Mara Matei


Everything can change in one day.

Mara Matei got married when she was only 19 years old. At first, she and her husband lived in her parents-in-law’s house. The house was not finished when they moved in, but year by year, with a lot of work, financial struggles and ambition, Mara managed to turn it into a beautiful home.

Six years later, Mara became the mother of a baby girl named Alexia. Mara was feeling fulfilled. She and her family were living in a welcoming house, her professional life was on a good path, and Alexia was growing up into a beautiful girl, bringing joy to her mother every day. But Mara’s life turned upside down the day Alexia’s father decided to leave his family. After the breakup, she lost the home for which she had worked so hard for so many years.

“I’ve lost all my work of 15 years. The house and everything that is in it – from furniture, to forks – is now used by my ex-husband, his girlfriend and her son, who is the same age as Alexia. The kid stays in Alexia’s bedroom and they are classmates, they see each other every day at school. I am the one paying the outstanding bank installments.  I still have to pay for another year and a half”, says Mara.

Since the divorce, Mara and Alexia have been living in Mara’s parents’ house. Mara’s biggest wish for her and her daughter is to have their own home, where they have enough space for the daily activities, where she can work on her professional projects, which make her so happy, and where Alexia can grow up and follow her dreams. It’s all that she needs: a place to call “home”.

You can read more about Mara and her work on the Habitat for Humanity construction site in Bacau, where volunteers and beneficiary families are working on the foundation of Mara’s and other families’ homes, on her personal blog: