Serenata, Otley

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Tell us a bit about yourself. 
I am 26 years old and I am from a small village in Romania.

Why did you come to the UK?
I came here about a year ago because Romania is not a good place for living. You cannot live on the money that you get there. I came for a better life for my children. There are some things I miss about Romania, but all of my family are here in the UK and this is my home.

‘This is my home now. My children’s home. It is a good place here’

Do you enjoy selling the magazine?
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t when it is raining. It would be nice to be somewhere where there is a roof. I have been selling the magazine for just under a year to make some money. I don’t have enough money to buy nappies and things like that. I have four children – three boys and one girl. The oldest is 12 and the youngest is one.

What was your childhood like?
My childhood was good. I went to school but not for too long. I was married when I was 13 and at 14 I had my daughter. It is common for women to marry young in our culture. It’s up to the parents when their children marry. But I loved my husband and I decided to marry. My husband works and he looks after the children. He is a good man.

Would you let your daughter marry so young?
My daughter is at school and I would not let her marry at that age. She can marry when she wants to. I want her to finish school and choose who she wants to marry when she is ready.

Do you worry about Brexit?
Yes, I do worry. I think about my children. I have nowhere else to go. This is my home now. My children’s home. It is a good place here. The schools here are good. I worry about my children’s education.

What makes you happy?
God makes me happy. As long as my family is well, that they are not sick or anything, then I am happy.

Can you speak much English?
I understand a few words of English, but until I came to the UK I didn’t know any English at all. My children teach me some words now
and they sometimes speak English at home and they watch a lot of television.

What do you do in your spare time?
On many days I come home late because I am selling the magazine, but when I am not working I cook, look after the children and clean the house. There is not much free time.

What do you hope for in the future?
I hope my children will have work, have a good education and a good life.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you. You are very kind people. I hope you come every week to buy a magazine from me.

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