Born in one room house with the hallway as a kitchen, Theodora started to discover life in a Roma neighborhood called Goldberich, the no entry place after 6pm in town, the place we started the ministry back in 1990.
Scandals, criminality, alcohol, prostitution and violence were the rules of the place.
The parents and the two girls slept in one bed, the room was to small for two beds.
Mom was cooking on the little gas stove supported by the gas bottle, they had on the table. The gas bottle would be replaced at the gasoline station every second week.
They were taken bath in the thin plate basin and bring water from the tap street corner. The toilet was on the very back yard.
Mom was away the whole day working extra hours on cleaning beside her job in the textile fabric. Father couldn’t work, he needed a heart surgery otherwise he would just have couple more years to live, but that was a lot of money they were not able to pay. Hardly could they pay for electricity, gas bottle and wood for the heat. And daily needs. The food and cloth packages from center were a big help for them. The girls could keep going to school.
I didn’t know the reason, Theodora’s mom Lena would have such sad look anytime I would see her. One day I took the courage to ask , her sad voice answered: “the life struggles, Ligia, my husband needs surgery , I want the girls to have a better life but I can’t help”.
We took the operation cost and Daniel the father received the surgery and now he is well. He still can’t work but he can cut the wood and be there for the family helping out.
The girls were in the ministry programs from kindergarten on, now both of them growing into beautiful teenager and young ladies. When asked what did she learned with us Theodora says:“ I learned that I can change my life and my future, if I work hard and go to school. Most of my friends gave up and had strange looks when I would come home with my backpack, they didn’t believe it’s possible to finish high school and it doesn’t help anyway if you do.
“You don’t need school to make money, be clever, who looks at you ? We are nobody, the “pimp” in the neighborhood can help you get good money, you look nice, don’t be stupid” the boys told me.“I want to become a teacher, like Lidia, my kindergarten teacher. I love children”, was Theodora’s response every time.
The effort pays back, today Theodora is studying second year at the University to become a primary school teacher. She is supported by our organization to do her studies. Much more she is a good role model for the younger kids that all is possible.