torsdag 17 mars 2016
Maria and Ismael outside their Caravan
Maria and Ismael belong to the roma minority in Romania. They have 12 children and many grandchildren. They live in a little house in a suburb to a larger Romanian town in the northeast part of the country. Their oldest children have since long married and moved out from the house and the youngest ones are teenagers and can take care of them self.
Maria and Ismael went to Sweden with the hope of finding a job. Even if Ismael and Maria are 53 and 61 years old they are quite fit for their age and has experience from working in factory and agriculture. But they didn’t find any work and like so many other romas they ended up as beggars on the streets of Sweden. Ismael didn't feel comfortable to beg for money from bypassers. He got a old accordion that he plays on and he also make handcrafted baskets of willow branches that he sells. He buys the branches of willow in Romania and bring them by car to Sweden.
Maria and Ismael use a small amount of the money to pay for their own expenses but they send home most of the money that they collect to their children and grandchildren in Romania. Maria and Ismaels dream is to build or buy a large house that will be the focal point for big family gatherings. A house where they can meet and socialize with their children and grandchildren.
Text and Photo: Mikael Good