Alone father ended up in the poverty trap unjustifiably

Robert Rotaru was left alone with three children when his wife left him. Thus, he is barred from taking work outside the village and has unjustifiably ended up in poverty.


Rotaru worked abroad for many years. The income ensured the family a usable standard of living in the village, which means that they largely did not have to ask the public for help. But in the last year, life has changed dramatically for both the father of the family and Mirela (12), Lucian (9) and Eduard (5). The elder girl has married and moved out.

LOVE THE CHILDREN. - I love my children, they are the most important thing for me now, but I am also important to them, says the construction worker who occasionally manages to get small jobs in the local area so that he is always at home when the children are finished in kindergarten and school. Over the past year, Mirela has participated in the Adina Foundation's SFO twice a week and has long since revealed herself about a school-good and dexterous girl

The mother left her husband and children in 2015, and stays in the big city of Craiova a half hour drive away. Robert knows she works as a prostitute and is heavily intoxicated. The husband says that he has made several attempts to get his wife back home, but has now given up. He wants to divorce, but it is not an easy process for him to complete since a divorce involves two parties and costs money.

ADDICTED TO DRINKING. - I married my wife because I loved her, says a resigned husband who had to watch his wife become more and more addicted to drinking every time he came home.

For the past year, the family of four has had weekly visits from one of the volunteers in the Adina Foundation's New Start program. That means two hours of reading, cuddling and puzzles on the children's terms. Our social workers also visit the family regularly, and talk to the children at the after-school center and at the preschool. They know that Mirela is embarrassed about what her mother is doing, but her daughter never speaks negatively about her.

ORDER MAN. The father of three has order in his own house, a house of usable standard where he unfortunately does not get to make all the improvements because he now has neither money nor enough time. Indoors, everything is ironed and stacked. Husfar has pickled vegetables and fruit for the winter. In the basement there are glasses and bottles on joints. The self-produced is next to the cartons of flour and olive oil that he has received as pure emergency aid from the authorities and the EU system. It is not necessary to beg for a living in Romania. Robert also keeps a couple of pigs to secure the family meat for the winter.

Mirela (right) has taken after her father's sense of order. We join the 12-year-old in the tidy girls' room where the backpack and school books are ready for the next day. The creative girl shows us rings and earrings made of extremely simple materials and she has also sewn an entire collection of clothes and bags for the Barbie dolls. Color choices and cuts reveal imagination and creative joy.

MOTHER-IN-LAW FAILS. In Romania, it is very common for grandmothers to step in when families break up or need a helping hand when the adults have to travel to make money. Robert's mother-in-law consistently refuses to help him and his grandchildren so that the construction worker could have the opportunity to work a little more. The children's grandmother justifies her dismissive attitude with the fact that Robert is to blame for the daughter's drinking and that it has gone downhill with her.