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Report on Economic Orphans in Moldova Takes Top Prize

Maria Barbanou (center) is raising two of her granddaughters while their mother, Maria’s daughter, is working in Italy.
WATCH ---> While Mother Works Abroad, Grandmother Tries To Fill Her Shoes

A unanimous pick by the judges, this documentary about economic orphans, produced for the Moldovan Service by Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow Irina Gotisan, tells its story without narration, supported by visuals and written translations of a grandmother's honest observations about the challenges families face when parents are forced to earn a living abroad.

Two girls from Buda, a small town near the Romanian border, are lucky in certain ways -- their mother, who works abroad as a housekeeper, remits enough money to provide them proper meals, nice clothes and school supplies. They live in a shabby yet spacious house with a yard and a dog to play with. The girls excel at school, and their proud grandmother doesn't mind taking care of them, but realizes that her own education is not sufficient to help them with their homework. "Children need parents," she sighs, lamenting that her daughter, the girls’ mother, is not returning any time soon. There are no opportunities in this country for her, and we understand the price that tens of thousands of women like her are paying for a better future for their children.