Viorica is the mother of three lively boys, nine-year-old Dumitru, seven-year-old Vasile, and two-year-old Grigore – and she and her family live in deep poverty in Cantemir, Moldova.
Bread has become a luxury to them, like so many other foods, because of the rise in prices and the parents’ struggle to secure well-paid work.
The family live in a small, old house that lacks basic living conditions. They don't have a bathroom, and instead of a shower, they use a basin filled with warm water. The house is not connected to any water or gas supply. They use firewood for cooking, and they carry water in buckets from the village well.
The family all cram together in the same room. The children’s play area is under the table. Here each toy is carefully stored, and Viorica has put some blankets on the floor to keep it cozy.
When lunch is ready, the children gather round to eat. Usually, Viorica gives the children porridge for lunch, but they often ask her, “Mum, are we ever going to have meat again sometime?”
Help bring joy to a family in need this Christmas
Grigore and one of his favorite toys, his stuffed monkey
The mother is worn down by the struggle to meet her children’s basic needs, her face expressing worry and frustration that she can’t give them the food they want. She feels that her boys have been exposed to the harsh reality of poverty from too young an age.
This Christmas, she and her husband are especially worried about their financial situation because of the way food and firewood prices have soared. Despite the difficulties they face, she and Grigore support their children as best they can, and the family atmosphere is loving and friendly