Kornelia, a divorced mother of three, lived with her children in a segregated Roma settlement known as Kortina, in the town of Ziar nad Hronom.
„My children and I used to live in Kortina and it was a disaster! About 400 people live there in make-do shacks. I was in one of those, no water, no electricity,” recalls Kornelia.
„We went through lots of harsh times there. The kids used to be ill all the time, many of their illnesses being a consequence of the cold and mouldy place and malnutrition. The older son neglected school but I did not pay attention to it. I had to deal with so many problems just to survive…“
“I had no money to buy basic foods, and I could only dream about fruit for my sick children. I received no subsistence allowance, did not even know where and how to apply for it“.
It was field social workers who offered their help.
With hindsight, Kornelia recalls: „I felt lonely, depressed and desperate. Then field social workers came to me with their offer to join other parents and try to change myself. I looked forward to every meeting and tried hard to use the new information in my own life.”
Kornelia’s life really began to change.
„I changed my way of thinking, my approach to life and to my duties. I realised it was mainly me who is responsible for my children. I began attending to them, getting them vaccinated, taking them to their regular medical checks. I am now in a council flat and I plan on participating in an activation programme for the unemployed. I want to thank social workers for giving me a chance to start a new life!”
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(The name has been changed.)