Why digital inclusion matters: a smile regained (GOW2014 Romania)

Searching a smile that was lost

Once upon a time there was a smiling wife, mother of five children and grandmother of a cute little girl. Although neither her nor her husband ever had a  full-time job, they managed to get by trhough working in the field and in the household. Their priority was to keep the family united and to raise their children the best they could.

One day, Lenuş’s husband had an accident and could not work anyomre. From that day nothing was the same …

Lenuş  lost her smile …

Silvia Lungu, Lenuş, as the acquaintances know her, is 38 years old. She lives on state support and from the little money earned from working in the gardens of her neighbours. Ion, her eldest son dropped out of school. Nicoleta, one of her daughters, “went to live with some relatives”, in Sibiu in order to continue her education. Flori, the eldest daughter of Lenuş, left for Spain in search of a better life.

“How can a computer help me? " Lenuş said with suspicion. " I did not attend many school courses, I do not know how to use it”. Repeating this sentence, with sad eyes and burning cheeks, Lenuş however agreed to enter the library, responding to my invitation: ”Get Online!”

Despite her pessimism, I persuaded her to access the internet … in search of lost smile. Messenger and Facebook have immediately transformed her expression from sadness to joy:

“Oh my God, there’s Nicoleta … I haven’t seen her from last summer… how beautiful she is! And she has won awards at her high school.”

“… oh, and there is Flori with my granddaughter… how grown up she is!”

The information from the Vâlcea County Employment Agency gave her hope that the CVs she  submitted online for a job as landscaping and groundkeeping worker for her and, acan mechanic for Ion, her son, will bring them their first regular full-time employment.

Lenuş then came another day to the library and proudly announced:

“Since yesterday Ion went to work … the employer accepted him! He saw that he knows how  to work with car engines. And the day after tomorrow I am going to sit for the practical test with the landscaping company.”

Silvia smiled, and rushed on the Internet to give the news to her girls, to see how are they doing and if they left her any messages.

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