A 10-YEAR-OLD boy experiencing homelessness in Cork has said children like himself feel they have been let down by the Government.
Cork boy Marcel Dziedzic has been living in homeless accommodation with his mum Izabela for four months now, with little hope of their own front door in sight.
The mum of one fought back tears as she described the strength Marcel has shown since their lives were turned upside down. It comes four months after the pair’s circumstances forced them into emergency accommodation.
Since, Marcel said he hasn’t stopped dreaming of a place they can call home. Ahead of today’s Budget 2022 announcement, the fourth-class pupil said he is willing to forgive the Government if help can finally be sought for them.
He spoke about his desperation to see kids recognised as victims of the homeless crisis.
“People need to hear what children think,” he said.
“They need to hear what children have to say. We know what it feels like. It’s hard to make people understand but we can forgive the Government if me and my mum get the house we need. We will forget everything that has happened to us.”
He recalled entering homeless accommodation for the first time.
“I was wondering what the place would be like so it was exciting and scary at the same time.
“There are a lot of kids here. Every day it’s a different game but I love hide and seek. We talk a lot about gaming and TikTok. It’s like a family. We are a big bunch of friends.”
Marcel shared his hopes for the future.
“I would like a pet more than anything but we can’t have that where we are.
“I see us in a house. It’s hard to imagine exactly what that house will look like because it would be too good.
“I just know that my bedroom would be blue.
“Where we live at the moment is still just a room with two beds, a table.
“It’s been four months but it feels like a lot longer; we need a house as soon as possible.”
Ahead of the budget, he urged Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to take a stand.
“If I was the minister, I would give out every house I have but there are empty houses everywhere.”
The 10-year-old said that worrying about his situation makes schoolwork difficult.
“I try not to think about it in school. Our situation isn’t something I have told the other children about because they wouldn’t understand.”
Marcel praised his mother Izabela who has fought tirelessly to keep him safe and happy.
“She is a brilliant mum who supports me in everything I do.”
Izabela said she has been shown a lot of support from the community, including Caitríona Twomey from Cork Penny Dinners who provides them with meals. She also extended gratitude to the Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance who has allowed Marcel to continue dancing with them despite their financial situation.
“I would like to be the perfect mum but all I can do for Marcel is my best,” she said.
“He gets so excited when he does ballet and is the only boy in the dance school so I’m happy he still gets to have this.”
She spoke of how Marcel’s charismatic personality and talent for making friends have helped him through the challenging few months.
“Marcel doesn’t just like some people — he likes all children. That’s just the kind of boy he is.”