‘I feel feminine when I am confident’
Meet Maria. Maria dedicated a considerable part of her life to the care of the needy and feeding them. She is now 74 and in the course of her life, she has gathered a wealth of experience in working with people. She lived in times that were extremely difficult, but the hardships only made her stronger and more resilient.
‘A powerful woman always finds enough strength within herself to overcome the problems in her life. She overcomes obstacles and misfortune, because she looks for solutions. There is always a way out.’
‘I was born in 1947, just after WWII. Our country was in crisis. There was a famine and people were literally dying on the streets.* I had three siblings. My baby sister, she was the youngest at only one at the time, didn’t make it. There was just not enough food and she starved. To survive those years, we had to be strong. We learned how to fight and to stand strong.
I see myself as an ordinary person. I have simple needs and I am kind, attentive, honest and respectful. I have strong principles and I live my life according to those principles. I always keep my word. If I am uncertain whether I will be able to keep my word, I will not promise anything.
A strong woman can do anything – she looks after her house, she takes care of her children and she teaches them dignity and respect. Not only for themselves, but also for others.
I personally feel powerful when I am among people who share my opinions, who understand my values and what I teach them. I also feel strong when I can give people advice and help them with their needs. I feel weak when people don’t follow my advice.
I believe that femininity is a matter of attitude. First of all, your attitude towards yourself. I feel feminine when I am confident. I also feel feminine when people trust me, when I make my family happy and when they appreciate me. As a mother, a grandmother and as a woman. I did my best to teach my children the importance of obedience, love and respect for all people, for children and for adults.’
Maria studied at the Pedagogical State University. After she graduated, she worked at a boarding school in her home town for six years.
‘I had the best colleagues, we were an excellent team. Every team member had a tremendous impact on me, they made me a better person and a better teacher. Each of them inspired and motivated me. They were such good role models, I owe my teaching skills to them. I also worked as a methodologist in the local kindergarten and I taught the primary school children.’
Maria has been an educator for over 50 years. She worked in various public institutions – the boarding school, a kindergarten, a public school and the Pedagogical State University. During the last 20 years of her career, she had an active role in a student dormitory.
‘I truly enjoyed working with my students. We used to organise youth meetings and during those meetings, we discussed all kinds of topics that were of interest or important to the students. I always chose topics that encouraged the students to make the right life decisions.’
To this day, Maria still leads a group. This group consists of six grandmothers and they come together twice a week. The women enjoy each other’s company, talk about current events and just spend a good time together. They are very creative. They knit, crochet chair and they sew. The women donate the majority of their work to charities that work with children or the elderly.
‘My greatest wish is good health for my family. I hope that they will always be protected from any harm. I wish that my life’s work, the advice that I’ve given, my teaching, I hope that all that will be my legacy to younger women.’
*From mid-1946 to the winter of 1947 to 1948, there was a major famine in the Soviet Union. Moldova was one of the most affected regions, victim numbers in Moldova range from 115,000 to 300,000.
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