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SEE.ACT.CHANGE. The magazine of EYCE's Campaign "Break the Chains!" , december 2014


December 2014

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SEE. ACT. CHANGE. The magazine of EYCE's Campaign "Break the Chains!"

Break the Chains

Topics of the issue: 

Workshop for MO's

Recycle & Educate

Poverty Truth Commission

Child Poverty

Local Visits


Helping Hands

Walls, Walls, Walls

CAMPAIGN INTRODUCTION In 2012, 124.5 million people, or 24.8% of the population, in the EU-28 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Following this growing trend, the gap between the socio-economic classes is also increasing, bringing an alarming lack of development towards sustainability to the society as a whole. Poverty and the inequalities it raises affect health and mortality rates, abuse of substances, as well as mental health. The poverty in Europe needs to be dealt as seriously as global poverty, as this is a part of moving towards achieving the common goal of the eradication of poverty and aiming at a well being for every person. Therefore EYCE is launching a 3-year initiative “Break the Chains! A Campaign to Overcome Poverty”, which will take place all over Europe throughout the years 2014 – 2016. To be able to contribute to the eradication of poverty, the following objectives were set for the campaign: 

to explore and analyze mechanisms behind poverty from theological, political and social perspectives;

to identify social groups mostly affected by poverty and means to alleviate it;

to equip young people with tools and methods to combat poverty on the local, national, European and global scales;

to raise awareness on various forms of poverty;

to ensure the practical impact of the campaign activities on different levels.


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Campaign Agenda To be able to cover as many aspects as possible, the campaign is subdivided into three thematic years. Each year, a different aspect of poverty will be explored in-depth through international activities, publications, awareness raising materials, local initiatives. In 2014, the main focus are the mechanisms behind poverty; in 2015, the various faces of poverty; and in 2016, the impact of EYCE and its Member Organizations. Together with the events of the campaign, EYCE, as a whole, is preparing various activities for the upcoming 2015: 

from March 22nd to March 29th, “From vision to reality” will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia, and it aims at giving the opportunity to young people to develop methods of inclusive participation; from April 24th to April 27th, a capacity building for local promoters in the frameworks of EYCE's campaign “Break the Chains!”; from September 6th to September 13th, “Faces of Poverty” will take place in Manchester, United Kingdom, and it's a training course addressing poverty in the context of migration;

For National Correspondents, the 40th EYCE General Meeting will take place from October 19th to October 25th in Finland.

Campaign Coordination Team

In 2014 the main focus are the mechanisms behind poverty


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Campaign Workshops for EYCE's member organisations is an event that is organised every two years by EYCE. This year more than 20 young people gather in Sibiu, Romania on 17th - 20th October. In this meeting all member organisations of EYCE met to discuss about the future plans and visions of the organisation as well as get a capacity building training. Participants got knowledge about the mechanisms behind poverty through various stations that cause, sustain or consequence poverty. One of the aspects of the event were very fruitful discussions with participants about future plans of EYCE, how the work of campaign could be improved and also the potential support of the member organisations in terms of human resources and visibility. One of the highlights of the meeting was the inequality dinner, where participants in reality experienced the unfairness of division of wealth, and the issues related to that.

Campaign Workshops for EYCE's MO's When I was asked to write about my experiences during my 1st workshop for MO's I was a bit overstrained. How can I put all these impressions into words? While thinking about it, now 2 weeks after the meeting in the beautiful region „Siebenbürgen“ in Romania, i found three words describing the atmosphere I felt.

Personal impressions from workshop for MO's

My first thought was: ”As a participant from MO you have to be/come talkative”. Not only because you have to present your MO and what happened with it during the last period, but also the ideas of brainstorming, discussing, debating and giving feedback seemed to be the basis for our shared work. Only by expressing our feelings and thoughts we can make our common sense visible and shape our work. Secondly, I was deeply impressed by the beauty of the landscape we were surrounded by. On the horizon you could see the high mountains, which I was enjoying in every 5 minutes break we had. As I had never been to Romania in autumn before, I was so fascinated by all the yellow-orange forests and the small cottage we were Inequality dinner, modeling social relations. living in. Last but not least I felt very comfortable with the group of MO representatives and members of the different committees. Everyone was very open-minded, open for discussions and willing to share very personal experiences. That enriched my freetime enormously. Whatever mood I was in – there was always someone who shared that mood so I always found company for long walks in the village, small talk on the balcony or someone to drink a beer with. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you, make new friends, travel through Europe and be a part of your community.

