Women’s stories

Narcisa, 29

“I left because of grief. I had nothing to live on here. People got used to me there, they gave me money, they nursed me. I lived for one summer in Sweden until the school started. If they would see what conditions the kids were living in, the Child Protection would take them. I was sitting in front of the supermarket with a plastic cup in my hand. I was telling them: HI! HI! – and they would put as much as they wanted in my cup. I THREE BEBE (showing) and they would understand. They would ask me how old are the kids and I would count the fingers. They would bring clothes, pampers for my children. They would ask what I want to have from the supermarket and they would buy it for me. I want to go again but without the children. But I don’t have anyone to take care of them here in Romania.”

Narghita, 40

“I was in Italy, Norway, France, Denmark, England, Belgium. To Italy I went for the apple season. I worked in the orchard. In 2 days the apples would be red on one side and then we would inject them on the other side. I would take a bite but it had no taste. Then I went picking peanuts, picking mandarins. In England, I was a dishwasher in a restaurant but I stayed only for 6 months. I couldn’t take it anymore because of the love for my kids. Only in Norway I tried begging but I couldn’t. I was crying and couldn’t kneel, I had to stand up. I was sleeping on benches, at the train station. Then I found a caravan. I was so scared! It was an abandoned caravan, with syringes on the floor. I cleaned it and we started to live there. How lucky we are!, I thought. But during the night they came to put fire, with molotov cocktails, with stones, they were throwing stones. I was desperate to make money because I had to pay for the house. When the date was coming, they would take my house if I didn’t pay. When we went to France, we said that we were refugees from The Republic of Moldova. They gave us a shelter. I stayed for a couple of months there. When I saw the chimney smoke outside, I was getting crazy to go back home. Now we don’t want to leave anymore. It is hard to be away from home. We sell vegetables during the summer and my mother-in-law sends us all her money from Italy.”


Cipi, 37

“I was never abroad but I think about it because my husband is sick and he cannot work. This month, before the 20th, I want to go to Sweden. It would be great, if I found work. I wouldn’t have to beg. I pray to God to get a hag to wipe her ass, not to kneel down to beg. People are merciful there, that’s what I heard, they are not like the ones over here. If I make 300-400 crowns a day – it means 100 millions (old lei ~ 2220 EUR) for a month and we can build a house. I live in one room with my husband and 4 kids and the girls grew up now, they are 15 and 19, they want to wash, they want to change their clothes, their father cannot get out of the room all the time because he is sick. I am also afraid, what if someone picks up on me, what if something happens to me over there? This is why I pray to God to give me courage”