CERI’s Transitional Care program in Moldova is designed to provide teenagers graduating from the country’s orphanages with opportunities for a better life. One example of a teenager whose life was changed by this program is a young woman named Ecaterina. “Catea,” as she is called, was born an unwanted child and had a very rough childhood. Her mother has 3 children, each with different fathers. Catea has never met her father.
She and her older sister lived with their grandmother until Catea was in the 6th grade. At that time she went to live at an orphanage and boarding school in Chisinau. She was a hardworking student and earned high grades.
During her last year of schooling at the orphanage, Catea was introduced to CERI’s Transitional Care program. The CERI staff encouraged her to make the decision to continue her education after graduating from the orphanage and to participate in the program.
Catea chose to continue her studies at the National College of Commerce. This is when the challenges of independent life began for her. She had to work as a nanny at night for very low pay and as a promoter during the day after her classes to earn money to support herself. Her first year of college proved difficult with new classmates, new subject material, and the stress of balancing her studies with working two jobs. She had no emotional or monetary support at home, as her mother was consumed with alcoholism and did not take care of herself or her children. While struggling to make it through her first year of college and work, Catea even prepared meals for her mother and visited daily to feed her.
With the help and support of CERI, Catea finished that difficult first year of college and is now in her second year. This year has been easier for her, and she is thankful for the Transitional Care program where she was introduced to a supportive community and received monthly financial support, emotional support and encouragement from her sponsor and the CERI staff, and life skills training classes to help her be successful.
Catea already had the potential to succeed within her--she just needed the opportunity and some positive reinforcement along the way. Thank you for supporting this program and promising young adults like Catea! Your gifts make opportunities possible for them.