Vika (17 years old) and Tanja (8 years old) have been living alone for two year now. Father left the family and mother left two year ago to work in US. Girls contact their mother few times per month. Besides school work Vika has to take responsibility for home works, shopping and raising her sister. Vika does not want to talk about her mother. To the question, does Vika misses her mother, she answers, that sometimes it feels that I can’t take it anymore, especially when Tanja starts to cry and call for mother.
This is only one example. According to the study carried out in Lithuania, sociologists confirm that in total there are 30 000 children in Lithuania, whose parents work abroad. This kind of phenomenon is called transcontinental families. One third of these children are living with relatives or alone. Approximately 500 000 people have left Lithuania during 17 years, breaking families and leaving children as orphans. According to the survey intentions to go abroad are spontaneous and reason for leaving is primarily low wage level. Normally one of the spouses goes abroad, after a while another follows, at first they earn money for food, then for repair works, then for new house, afterwards they find no reason to go back. Sociologists confirm that the longer the parents are away, the worse the children behaviour become. The average age of children in transcontinental families is between 14 and 16, feeling betrayed by their parents causes deep psychological trauma and they might turn to criminal actions. Sociologists in Lithuania are convinced that more serious consequences of emigration has not emerged yet and will have large-scale effect in future. (Jelena Pismennikova, Ekspress-Nedelja)