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Those Faraways Mothers

Romanian and Bulgarian women who work in Italian, Spanish, and German fields, where fruits and vegetables sold throughout Europe are grown, leave their children at home with their grandmothers for months at a time.

When their mothers are far away, boys and girls become “white orphans.” Save The Children recently published a report that shows more than half a million children in Romania alone had one parent emigrate abroad.

Missing their mothers is difficult, especially for long periods of time. Bulgarian and Romanian teachers and administrators talk about sadness that can turn into anger.

Some students have difficulty concentrating in class and risk dropping out. When adolescence arrives, some turn to alcohol or other psychotropics for consolation.

Being away from their children is also exhausting and painful for mothers. In order to give their children a better future, they intend to leave the country where they live because there are no opportunities for them. As a result of stress, psychological and psychiatric disorders.

Those Faraway Mothers chronicles intensive agriculture’s effects on women from Eastern countries. The reportage was shot in Calabria, Sicily, Basilicata, Apulia, Romania and Bulgaria, with interviews with laborers, psychologists, historians, unionists, teachers and principals.

The photos were published by Al Jazeera, IrpiMedia and Action Aid.