Jana Hornick


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Input by Rev. Martin Johnston from the Church of Scotland

From 17th to 20th of October 2014, more than 20 young people from EYCE’s member organisations came together for a capacity building training in the framework of EYCE’s Campaign to Overcome Poverty “Break the Chains!”. In that occasion we had the opportunity to analyze the work of the National Correspondents and the EYCE for what concerns the communication between the two. It come out that in every case as MO we need to find new ways of communication, promote the EYCE in national events and promote its campaigns. During this weekend, we have also deepened the knowledge of the campaign "Break the Chains". These three days were very intense and I cannot but mention the valuable things we received. The speech of Rev. Martin Johnston, from the Church of Scotland, was very inspiring. He helped us to change our perspective and view. One of the best things he said was about fragility. He took the example of a beautiful, nice and delicate Chinese tea set. He told us that fragility is not a defect, a bad thing (as usually is considered) but a precious and valuable thing. He also asserted that we should fear the richness instead of the poverty, because it is richness that provokes poverty. Brief and intense, this weekend improved our skills of national correspondents and trained us for the campaign on poverty. It has been great to see again old friends and meet new ones. We also had the opportunity to thanks Kristine Jansone for all her work during these years and we hope she will, somehow, keep working for the Lord's vineyard.

Need for new communication channels between Member Organizations

Annamaria Notaristefano

“[...] we should fear the richness instead of the poverty [...]”


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“Every year, we are generating a total of 17.000 Euros [...] all the profits from the collection of papers are exclusively related to funding the educational project”

Recycle for Education Working together for social and environmental justice

In Lebanon, papers are considered as a waste and thrown out. Recycling is not yet a Lebanese habit; thus, we don’t have a good recycling system, given that paper recycling is a recent activity practiced nowadays in order to preserve natural resources. "Recycle for Education" is a recycling project that aims to save the environment and support the schooling program. We thought of promoting recycling for a social cause. This idea was embodied in a program launched by the Orthodox Youth Movement (OYM) – Lebanon in December 2010. Many volunteers get the leftover papers from offices, companies, and houses and send them to the recycling factory. Paper recycling covers various objectives, converging towards the sustainable development of society. Thus, its main purpose is to maintain a clean, healthy, and adequate life environment, knowing that the paper industry is one of the industries that consume most of the wood production, and many other resources, e.g. water, and electricity. This environmental concern is the key element of the recycling project. Also, the profit generated from selling the papers to the recycling factory contributes in the education of students that need help with their school tuitions for many years now. Hence, all the profits from the collection of papers are exclusively related to funding this educational project. Every year, we are generating a total of 17.000 Euros of Net Profit. This project is still in its blossoming phase, and it could be a step towards a larger project related to sorting garbage at the household level.

Mira Neaimeh


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Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission A NEW APPROACH TO TACKLING POVERTY The Poverty Truth Commission brings together some of Scotland’s key decision makers with those living at the sharp end of poverty. Its members work together towards overcoming poverty in Scotland; ensuring that those affected by decisions are central to decision-making. The Commission believes poverty will only be truly addressed when those who experience it first-hand are at the heart of the process. This new way of working came about as it became more and more obvious that government strategies and projects just weren’t getting to the true heart of the problem. The reality is that obscene poverty continues to dominate lives. The problem is that until we can engage with the experts – those who have direct experience of living in poverty – we cannot understand, let alone begin to address, the causes and symptoms of poverty. The motto of the PTC is:

“Nothing about – without us – is for us”. The Commission believes that until those who experience poverty are at the centre of solution-making, progress will not be made. At the same time, the creation and nurturing of relationships is key. Unless we rid ourselves of judgements and stereotypes, we can’t being to truly listen to one another. The PTC has a threefold strategy to ensure this happens: 1. Supporting people living in poverty to have the confidence to speak and people in positions of power to have the confidence to listen; 2. Supporting other organisations who would like to work in similar ways; 3. Using social media to share the stories of people living in poverty. This happens through Poverty Truth Conversations throughout the year, where decision makers and those who know what it’s like to experience poverty come together and engage in dialogue on the key issues. There are also monthly ‘Wee PTC Meetings’, which enable those living in poverty to share stories and experiences in a supportive environment. Across Europe poverty is manifested in different ways, and to different extents. In the UK some of the key themes at the moment are:  in-work poverty;  the costs of being poor;  Stigma;  welfare cuts. The PTC will continue to source opportunities for those with experience of these issues to be present at antipoverty events and strategic meetings throughout Scotland. Through doing this the hope is that as new relationships are forged, a new approach to addressing poverty is created – one that is long lasting and will lead to changed lives for thousands of people across Scotland.

