© 2013 jmanresa

The return challenges children

Every year more than 1,200 kids return to Romania after a migration process.

By Ola Noureldin and Júlia Manresa

When the returning children come back to Romania they are not considered as equals by the ones who stayed. “The children will have to face again a lot of obstacles”,  Núria Fabra, a psychologist at the University of Barcelona stated. It would lead those children to integration and socialization problems. During the research the psychologist found that most of the children who came back to Romania suffer from psychological consequences, like depression.

The study reported that 10% of the children admitted have integration issues. While 17% suffer from moderate or serious emotional conditions such as sadness, fear and socialization difficulties.

“Now each one have their own life settled somewhere, if I come back I will feel like an intruder.” Diana Colta, a Romanian student who settled in Spain said that by time she started to lose touch with the people in Romania.

“I am transnational” from Júlia Manresa on Vimeo.

“Family is really important to me. “ Diana added.  It would be very hard to leave her family again  if they go, but its going to be way harder if she had to go back to Romania.

Having to go back would make her feel obliged to do something she doesn’t want to do. She said that she would fight for her stay. “There’s always side effects of being obliged to do things”.

She thinks about anorexia when referring to side effects. Diana went through a rough time when she was separated from her mother earlier in 2003. As her mother worked in Spain, she was living by herself in  Romania with the help of her relatives, there she developed her eating disorder.

“My family was broken,” Diana said. Even though anorexia had a part to do with her body dissatisfaction, she is aware that it got worse due to the fact that she was separated from her family very young.

Leaving home because of economic difficulties will always have a consequence, either psychological, emotional or cultural. As she said, “returning now will double the misery.”

Children left behind

After her experience, Diana believes in the importance of developing an infrastructure to help the children if their parents decided to leave. “I was in Romania by myself when I was 13 and its hard to get around, I needed someone in my life to talk to.” Diana said.

A place to stay in together for everyone with similar cases, a life tutor they can talk to if  help  is needed in school or in life in general are just a few examples she could come up with.

But at the same time, both Diana and the psychologist Núria Fabra emphasized that the government should not substitute the family role in supporting the children. What is important for the psychological well being of a child in that situation is someone who they can talk to for moral support.

After having left Diana once, Diana’s family doesn’t want to think about settling permanently in Romania. Even if her mum and her dad  end up in Romania in a few years time, a much stronger link than a map and a flag of Spain would be carried along. Diana would always be their link between the two countries.

 

 

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