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First hand stories

Dessie: “The greatest happiness is the family!”

At first look Dessie looks fragile and vulnerable young lady. However, it is enough to spend a few minutes in her company, in order to find out the fighter in her. In the struggles and difficulties which life has presented her with, she sees the opportunity to mature as a personality and to become steadier.

Strength to fight is given to her by the two little angels who God gave her. When she speaks about them her eyes get watery: “I am fully aware that they are the ones who in the most difficult times have given me strength to stand up and say: ‘I can’t be weak because my children need me! They are everything to me! I thank God for having them because every day I see how wonderful they are, and how much happiness they bring to me!” Dessie’s life is not lacking difficulties. Especially during the last two years when she has to raise her two girls, age 5 and 3, on her own.

“I live at a rented home with my two children and my two sisters, who are teenagers and who I also look after – tells us the 27 year old woman. – It is very difficult since I am not in the category of “single mothers”, although I raise them by myself. I don’t have the right for neither government aid, nor a home from the municipality since I am not officially married and the children are not formally acknowledged. Besides, there is a business registered on my name that is not functioning and I need 300 levs to close it down. I applied a few times for social aids but with no success. First time for one time aid for my rent and bills and was denied because of the business. The maternity aid has helped me a lot – at least the bills were secured. At this time it is more complicated but every difficulty passes away. I don’t want to dig deeper and worry too much because it doesn’t help me at all. I simply follow one goal; I walk and believe that everything else is going to fall into place. I know, it is going to be hard but that’s how we became steadier and mature.”

The reason Dessie looks alone after her children is that her husband is at the Prison compound in Kazichene. Although it is hard to talk about it she shares with us: “He made a mistake and was sentenced to two years imprisonment. They almost passed. There are only two months left but at the end is the most difficult. It is not nice to make mistakes. However, there are mistakes that you make and then you have to take the consequences and never do them again. When you make the mistakes the cup overflows at a point. This moment came to us and we had to take the consequences. The things that took place are not pleasant but at their expense we found ourselves, found the way to the right relations. We are only blessed by all of that.”

To Dessie this period of her life is shaken to the very core not only because of the financial difficulties but mostly for being separated with her husband and the absence of the man’s support at raising the children. Even though her husband went astray she didn’t stop supporting him. Ï believe that when you are with somebody you are with him for the good and the bad. It is very easy to say “It is over!” However, a person can change when you forgive him, when he feels loved. I am not perfect myself but he accepts just as I am. We are a family and the best decision of get out of any situation is to stick together and support each other.”

In this hard time of trials Dessie receives the support from Mission Salvation Foundation, which for many years has been working with imprisoned people and helps their families. “I was given a job but it was during the winter and my children were often getting sick. That’s why I had to quit” – tells us the young lady. For the girls is provided free attendance at the kinder garden which is part of the Culture and educational center “The Palace of the Happy People”, ran by an NGO. “They very much help my husband. During all his time Ivodor Kovachev had been visiting him in Kazichene, spending time with him. It is important to know that there is someone you can call and ask for advice or ask for help. To me, the most important is the attitude and the attention we receive. Two years ago when this horrible thing happened in our lives we received a lot of understanding from everyone without any judgment. The attitude of Ivodor Kovachev, his wife and the people around us was like the one Christ had shown. Just as God has mercy and forgives us, so we are to forgive those who made a mistake and to show them love in order to change. And truly, I received from them an attitude which greatly affected my condition in such a heavy moment.”

Just like any other person, Dessie has stored up dreams for the future in her heart. During the pregnancy with the younger daughter the young lady has completed a class for interior design through one of the European programs at the Unemployment office. Now she dreams of having her own interior design studio: “I very much like the small details. I like furbishing and decorating. This is work that attracts me. I have always wanted to do something that I will like and will put my love and talent in it. I very much hope and pray, now, after my maternity is over, to be able to start and find my place and work in this direction.” The other big dream that Dessie has is to start a foundation for children who suffered violence. The reason is that she herself has had this problem and knows well what the consequences are. “I know that it is hard to deal with it alone. Violence can hurt not only the body but also the psyche of a child. That’s why my longing is to work with these children and to show them they are loved and appreciated. I want to heal everything in them, to help them erase the past and to have a better life”, shares Dessie.