub in the same room (see above). Their only source of water is the well, that Ioan dug in the yard.
“My biggest wish would be to have a bathroom, because I don’t want to wash outside anymore, especialy in the winter time when it’s very cold”, said Geta.
Geta was born with a handicap. Paralysed on the left side of her body, she struggled throughout her childhood for more than 10 years. After lots of different treatments she had 90% of movement back. Attending a special school for children with disabilities in Iasi, meant that she was on the opposite corner of the country from her parents. On completing school, she worked in a factory in Beius, but after just two years she had to retire because of illness. Now she recieves a monthly pension of just 1 million lei (30 USD), but this money is too little for for a family to live on and so she must work in the village for food. However the other villagers also don’t have enough money, so they pay her with food for the children and some seed. With some chickens in the yard outside the house, the family has some eggs and then at holidays (Easter/Christmas) they also have some meat.
Ioan is the one who brings some money home. He’s worked since he was a child. When he was just two years old, his parents separated. Ioan and his brother were then raised by his grandfather, in a single roomed house. Their grandfather was a widower, but he tried to take care of children as best he knew.
Because the Heredea family needs milk for the children, they bought a cow. But after a few years the cow became ill, no longer produced milk and died. More bad luck was on its way, as the house caught fire and the roof was destroyed. Ioan rebuilt it by himself, but due to lack of money he had to use some of the wood that had not burned entirely. They don’t have land other than the piece of garden around their house.
The children are growing and Ioan and Geta wish that the children could have a better life than they had.
“Our life is very hard, but we haven’t lost hope. We are glad because we have beautiful, healthy children. Cristi is almost 12 and this year started high school and I bought him his first new tracksuit as I didn’t want him to be embarrassed at school. He love mathematics and technology, is very friendly and has a dream to oneday have a computer. Viorel is 9 years old and goes to school here in the village. He is a little shy, but he is a good student”, says Geta. “I would do anything for my children, for them to have their own room, and for them to be able to hold their heads high and not be embarrassed in the community. Its not right for them to live in poverty like we’ve done in the past. My wife and I have tried to find a solution, but without help we can’t do it. Thanks to Casa Draga Casa we now have that chance”, said Ioan.