Nasca (29) grew up in a Roma community in incredible poverty. Like many young Roma girls, she thought she could run away from her problems by getting married. It didn’t help that her relationship with her father deteriorated in her teens. A young man named Mario seemed like the answer to her hopes – and together they were convinced that once married, things would get better.
At first, all was well. Unlike many young people from the Roma community, Nasca and Mario had finished their secondary education, and could read and write. They believed that if they worked hard, they could see their dreams come to pass.
“When it was just my husband and I, we managed OK and things were fine,” Nasca said.
“But when we had our two boys and two became four, things got worse. There was never enough money. Clothes for the children and nappies for the baby had to be bought, and medicine because the children were often ill. Electricity and water bills were rising, and we couldn't manage to pay for everything. The children wore the same clothes all the time; there was no way I could change them, and it was especially difficult with Atanas (the baby). Babies get dirty a lot.”
Fortunately for this family, Mission Without Borders works in their area, supporting families living in poverty and helping them become self-sufficient. Staff member Spaska started visiting Nasca and Mario and their children, four-year-old Christian and baby Atanas, on a regular basis.
ABOVE: Nasca holding 4 year old Christian, with MWB coordinator Spaska
Like many families in the area, they live in poor conditions in an old two-room house. Their bathroom and toilet are outside, and to take a bath, they have to heat water on a stove. Keeping two children clean makes everything even more challenging. Spaska encouraged them to enroll in MWB’s Families-in-Crisis (sponsorship) program, and explained about the material and spiritual support they would receive.
Mario (26) said, “At first we were very skeptical because we’ve always relied on ourselves. We couldn't even count on our parents for anything, but when we received the first package of food from MWB, the first pair of shoes, we really felt cared for and much more secure.”
“One day our child became seriously ill. Somehow Spaska found out about the situation and came home to pick us up and take us to the hospital. Not only did she do that, but she bought the medicine my son needed."
"No one had done anything like that for us before.”