"I found the courage to make myself happy"
The story of Ramona Constantin is one of adversity, personal dilemma and courage.
Her journey from an abandoned housewife in Romania, where she was known as Elvira, to an award winning member of the Manchester community, spawned the book “Elvira and Me”, a joint work by Ramona and Ciara Leeming, a Manchester journalist.
Ramona insists that the onus lies with the Roma to improve their situation wherever they are, and that “change has to start with us.”
She continued: “We have to make ourselves more respectable. Where one person does something good, and 100 do bad, people won’t notice the good.”
When asked about what life would be like if she returned to her native Romania, Ramona foresees a simple life.
“If the family is traditional, there is no chance of a Romani woman building a career in Romania.”
“If I went back it would be essential for me, as a Romani woman, to have more kids. I thought I would have four or five kids. Then they would have their won kids and all my life would be about kids.”
Read the full article "Ramona: The Two Lives of One Romani Woman" here - http://romediafoundation.
Video and photos: Copyright Ciara Leeming