Poverty Truth Commission


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Child Poverty, UNICEF report The influence of 2008 crisis on families and children

On October 28th 2014, UNICEF published a disturbing report on how the recent recession of 2008 has affected the children in rich countries. It shows that since 2008, 2.6 million more children have gotten under the poverty line in the most rich countries in the world. This report tracks the number of 15-24 years old who are not in education, employment and training (NEET). It also factors the Gallup World Poll data, which gathers information on people's perception of their economic status and their hopes for the future. It also considers the problem from the political point of view. While some governments provided a stimulus programme in the beginning of the crisis in order to protect the children, most of the countries studied in this report have changed their policy to budget cuts. This decision has negatively affected children, specifically in the Mediterranean region. It's also important to state what is child poverty. Since 2008, the percentage of households with children that are unable to afford meat, chicken or fish every second day has more than doubled in Estonia, Greece and Italy. Inability to cope with unexpected financial expenses has increased by almost 60 per cent, on average, in households with children in the 12 most affected countries. Children feel anxious and stressed when parents endure unemployment or income loss, and they suffer family downturns in subtle and painfully evident ways. Housing, a large part of every family’s budget, is one important indicator of poverty. Evictions, mortgage defaults and foreclosures all spiked in many countries affected by the recession. Such constraints at home have been compounded by weakened safety nets in healthcare, education and nutrition.


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The report has found some relevant facts about child poverty, listed below:  In 23 of the 41 countries analysed, child poverty has increased since 2008. In Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Greece and Iceland, rates rose by over 50 per cent. 

In Greece in 2012 median household incomes for families with children sank to 1998 levels – the equivalent of a loss of 14 years of income progress. By this measure Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain lost a decade; Iceland lost 9 years; and Italy, Hungary and Portugal lost 8.

The recession has hit 15-24 year old people especially hard, with the number of NEET rising dramatically in many countries. In the EU, 7.5 million young people (roughly the equivalent to the population of Switzerland) were classified as NEET in 2013.

In the United States, where extreme child poverty has increased more in this downturn than during the recession of 1982, social safety net measures provided important support to poor working families but were less effective for the extreme poor without jobs. Child poverty has increased in 34 out of 50 states since the start of the crisis. In 2012, 24.2 million children were living in poverty, a net increase of 1.7 million from 2008.

In 18 countries child poverty actually fell, sometimes markedly. Australia, Chile, Finland, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic reduced levels by around 30 per cent.

Remember that behind the dry figures there are real lives and tragedies

This data shows how much children in rich countries are struggling. Worse, they will be the one most affected by the decisions of today. We need to start working together to improve the future of the next generations, otherwise they will never be able to get out of this vicious cycle that is poverty.

Summary prepared by Michael Luis

UNICEF—The United Nations Children's Fund is a United Nations Program that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers. UNICEF raises funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies to keep children safe when they’re facing violence, disease, hunger, and the chaos of war and disaster.


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This article was originally published in the “Escape” magazine in Moldova, with the prior aim to raise awareness and prevent children from falling into the trap of human trafficking and abuse.


“Even my help could not prevent my parents from arguing about money, or to be precise, about the absence of money”

“My name is Sasha. I was born into a large family in the south of Moldova. I had a loving father, caring mother and three amazing brothers. As we lived in a small town it was quite challenging to find a job. My parents had to scrape by with seasonal jobs or odd jobs. Quite often we didn't have enough money for elementary needs. As I was the eldest sister I started helping my parents to provide at least something for our family. I was 14 years old when my mother started taking me to the homes of rich people to help her with the cleaning. I can say that I was happy in a way. But even my help could not prevent my parents from arguing about money, or to be precise, about the absence of money. Looking at my mother and father I was dreaming: "I will just grow up, find a good job, then they will stop arguing and will live well and freely". At nights I was praying and asking God to make it happen soon. Once a woman came to the town. She was describing how good her life was in Moscow, she started her own business and then came back as she needed young employees. She offered me the opportunity to come and work, she promised good money so that I could help my parents. When I listened to her I thought that my prayers were finally answered. The woman assured us and explained that it was not the first time she was hiring and she would arrange everything according to the law. My parents were very excited too and I agreed to join. That is how I came to Moscow and that is how this horror started. As soon as we arrived the woman vanished, some strangers were then trying to get back the money for our transportation and document expenses. When I was shown my room, I realized that I had been taken to a brothel.


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One cannot describe and express the horror I have experienced there. Sometimes I thought I was about to turn crazy. If we disobeyed the other girls and I were beaten or left without food. I was kept locked in one of the rooms. On the very first day I was raped by three men. I just turned fifteen and I had to serve from fifteen to twenty clients a day. This horror lasted for two years till the owner was finally arrested. I don’t know what my parents were doing: were they searching for me, did they think that I was dead? After I was freed I was sent to a crisis center to go through rehabilitation, to talk to psychiatrists and policemen. Only a year later I was able to come back home to Moldova. I won't tell you what was there - the story isn’t any less dramatic. Now I am 25, almost ten years have passed, but I remember everything as if it happened a day ago. The memories are hard and painful. “One should stay away from easy money. Free cheese is only found in the mousetrap...” I decided to share this story because every one of us can face such a problem. Unfortunately, that was not the only case of people's cruelty and greed. Being most vulnerable children and youth are easy prey. They easily swallow the bait of the recruiters, who cunningly gain confidence. Nowadays not only girls, but also boys are used for sexual services, begging and as donors for organs. Some children are just slaves, used for hard-work, forced to stay without any payments. Can anyone say: "It is not of concern, I don't care"? Then this is either a case of arrogance or indifference. If it does not relate to you today or tomorrow, it can strike another time and affect you or your relatives. And even if you are secure, think about the people living around you. It is not only about you. Remember, how many friends, acquaintances and class-mates you have. What about them? Any child is in the risk category. The market supply of minors is very wide. Those who carry out human-trafficking do not care about the feelings and experiences of children, they don't care that children want to be loved or cared for.

Lera Kazachenko

“I decided to share this story because every one of us can face such a problem”


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Local Visits– is a practical implementation of the campaign, when Campaign Coordination Team (CCT) meets members of local organizations, gets to know about the challenges of the work, tells about EYCE’s work, and when experience sharing takes place. The visit took place in October 2014, when CCT members visited Budapest, Chisinau and Bucharest to learn, teach and invest into relations with local partners.

Local Visits The adventures and work of the CCT during one week in Eastern Europe

On the 11th of October the participants of CCT started to gather for the local visit. The first to arrive to Budapest were Michael Luis and Maxim Kvyatkovskiy who were to care about the organization of transportation and materials for the workshops and meetings. Some materials were brought from Brussels (for example, promotion materials for the campaign "break the change" and leaflets about EYCE). The first day started with challenges, as carrental company rejected to provide a car because the route goes through Moldova and Romania (although the exact route was stated by the EYCE office during booking); the team had to find an alternative mean of transport for the whole period of local visits. Vendula Pavlikova and Anna Mallendar arrived the following day. On the 12 of October all four participants were ready to lead the first session and prepared the meeting at the rented conference room. However, none of the members of local organizations came to attend the meeting. It was quite a discouraging fact, since the confirmation to participate was received both via email and on phone and at least ten participants were expected. The time was used by the team to discuss the further plans, up-coming sessions and the following days of local visits. It should be noted for the future events, that the relations with the local and participating organizations should be more bounding, responsibility is expected from both sides, local organizations are to be briefed on relations with EYCE. On the evening of 13th of October the team left Budapest on a bus direction Chisinau, Moldova. It is also important to mention our impressions from the city of Budapest. Although we stayed less than 36 hours in the city, we realized what a contrast it is between the people visiting astonishing historical monuments and people living on the street just in front of those heritage buildings. The situation is similar to the other capitals of Western European countries. However, there was a distinct difference with Chisinau and Bucharest, where the people are, in general, poorer and the gap is not that striking.


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We arrived in Chisinau on October 13th afternoon, and once we found our accommodation, we decided to go for a small walk on the city. We kept discussing in how to improve our workshops and after a quiet dinner, we continued working on our local visits. On the morning of October 14th, we had a meeting with local organizations in the office of the Moldovan Christian Aid (MCA) in Chisinau. Four organizations sent representatives, including MCA. Life Without Limits is a youth group created in 2006, first focused on summer camps, where they would offer the possibility for kids from rural areas to meet and do activities together. It quickly evolved into a more bigger action. They created clubs in different cities, where teenagers would find a safe and comfortable place to discuss, to learn life skills and avoid personal problems. They focus on this target group because once older, the young adults leave for army or move abroad seeking work. Life Without Borders has been the witness of the rise of alcoholism and addiction among young people. This is explained by the fact their parents are abroad (to work for more money) and they miss the father/mother figure in their life. That's the reason LWB tries to create a community, not only in each individual club, but also interregional meeting. Yet, they encounter one big problem; they lack committed people to be the leader of each club, and they cannot reach their goal of making a club movement that could be spread abroad. Beginning of Life is a bigger organization, focused on teenagers. It started by dealing with women rights and abortion, but soon realized Church needed to be more active in the society. After noticing that Moldova lacks an entrepreneurial spirit and only 5% of money sent from abroad are invested, they decided to fight this issue, among a few others. They have rehabilitation and prevention centers, they raise awareness in schools about exploitation (sexual, psychological). They have also created a 2 years program called Way to Success. Every week, around 250 youngsters in groups of 15 to 20 people attend this program, where during the first year they learn about themselves and on the second about society (they also have to make a social project during this last year). Two or three Christians volunteers per group are also present, to give the teenagers the opportunity to also develop themselves spiritually. Once graduated, they are trained for business and social studies, and most of them become volunteers in the future. They still struggle with families that forbid their children to join the program because of religious and social beliefs.


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Moldovan Christian Aid is an organization working closely with Lutheran, Orthodox and Baptist Churches in different projects. These involve fighting against domestic violence, giving young adults the power to help the elderly in need, and empower them to fight social issues. They have a big support from the rural areas, where people trust the priest in the villages and are more eager to work together with other Churches. Youth for Christ is a more broad organization, with day centre for disabled children, a home for girls from difficult backgrounds, clubs for teenagers where they discuss society and religion. All these come from similar families background (alcohol, migration). YfC also works with more than 45 Churches, involving them in social issues and mobilizing them to reach young people. They have a few problems, financially at first, but also finding volunteers. They also struggle with a few churches that believe everything must happen inside the church. After a two hour discussion, a few ideas and problems common between the four organizations raised. First, they all agreed that in Moldova there is a problem with the business of poverty. Also, they fear that sometimes, the poor people won't want the help, or that this help will not be effective on the long term. They also wish their young people and volunteers could have more experiences abroad to learn more about other societies and other points of view. After the meeting with the local organizations, it was time to go for lunch. It was City's Day, so we enjoyed some local food. We also took this free time to visit the Church of St. Panteleimon, an Orthodox Church built in 1891. In the afternoon, seven people came to the MCA office for an afternoon of workshops. The first one, presented by Max and Vendy, was dedicated to the mechanisms of poverty: causes, consequences, and sustain. The second one, by Anna and Mika, was about advocacy. The participants were very active during these two workshops, sharing their experiences and points of view. They expressed the causes and problems surrounding poverty, and how they are working in raising awareness on this issue. Everyone left with a bigger understandings and tools. On the evening, we enjoyed again the celebration of City's Day, and we worked again during dinner time and after on how to improve our workshops, but also in the different sessions for the NC meeting the following weekend.


