Oana, a mother of four in Romania, used to have a serious look that hardly ever led to a smile. A life of poverty taught her to live with her hardships and accept that her life would likely never change. So hope was out of the question.
Her husband, Lilian, works at minimum wage as a welder. Their family lived on his $250 a month.
Many families in their rural community, Vultureşti, rely on government poverty allowances for their survival. So to make ends meet, they buy cheap and unhealthy food.
Now, however, Oana has the courage to face her situation and is determined to change her family’s circumstance.
The difference: World Vision has empowered her to increase their income and provide nutritious food for her children through agriculture. Oana now takes advantage of their small piece of land with the knowledge and support World Vision is sharing with their community.
“[World Vision] took us to a family in Golăeşti and showed us how successful their project in Iasi has been,” Oana says. “That is what motivated me to be more involved and work closely with them.”
After borrowing $300 from friends and using $215 of their own money, Oana’s family bought a greenhouse and started to grow vegetables.
So far, they have sold a crop of tomatoes and peppers, generating $186.50 in additional income.
Hope for a brighter future
“I envision a bright future for [my children],” Oana says. “I really do hope that World Vision will help me develop my farming abilities [and help me to] generate more income for my children.”
Oana also uses vegetables she grows to make more nutritious meals for her family. She learned in World Vision’s healthy nutrition sessions about the importance of vitamins for her children’s growing bodies.
Oana’s helping to change the eating habits in the rest of the community, too. She is the Vice President of the Fruits and Vegetables Association of Vultureşti. With World Vision’s help, they have made labels for their jars of processed food. Oana is also one of the most active advocates for children’s education.
She has big ambitions for her future — starting a new greenhouse to increase production and helping more people from her community benefit from agriculture.
“The mentalities of the people are hard to change, and they still do not understand the benefits of working together,” Oana says.
She once needed some encouragement and knowledge to change her family’s circumstance. But with World Vision’s help, Oana now provides that same help to others in Vultureşti.