Alina lives in a slum outside Paris. Being Roma, she has to deal with a lot of discrimination. That sometimes makes it hard to figure out who she is. One thing she knows: “I’m going to do something with my life.”
Alina moved out of her parents’ home in Romania at the age of 15. She got pregnant shortly after, but had trouble raising her two sons herself. She had to leave them with her family in Romania as she was moving from country to country. She’s now settled in a Roma camp on the outskirts of Paris. But Alina and the rest of her community live in constant fear: The French authorities evicted more than 21,000 Roma from their homes in 2013 alone and, as if that’s not enough, Roma face discrimination from locals. One passerby in Paris told Life Links reporter Gönna: “It’s a disgrace to have them here.”
Despite the terrible conditions at the camp, the Roma try to keep their spirits up. And Alina also keeps herself busy by volunteering for a Roma organization helping to improve the long-terms prospects for young people. Her ultimate dream is it to start a new life in the United States and not be associated with any stereotypes anymore.