Take Care

By Benedetta Ristori

3 min read by benedetta.ristori. Published in Essays, Stories.
Many sojourn to build better futures for themselves, and above all, their children whom they’ve had to leave behind.

Female migration has become increasingly prevalent in Italy. As public welfare struggles to quell the growing need for assistance, women, mainly from Eastern Europe fill that demand. Approximately one-and-a-half million foreign caregivers reside in the country as of 2016.

They aid the elderly, care for children, or nurse the ill.

Work as a caregiver is often the most accessible job for women from Eastern Europe. Motivations for emigration vary. Some women choose to move to join their partners. Other migrants are driven by economic necessities. Foreign income provide women with a rare opportunity for financial independence as well as increased social status in their home countries. Many sojourn to build better futures for themselves, and above all, their children whom they’ve had to leave behind.

Rodica, the lady pictured in white, has worked in Italy for over a decade. When she left her home country, Romania, both of her sons were still in high school. Thanks to her income from abroad, both children had opportunities to attend universities abroad: one in Spain and the other England. Rodica lives with an elderly lady and has become part of the family. She is happy to have achieved her goals.

Photographed are women with the people they care for. Whenever, possible they are pictured in the homes they cohabit.

This project began last year as a personal exploration of this phenomenon; it is ongoing. I hope that my work will bring awareness to this issue, specifically of the life that these women leave behind and the future they face.