JAN 2023: THRIVE, NOT JUST SURVIVE
Winter in Moldova is a tough time for people living in poverty. Already dealing with harsh conditions, without 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 Apostoliucs live in a house not yet finished, that they are building themselves. There is husband & father Gheorghe (31), his wife Cristina (27), and their children – Marius (11), Silvia (4), 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, no running water, no bathroom, and no inside toilet.
Gheorghe said, “Every day we 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; 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 this situation.”
Cristina uses a manual machine to wash their clothes. She said, "It's not easy, but Marius helps with housework, and Silvia helps with cooking.”
The Apostoliucs are a hard-working family, Cristina at home with the children and Gheorghe taking on jobs wherever he can in the village. At one time, they bred rabbits but it proved too expensive to continue because of the rising cost of rabbit food. All in all, their monthly income is barely enough to cover the family’s basic needs.
Despite their poverty, Cristina is grateful for their home and for her children’s health. She said, “The greatest joy is that we now have our own place, our own home. It may be small and there is a lot still to do, but it is ours.”
She added, “One day, Marius had an asthma attack. I was very scared – it was the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
For those living in extreme poverty, health scares can be terrifying, as there is no financial safety net when things go wrong. And every change of season brings fear … less work is available in winter, higher costs to pay in terms of heating & clothing, and surviving each day is a battle.
Fortunately, the Apostoliucs are now enrolled in Mission Without Borders’ “Families-in-Crisis” (sponsorship) program. MWB is supporting the family to move towards more financial stability and security, and they are receiving practical help—like heating supplies & warm clothing—to get them safely through the winter.