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Tell us about yourself.
I am from Romania, near Bucharest. I came to England in 2008 and I am 26 years old.

“People in Birkenhead are nice. They ask how my children are.”

Why did you come to the UK?
I came here because my country is bad. I didn’t have any job in my country – anyone who comes to the UK from Romania will tell you that. I came here because I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have anything. I came here for myself and for my babies. I have three girls and one boy. My eldest is seven years old. My youngest is two.

Do you have any other family?
I am married but my husband lives in Romania. I live here with my aunty. She helps look after my babies. My mum died earlier this year, just after Christmas. She was 44. I have 10 brothers and sisters but they all live in Romania with my father.

Did you miss Romania?
I miss my brothers and sisters but I don’t miss Romania. This is my home.

What was your childhood like in Romania?
It was bad. Life was hard. I didn’t go to school in Romania, I didn’t like it. I like it now for my children though. It’s important for them, because they are happy and I want them to be OK.

Why do you sell Big Issue North?
I sell the magazine because I don’t have any other job. This is my job and I’ve been doing it for five years. I use the money I make to pay my rent, buy food and look after my babies.

What makes you sad?
When I don’t have any money. When I can’t buy food for my babies. That makes me sad. And when I think about my mother. I saw her only once in six years before she died because I could not afford to go back home. She died in Romania. She was a strong woman. I cry when I think about her.

Where do you live now?
I live in a two-bedroom house with my aunty and my four children.

Do you have a message for your customers?
I want to say to them, thank you very much and have a good life. People in Birkenhead are very nice. They ask me how my children are. They know that I am doing this for my children.

What do you wish for?
I don’t know. A bigger house maybe. But I am happy now. Sometimes life is OK, sometimes it’s not. I don’t want anything but for my babies.

Interview: Christian Lisseman

Interact: Responses to Christina, Birkenhead

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