Vika A.

Vika Ariko, 16 years old, the orphanage in Grozovo.

Вика Арико

My name is Vika. I am 16 years old. I would like to say a couple of words about my past. My mother was in prison for 2 years. During that time I was adapted by a foster family. When my mother came out, I returned back home. It was really hard time leaving with her. She did not want to go to work, so we did not have money to pay our bills. I even could not eat at school because we also did not have money for that. Later, she got a boyfriend Sergey. We moved to his place. Everything was good in the beginning, but later it was a lot of conflicts and arguments between them. Sometimes he told us to leave his house. My relationship with my mother became even worse. Every time she was not in the mood, she would beat me up. If I was trying to protect myself, her boyfriend was always on my mother’s side. He also was abusive. I felt very miserable and lonely. I felt nobody could understand me what I was going through at the time. I was trying to find someone who could help me. I told my teachers at school, but no one believed me. Every time we had someone from social service visiting us, my mother would clean the house, she would cook dinner, and she would always pretend like she loved me. Everything looked perfect. It made them think that I was trying to attract everyone’s attention or that I was crazy.

During the summer time I used to go to the forest and collect berries and then sell them. That is how I had money to live. Once my neighbor advised to keep some money, so I could buy something to prepare for school. My mother and her boyfriend did not like that idea; they wanted to take all my money. When I tried to keep some money to myself, I was beaten up again. I escaped and went to my neighbor. She listened to me; she gave me a cup of tea, and called the police. When they came, they decided to send me to a foster, and then later they sent me to Grozovsky orphanage. I am living there now.  My dream is to graduate from the orphanage and to get a good education.

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