A Long Absence: The effect of widespread economic migration on the people left behind. Tempted by opportunities in Russia and the EU, one in three Moldovans have migrated to seek work.
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Tempted by opportunities in Russia and the EU, one in three Moldovans have left the country to seek work. As communities back home struggle to cope with the exodus, where does the future for Moldova lie?
Since 2014, Moldovans have moved freely within the EU, prompting a sharp rise in economic migration. Raya is one of the 40,000 Moldovans supporting her family from France. "I’ve found cleaning work...that’s how I earn my daily bread", she says. The money earned by those like Raya now accounts for 25% of Moldova's GDP - "without money from abroad", says Raya's mother, "we wouldn’t be able to survive". Yet communities have been left desolate by the exodus, and child trafficking is rife amongst youngsters with absent parents. Dan, whose parents left him in a children's home to work abroad, is grateful: "It was more difficult before; we didn’t have any money at all. Now, since they went away, life seems easier". Yet with the future of migration in the EU unclear, will the sacrifice have been worthwhile?
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