Violeta and Mihail never imagined a future where they didn’t have a happy family. They married young and, had a son soon after, Artyom. It felt that with all the challenges they had faced before, nothing in their path would be too difficult to get through. Mihail suffered from an eyesight impairment because of the Chernobyl disaster.
Since then, they’ve had two daughters, Mylana and Zoryana, and the increased financial needs along with the stress of raising three children started to take its toll.
When Violeta and Mihail would talk to each other it was usually fighting. They fought over everything: over money, parenting, over their living circumstances. Artyom couldn't bear his parents' constant fighting and he withdrew himself and started refusing to go to school.
In February 2016, Violeta decided to seek help and learned of the family strengthening program at SOS Children's Villages. There she met Yelena, a social worker who recognized the young mother was on a verge of a breakdown.
"Psychological counselling for Violeta was the most important step at that point," Yelena explains. "We couldn't neglect the family's material needs, so we supplied diapers for the girls, hygienic packs and food for the entire family and school stationary for Artyom."
The quick reaction had immediate positive effect on Violeta's mental wellbeing and for the first time in years, she talked to her husband without fighting. The young parents made a joint decision to get help as a family and revive their dream of having a happy family.
They enrolled in every workshop they could. Mihail chose to attend the parenting skills classes and family art therapy while Violeta enrolled in a financial literacy course, women's health lectures and workshops for playing with children.
The two girls attended early childhood development groups and Artyom took English and computer literacy classes as well as group psychological sessions with his peers. Both girls additionally received speech therapy when it became clear they had trouble speaking.
All these services are provided by SOS Children's Villages free of charge which was extremely important for the family. "As a father I am grateful that my children got psychological counselling, speech therapy and early childhood development care. These services exist mainly in the private sector which we can't afford."
Violeta took charge of the family budget and economized their spending. Last year she managed to find a home-based part-time job as a website administrator and copywriter. Though both parents have part-time jobs the combined income made for small home improvements which boosted the confidence of the entire family.
The boy also changed his attitude towards school, improved his grades and started sharing with his parents. He became proud of his achievements and of his family.
Violeta closes: "In the evenings we make tea, play games and talk and laugh with our children. We love being together and we enjoy spending time with our children. This is all thanks to the help from SOS Children's Villages. We feel respected and can turn to SOS [Children's Villages] any time we need help. SOS Children's Villages needs to keep doing what they're doing for families like ours."
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