Eugenia and Nadia are two sisters who live in a small village from the western Romania. They come from a large and deprived family, and the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought them even more worries.
The girls have seven more brothers, three of whom live with them and their parents, and the other four, from their father’s first marriage, are taken care by the state. The family wants to bring them home, where they belong, but the poverty didn’t let them to do it, so far. Honest and hardworking people, the parents work as day laborers and they can hardly find work. They raise and sell chickens in order to survive, but their needs are much higher than their income. The three-room house where the seven souls live – five children and their parents – is barely standing.
Eugenia is in the tenth grade, and Nadia in the eighth. Both of them are enrolled in the education program of United Way Romania. Despite the shortcomings, the girls perform very well in school, both are always praised by teachers and have an impeccable attitude. The pedagogue of the United Way Romania program has only words of praise about Eugenia, saying that she is very well raised and likes to study. Her grades are only 10, and the high school teachers urge the girls’ colleagues who do not understand something about certain subjects to ask Eugenia. What greater proof of dedication and commitment can there be?
Nadia has also only good grades, she likes to study and has an excellent attitude towards school.
Like thousands of other children in Romania, the Covid-19 pandemic brought a radical change in the sisters’ lives. After the schools’ closure, they continued to study at home. However, their resources are so limited that their old telephone hardly helped them connecting to online classes. Both sisters shared their mother’s old phone, and when the classes overlapped, one of them was forced to give up.
In the spring of this year, each one of the two sisters received, within the education program supported by United Way Romania, a smartphone, which helped them to participate to online classes and not have to share their mother’s old phone. The whole family’s joy can hardly be described in words. Such a financial effort would have been impossible for them. Now, the sisters have easier access to online lessons.
During these difficult times, when the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic leave deep traces, United Way Romania is close to the communities. We are constantly adapting our programs to the context of this unprecedented crisis and are identifying and respoding to the needs of children, families, youth and elderly from our programs. We know that only together we will be able to get through everything.