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The campaign coordination team came to Bucharest on Wednesday 15th October after long travelling from Chisinau in Moldova. In the evening they discovered the old town of Bucharest and prepared for the next very important day - 16th October - Sharewich Day. This European Action Day was created by the campaign coordination team itself. Day when people share sandwiches with other people, friends, colleagues or people in need. Besides this campaign coordination team was supposed to meet with local organisations, talk about the situation in the country in respect to poverty on national but also local level. And additionally provide them with workshops about mechanisms behind poverty and advocacy in order to equip them with tools how to encourage other young people to make a change in the society. Unfortunately the local organisations were not able to meet with the team which was a big shame for us. Hopefully next time they will be able to meet with the team. Sharewich day was one of the highlighted event happening throughout the entire week of local visits. That’s why campaign coordination team put a big emphasis on it. The idea of the action was mentioned above and another thought staying behind as well is solidarity action. Campaign coordination team bought already prepared sandwiches in order to share the food that people could “trust”. Then they bought also chocolates and water. Going around city and finding some people was not as easy as CCT thought. There showed up a funny quote: “When you want to find a homeless, there is none. But if you don’t look for them, they are everywhere.” , which has to be taken in a good way, of course. The idea of this quote was: “the poverty is really hidden”. If you open your eyes, you don’t have to always find it. That’s why we all should be aware of the fact. After some time CCT found homeless people and shared with them sandwiches, chocolates and water. They were very thankful for that. One of the men even started to praise the Lord crossing himself and saying Our father. You could see how people appreciate the help. Another touching moment was when CCT was in the Old town of Bucharest and found there some children begging for food. When they got it, started to eat it immediately. Stay in Bucharest was without any doubts moving and campaign coordination team got to known another face of the poverty from different aspects and backgrounds. Which will definitely will contribute to the second year of “Break the chains!” campaign where the interest will move to faces of poverty.

Campaign Coordination Team

Working together for social and environmental justice


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“I was young. I had two children. And I was happy. Now I realize it way better than before. However, I can't change anything now. My children have grown up. Life just passed by and I haven't realized where all these years have gone.” Aurika, the mother of Diana and Victor.


“With their parents alive, in a peaceful time they live like children of war”

Ed Moschitz is Austrian. Aurika works for his family as a housekeeper and she told him the story of her personal drama, which at the same time is a national tragedy of Moldova. From the time the independence of Moldova was declared one million people left the country. In a search of a better life people are leaving their homes and families. The villages of Moldova are dying out, houses staying empty. The population continues to shrink; around eight thousand people are leaving each year. Most Moldavians are in Russia – 61% of immigrants work there; 18% work in Italy, others in Turkey, Israel, Ukraine, Portugal and Greece. Thus children are left with grandmothers and grandfathers. Around 15% of the population now living in Moldova are retired. The pulse of life of people staying in country is now sustained only with the financial help from work immigrants, who try to compensate for their absence and love. When he heard about this tragedy Ed decided to tell people about the drama of Moldavians, making a film "Mama illegal". The filming lasted for more than 8 years. The director decided to depict lives of three women who went to Austria and Italy looking for a job and happiness. They work as housekeepers, cleaning homes of strangers, dreaming about a better life and are full of fears of being deported. Meanwhile their children in Moldova are brought up by fathers and relatives. As a result of thousands of similar stories there is a generation of social and economic orphans growing in Moldova. Diana and Victor, the children of Aurika, are also growing up as part of this generation. While their mother is away, they are the family and the closest to each other. Looking around Diana and Victor see kittens, lambs and chicken...their “mothers” are taking care of them. Observing these scenes they are thinking about their mother. They didn't see her for years. They miss their mother's warm hands, her gentle look, kind words. All the dreams of Diana and Victor are reduced to the desire to meet their mother.


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Their dear mum left home and went illegally crossing rivers and forests to a foreign country. She fled with a single wish and desire – to work for a proper life for her children. When she was packing her small suitcase, the whole family thought that they were happy enough in unity, love and close warm relationships. But the parents know better what happiness is and how to achieve it. That is why, gulping tears they were letting their mother go in search of a better life in a foreign country. They are not alone in their sorrow. Their classmates were also left alone, they live waiting for their mothers and fathers. The mothers of Nadja, Marianna and Katja work in Italy. Eugeniy's father is in Russia. Both Stepanida's father and mother are in Italy. Tamara's father is in Portugal. Vasiliy's and his friend's fathers work in Greece. Nastya's mother is in Austria. Almost every child in the village lives without one or two parents. They grew up too early and they learn too early how to cook, bake bread, do the laundry, clean, take care of the household, bring up younger brothers and sisters. Day after day they are waiting for their mothers to return, who work breaking their necks, doing the same things, but in the houses of strangers in a foreign country in order to earn a bit of money for their children. Fortunately, Diana and Victor started to respect the work of their mother and are no longer judging but are trying to be supportive. However, there are thousands of children in our country with similar lives. Some of them cannot bear the separation. From an early age they are drowning their grief in alcohol or even suicide. With their parents alive, in a peaceful time they live like children of war. Diana and Victor have already made up their minds – whatever happens they will never leave their children alone. Now, many years later, Aurika, their mother says that she should have stayed home with her family. But the past can't be transformed, only the attitude to the events can be changed. I lived as a whole family with my mother and father. Although we lived quite modestly, our family was rich in love, support and unity. Through the good times and through hardships we were together. Although I cannot fully understand the life of those children whose parents left to earn money, I hope sincerely that there will be times when our parents won't have to look for well-being outside of their homes and families; I pray that God blesses our country and the people living in Moldova.

