Naerata Ometi was approached by one of our supporters from Pärnumaa parish, who is very worried about a friend, a single mother named Jane (the name has been changed) who is raising three children alone. We contacted Jane to find out the seriousness of the problem and see how we could be of assistance to her.
Jane has three small children (aged 5, 7 and 8 years) and there is also a small dog in the family. Three years ago, the father left them and moved elsewhere. Since that time, Jane has been raising the children alone and trying to get by, as best as she can. She has been granted payments by the court, but her ex-husband has not been paying these on schedule.
One of her three children has ADHD and mood disorders. Jane has to go with him into therapy several times a week. This is why Jane cannot work five days a week. The young woman has been searching for different solutions that would allow her to set her own schedule and work non-contractually. She has done work as a cleaning lady and all kinds of menial labour, so that she could pay for her children’s schooling, kindergarten, hobbies and therapies.
Up until this year, she managed to get by and deal with everything independently. Suddenly, tragic events started to happen in the family (her sister lost a child and the two lost their father). These setbacks were so distressing to her that she was no longer able to work. She found herself in a hopeless state of mind and did not want to deal with the outside world anymore. Because she is not officially employed anywhere, she received no sick leave compensation.
From that point onward, her financial troubles started piling up. She took out a loan to cover for her payments, thinking that she would be able to get back up on her feet in a few months’ time: start working again and pay everything back as necessary. In August, however, she received a notice that her family must move out of their two-room rent apartment in September. The rent there was 300€ + 150€ for the utility bill.
Jane started looking for a new apartment to rent. The housing prices in Pärnu had become drastically high. The average apartment was 700€ rent + utilities. Another problem was that most landlords do not want to rent out apartments to families with small children and pets. “That was a really depressing time,” says Jane.
In the end, she managed to find an apartment that suited her family: 500€ rent + utilities. She had to give 1000€ as a deposit, of which she paid 500€ immediately and still has to pay 100€ monthly for five months. “This apartment is temporary for us, but it allows me to catch my breath at least, so we do not end up on the street,” says Jane. However, the bills have doubled in size, and the young woman finds herself in a bad situation where problems escalate.
She paid back her loan and asked for a new one immediately to cover for other payments. Despite all that had happened, she felt as if she could handle the situation – not allow herself to get demotivated and sink into depression, where she had been for years, but march on and try to get things in order.
Jane has not been able to buy anything for herself for three years now. But she does not complain, because her three lovely children are her top priority.
At the end of August, she became ill: throat pain, ear pain, cough, inflammation, weakness etc. For two weeks, she was in a really bad shape. She could not work and her financial problems kept adding up. Finally, she pushed herself to work while sick, so that she would at least have some money to buy food for her children. Eventually, she had to call an ambulance and she went to the emergency department, where they were initially unable to determine the cause of her illness.
She had throat and ear pain until the 24th of October, which meant that Jane was sick for 54 days. Her friend who had approached us thought that Jane was sick simply because of stress. Jane was examined by many doctors, but regrettably, everyone shrugged their hands. The coughing and pain did not subside. Finally, she had a camera check-up of her throat done at the ED and they were able to diagnose coronavirus. In addition to her, all her children had it too. Jane was forced to cancel all work and her wallet took yet another hit.
Her children need three times more food at home than during the days of kindergarten. As of today, Jane is over two thousand euros in debt. She receives her child benefit allowance on the 8th, in total 520€, but this is not enough to cover her 500€+100€+200€ apartment costs. The doctor said that they all have to stay at home for five days before they are allowed to resume their activities. They are all feeling very bad and weak. The kindergartner still has a strong cough. Jane works mostly in facilities with a lot of babies or disabled children. She also is still coughing really badly, and she has throat and lung pain. She has only two options: either go to work while sick and infect others in order to pay back 200€ of debt, or stay at home until she is cured and can continue working in full health.
The young woman has also contacted the local government. Because her salary is not under the subsistence level set by the government, they are unable to help. Jane says that Christmas presents have not even crossed her mind. She is struggling for food for her children.
We decided to turn to kind-hearted people for help and help the young mother and her three children.
Dear friends, we are asking you for the following:
- If anyone is able to rent out an affordably priced two-room apartment in Pärnu, Sindi or Paikuse that could house a mother, three children and a dog, please let us know.
- If anyone can donate preserves (food in jars), please let us know.
- If you can help financially, please do not hesitate to do so. At the moment, every euro is of great help.
We here at Naerata Ometi are searching for a debt counsellor for Jane, who could help her learn skills to minimize her dept situation and turn things around. We are also in contact with the food bank and trying to obtain food for the family. Additionally, we are working with other NGO-s to secure clothing.
Together we can achieve more.
How can you help financially?
9008810 – donate 10 euros
9008850 – donate 50 euros
Beneficiary: Naerata Ometi MTÜ
Information: Jane toetuseks
SMS to number 13013 write Naerata jane for donating 1,6 euros
SMS to number 13017 write Naerata jane for donating 3,2 euros
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