Mothers with newborn babies are frequent visitors to the newly opened medical clinic for refugees and migrants. Here, they seek advice and help to care while they are hosted in Chisinau at the Refugee Accommodation Centre. The female medical doctor provides them an opportunity for the critical “first contact" and medical examination, and gives the parent needed comfort, reassurance, and essential security.
Two healthy boys were born here just a short while ago. Their parents are seeking asylum in Moldova - one couple is from Tajikistan and another from Burundi - both having left their countries of origin and those of transit due to political reasons, instability and in the case of Mariam*, due to the lack of acceptance of mixed marriages as she is of Uzbek origin and her husband Tajik.
In 2022, Mariam and her family were living and working in Moscow, Russia. She was studying there and planning to work as a barista. Life then had some sense, she recalls. But insecurity, fear and pressure after the war in Ukraine broke out made them decide to leave, also not least as Mariam was pregnant. Of all the countries to which they could have travelled without a visa, Moldova was the one in which it seemed easier to seek asylum. In April, soon after arriving in Chisinau, their son was born. Now, all they want is a safe place for him to grow up.
"I dedicate most of my day to taking care of my one-month-old son. My husband is employed, and occasionally, we venture out for a short walk near the centre to get some fresh air. That means a lot. It's challenging to remain within four walls throughout the day."
A woman from Burundi, Mona* hosted at the Centre, has two children, one of them a baby boy just two months old. She struggled to make a living back home in Burundi. Insecurity and political persecution later made her flee and seek international refuge, joining approximately 331,000 Burundian refugees residing in other countries as of April 2022.
Mona has been living with her family in the Chisinau Refugee Accommodation Centre for nearly a year. In this challenging situation, having a doctor to care for her baby and provide emotional support for a mother of two children is an invaluable source of assistance.
Both women were provided with hygiene and baby kits as part of a new intervention introduced recently by DRC at the Refugee Accommodation Centre in Chisinau.
*Name changed to protect the identity of the interviewee