Ekaterina Fortuna


#Sharewichday Every year, October 16th and 17th are the World Food Day and the International Day of Eradicating Poverty. The first was established by Food and Agriculture Organisation at its 20th General Conference in 1945. Observed in more than 150 countries every year, it aims at raising awareness of the problems behind hunger and poverty. The second was established in 1993 by the United Nation General Assembly, promoting awareness of the need to fight and eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries of the world. In the framework of the Campaign, EYCE has created the Sharewich Day, to be observed on those two days. For this event aiming at raising awareness on the current state of poverty in Europe and in the world, people were asked to prepare a sandwich, then share it with a friend or someone in need. The objective is not only to share a meal, but also to share experiences, stories, problems.

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Sharing a sandwich, experiencing community, expressing solidarity


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Our team of CCT travelling during their local visits also participated in this event. In the streets of Bucharest and Sibiu, Romania, they shared not only sandwiches, but also chocolate and water to homeless people, to children in need. Some were grateful for it, others didn't accept, stating they could not accept this food. It is interesting to see how they perceive poverty themselves. Some are ashamed to accept the help, because it denigrates them. Others can recognize that they need help and accept it with open arms.

This event intends to rise awareness to the current situation of poor people, but also to challenge personal views and opinions. It opens more questions about poverty: who is affected by it? Should we only help those we can see? How do we reach the invisible, those with no external signs of poverty? We are working hard to improve this event in the future and we would like to hear more experiences from people who participated in Sharewich Day.

Michael Luis


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Women to “get life coaching, lessons on building self esteem, lessons in personal hygiene and helping them to get their confidence back”.

Helping Hands

“It was amazing to see how much a simple haircut can change ”

This autumn ÆSKR (The Association of Church Youth Groups in the Reykjavik Deaneries) got a chance to take part in an amazing project with the Icelandic Church Aid and The Technical College in Reykjavík. A few students from the Hairdressing school of the College had an assignment to give their work for a few hours to a group of their own choosing. As it happens one of them is an active youth leader at her church and she had previously spoken to Bjarni Gíslason, the director of the Icelandic Church Aid, about setting up a project where she could get a few hairdressers together and give free haircuts to people with low income. She told her classmates about this idea and they immediately called ICA’s director of domestic help Vilborg Oddsdóttir. Vilborg told them that she was actually starting a group for women who live in poverty in Iceland where they would get life coaching, lessons on building self esteem, lessons in personal hygiene and helping them to get their confidence back in general. The students and Vilborg all agreed that this group would benefit the most from their help. They decided that on Sunday September 28th the women and their children would be invited to Church after mass where they could all get haircuts and tips on how to best take care of their hair.

The hairdressing students got a group from ÆSKR to come and help out by serving refreshments and providing games and entertainment for the kids so the mothers could relax and enjoy their haircut. They later found out that a few of the women were Muslims and wore a veil over their hair but were going to take them down so that they could get their hair cut. In order to make those women feel as comfortable as can bee it was decided to only get girls from ÆSKR to help out. Just in case the women were sensitive about a man seeing them without their veils.


