Angela Oprea, a returning migrant and business owner: life begins after 50
13 October 2023
Angela Oprea spent most of her 52 years abroad, in Russia and Italy, working hard to earn a living and provide for her children.
A few years ago, she made the decision to return for good to the Republic of Moldova and rebuild her life at home with her family.
Once back, Angela Oprea, a trained medical worker, discovered a "sweet" passion that later turned into a business idea. Now she produces and sells macaroons, and has opened a school to teach others the art of making macaroons.
"I initially learned on YouTube how to make macarons, and then I bought an online course. Over time, I attended more training courses. I received tremendous support from my family. Their confidence in me motivated me to share my knowledge with over 2,000 students worldwide through an online course," says Angela Oprea.
According to Generations and Gender Survey, only 2% of individuals aged between 55 and 74 engage in continuous learning activities. However, Angela Oprea says that more and more students deciding to learn how to make macaroons are over 50 years old. These women, some of whom are elderly, are motivated and encouraged by their children to learn regardless of age, and their children help promote their desserts on social media.
Angela adds that as time goes by, she is happy to discover more opportunities in Moldova "for everyone, at any age," and one of her wishes is to see more young people staying in their homeland.
Adriana Lucci, Angela Oprea's daughter, is among the young people who chose to stay at home. In fact, the macaroon business was co-founded with the support of her daughter.
"We feel comfortable in our business, and we are on the same wavelength. Sometimes, even when we want to meet for a coffee and relaxing conversation, we end up discussing business," says Adriana Lucci.
In addition to the macaroon business, Adriana Lucci is also a successful entrepreneur in the beauty industry and a content creator with a community of over 65,000 people. Her followers admire her not only for her skilful management of businesses, but also for the strong connection between generations in their family, especially the strong mother-daughter relationship.
Communication, understanding, and patience are the foundations of their harmonious relationship in both business and at home, say the women.
"It's important to listen to each other, to offer and receive feedback and opinions in a constructive way. I always listen to my mother's advice with respect for her life experience. I've learned a lot from her, from taking care of my physical and emotional well-being to doing good deeds," says Adriana.
The Generations and Gender Survey also shows that intergenerational dialogue in the Republic of Moldova is stronger than in other countries in the region. Children take care of their elderly parents, and parents take care of their grandchildren.
These statistics are confirmed by the relation in the Oprea-Lucci family, as its members support and motivate each other. Angela Oprea says she learned from her mother to cherish family and the moments spent together – parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren.
"In my relationship with Adriana, I strive to do what I used to like. When Adriana became a mother, and I saw her tired, I always tried to help her, let her rest, and take the baby for a walk so that she could enjoy her time alone," says Angela.
Statistics show that grandparents' help is essential for young families with children under six. 60% of mothers and 20% of fathers help with raising and taking care of their grandchildren, with half of them being involved in these activities on a daily basis.
According to statistics, Moldova's population is ageing, with one in four people being over 60 years old. The ageing trend is expected to continue in the coming decades. To respond to these trends, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova and other partners to implement the 2023-2027 National Program for Active and Healthy Ageing. The program aims at increasing opportunities for active and healthy ageing and thus strengthening the country's demographic resilience.