Valentina is from a small village in southern Moldova. When she was young, she saw her mother taken in the night by traffickers. That was many years ago. She never saw her mother again. Her grandfather had to place her in an orphanage because he felt he could not care for her needs adequately. To deal with the pain of losing his daughter to traffickers and his granddaughter to the orphanage, he turned to alcohol. Valentina has lived most of her life in the orphanage. When she finished ninth grade, she was scared she would have nowhere to go. She found a place in a project and is now finishing 12th grade and has dreams to study education and one day open her own preschool center.
Ana is from a town in northern Moldova. Her parents disappeared when she was younger. She was raised in a children's home and thankfully had workers who loved her. When she reached ninth grade, the time of transition in Moldova, she found a place to stay and is studying to be a secretary. She has bigger dreams than this though, wanting to study foreign languages at university.
Trade school isn't always the best answer in Moldova. Young women are encouraged to attend professional schools and learn to sew, but, often times, they lack the credentials needed for further education and employment. Larissa finished sewing school last year and was disappointed at the lack of opportunities it brought because it was the equivalent of only 11th grade. After searching for months, she found a night school to attend to finish her high school education and pursue her dream of attending university. While the cost is of university tuition at $400 a year may seem low to others outside Moldova, the cost to a Moldovan is very high.