Raisa Preida
Raisa Preida
Local councillor in Otaci

Everybody calls me Meca. I am 65 years old, I have four children, 15 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. I have lived in Otaci [a town in the Republic of Moldova] my whole life, making a living out of my agriculture business and other small enterprises.

In the past, I opened a hairdresser salon and a tailor shop and employed a few women and girls. But I want to do more. I want Otaci to become a town developed by its own population. I want to create jobs and I want every resident of the town to have a decent life. I want women to be promoted and employed. I want people who are living in poverty to have the possibility to bring up their children in better conditions.

I am disturbed to see Roma people excluded from the public life of the town. We are being discriminated. But this must stop. We are citizens of this country and we have equal rights.

In 2018, I participated in an awareness campaign for Roma people. I went from door to door and talked to everyone about how important it is to go vote. I also talked to them about the procedure. I showed them the papers necessary to vote and told them who has the right to vote and who can stand for elections.

Nobody cares about the lives of Roma women and girls in our town, because there is no representative from the Roma community in the local administration. So, I decided to run for local councillor in the 2019 local election. And I won. I will now have a four-year term as local councillor in my town to make the voice of Roma people heard in the north of the country.

It is important for young Roma to get an education. I will insist that young mothers and girls who graduate from school be employed. The time when the life of a Roma woman was limited to being a wife and a mother who stays mostly at home needs to be over.