Life for young people in rural Moldova can be very dispiriting, with grinding poverty leading many young people to take big risks to get away. If your family is poor, your options for making an escape to a life with better prospects are very limited. High numbers of girls from these regions are exploited by criminals who know where to find people desperate enough to risk their future on a too-good-to-be-true offer.
Sofia* was able to resist the “offers” that came her way, but only just.
“My name is Sofia. I am 20 years old. I grew up in a small village in the South of Moldova, and my family didn’t have many opportunities in life. My future was very uncertain, and I faced many risks. My mom has a serious disability, and she raised my sisters and me on her own. It was tough, and we had to work hard to make ends meet. Me and my sisters worked in the fields since we were children, and later I worked at a petrol station to help our family. Despite the challenges, I always dreamed of a better life, but I didn’t know how to make it happen.
Then, I was introduced to the House of Opportunity in the nearby city of Comrat, and it changed my perspective on the future. The project provided me with the support and guidance I needed to overcome the obstacles in my life. Here I learnt new skills, gained confidence, and discovered new opportunities. One of the most significant things I learned was how to manage my emotions effectively. For me it was always difficult to say no to different requests, which sometimes were ambiguous.
At Urban Center Comrat, I started the “Way for Success” training course, and I learned to manage emotions and build open and safe relationships. It was something new to me because in our country, discussing the expression and management of feelings is not common. At first, I found it unnatural and unlikely to be effective in real-life situations. Talking about my feelings made me uncomfortable at first, but I later realised that it was beneficial to have conversations without raised voices. The most important thing was that my emotions didn’t build up, and after that, it was easier to breathe. I dream to become a simultaneous interpreter, so I also attend an English course at Urban Center.
The House of Opportunity has given me hope for a better future. I am grateful for the support I have received. I feel more confident and capable of achieving my dreams. With the skills and knowledge, I am gaining, I know that I can shape a better life for myself and my family.”
The House of Opportunity is currently home to Sofia and five other young women just like her. They all know about the offers that are too good to be true. But now they are taking advantage of the offer has been made by the House of Opportunity team in Comrat. And the truth about this offer is this – it’s not too good, but it is good.