We visit the room family in their block of flats on the outskirts of Craiova. Angelica is happy with the apartment, but admits that it is cold and expensive to stay here in the winter. Then an awful lot of money is spent on heating, and the apartment is at least made for 11 people to live here, the mother thinks. Therefore, they are working on building a new and more spacious house. The family has received help from Norwegian helpers, but construction is slow when funds are limited.
You quickly sense that Angelica Constatin (42) is the boss of the house. She is a fighter, and it spreads to the children. Decent but strict work plans have been made for which of the children will help with what on a daily basis. School work has a high priority in the whole family. Education is the key to a safer life, the mother believes. The youngest go to middle school and the two oldest to high school.
And the children deliver results the mother is rightly proud of, we read from the numbers in the grade book. One of the daughters - Adina-Maria (17), is part of the education program of the Fundatia Adina Foundation. She struggles with epilepsy, and occasionally needs an extra helping hand with schoolwork.
It is completely inappropriate for the adult mother and the rest of this space family to give up the principles of honest work and education, even if they are affected by serious incidents - such as when one of the boys died 12 years old after becoming infected with HIV. Now mother Angelica and the eldest son are at work, while the father in the house is looking for work. It is not easy to get a steady income in today's Romania, but the attitude is never to give up.
Cosmin-Florian (15) is clear on what he will focus on after school. - Car mechanic because then it is possible to get a job, he says firmly.
We ask the family if they are considering leaving the country as many of Romania's Roma do. Angelica says that she would like to travel to make money if she had the opportunity, but today this is not relevant. - And I will never start begging, neither in Romania nor abroad, she says. Her husband does not rule out that he will go out, but only if he has a job to go to. He has previously been a seasonal worker on farms in several European countries, something he enjoyed very much.