Page 21 “both students and teenagers were so grateful for getting this opportunity to give back to the community”

Sunday the 28th arrived and all was set. The hairdressing students had made a pretty nice salon in one of the meeting rooms of the Church and the teenagers had made a nice café in the big hallway where cakes, coffee, candy and fruit punch was being served and games of all sorts were available for the kids. Two beauty supplies wholesales gave a lot of sample bottles of shampoo, conditioner, detangler, hair molding supplies and more so the homemade hair salon now had a shelf of supplies to put into goodie-bags for each family. Families started to arrive, mothers with children, some with up to five kids each. All got their hair cut beautifully and the students managed to give everyone all the time that they needed and more. All the little girls went out with their hair braided or curled and sprayed with glitter, all the boys had gel in their hair and looked like various famous football players. The mothers of girls got lessons in how to make simple yet beautiful hairstyles for their girls, all the ladies got their hair done, blow dried, straightened or whatever they desired and all stayed a long time in the cafeteria, talking, playing games with their kids and just having a good time. It was amazing to see how much a simple haircut can change. The change was especially visible on the only teenage boy that came to have his haircut with his mother. When he walked in his body language indicated that he would rather be anywhere else especially since some of the hairdressing students were only a few years older than he was and very cute girls. He was shy and didn’t really say much. After his haircut he held his head high and walked tall and talked openly to everyone there and was truly so happy with his new haircut. When you feel good about your appearance your confidence truly grows. And that is what all of this was about. All in all the day was a complete success and everyone present was smiling, laughing and having a wonderful time. The women and children that came were very grateful and everyone that gave their work, both students and teenagers were so grateful for getting this opportunity to give back to the community.

Jónína Eythorsdottir 1


Page 22

Walls, walls, walls. Compassion and dignity.

“How his face lights up, when metal manna falls into his dirty cup”

Every morning when I take the Subway to the city I meet that one man, who always stands on the same place and hopes that somebody will have pity with him and fill his dirty paper coffee cup with loose change. How his face lights up, when metal manna falls into his dirty cup. With these coins he will buy something to eat or get a warm cup of coffee to start his day like millions of other people all over the world.

I am not sure, but I think it’s because of ignorance and because it’s easier to put others into categories. Our social code tells us that as a worthy human being you have to be dressed in a specific way, have a job a home and a relationship. If somebody drifts from the norm that society holds up, then you can become different, perhaps freaky or an outcasts.

To be like all the other people who are not poor, is the greatest dream of the people in need, to have a roof over your head, something to fill your stomach with.

Why do we use so many stereotypes? Why do we always think in the moment a very poorly dressed person approaches us that they want to ask for money. Did you just believe that you don’t do so? Please think again. The main problem with poverty is that we take away human’s dignity. We don't trust people living in poverty or we are sometimes afraid of them. Another problem is our compassion. People in poverty don't need our compassion, they need somebody who puts something into their boxes.

If you give somebody a sandwich, you give him/her something to cure the pain in the his/her stomach, but you don't give him/her necessarily dignity or give him/her the feeling that he/ she is now a part of society. People living in poverty are not treated equal, they remain people of the 3-rd Class. Why do so many people still look down on others?


In a big Romanian city in the North of the country one mayor has build a wall to draw a border between the ,,normal people” living in the city and the Roma living in poverty in slums. There is not just this wall made out of bricks and cement. We have a wall in our head and minds too. This is the first wall that we have to tear down! This is a revolutionary act of solidarity and has many examples trough out history. For example in Jesus Christ 2000 years ago, he has chosen to be close to the people living behind these walls, the poor, the sick and the outcasts. Jesus helps us be equal in front of God, so why are we always proud of our differences? The world we are living in asks us to be as productive and perfect as possible otherwise you are not good enough.

Page 23

So we compare ourselves and put people into competition. And with this competition we set up standards, so people can fall below this standards and become outcast, weird and poor. I believe in the message that Jesus has given us, so I believe that we have to tear down these walls and the standards. I think that we have to remember that we are all equal in front of God and that His standards make us equal. They help us see each other in another light. And we need this light to overcome all the walls, the ones in our minds and the ones made of bricks.

Eva Ungvari

“We have a wall in our head and minds too. This is the first wall that we have to tear down!”

SEE.ACT.CHANGE. The magazine of EYCE's Campaign "Break the Chains!",december 2014 Imprint Published by Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe in the framework of the EYCE’s Campaign to Overcome Poverty. The campaign coordination team is looking forward to your contribution for the next issues! Please send your articles at Editing: Vendula Pavlikova, Michael Luis Proofreading: Anna Mallender, Fiona Buchanan Layout: Maxim Kvyatkovskiy Copyright: © Design and photos: EYCE This magazine has been published thanks to the support from the Council of Europe and Brot für die Welt.

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