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My EVS experience in Moldova
18 August 2014 13:53:58 - 1 Comments -

By Kinga Jaromin

As a long-term EVS volunteer I arrived to Chisinau from Poland more than already 6 months ago to work at my organization – Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims “Memoria”. This time passed so fast while doing so many interesting things like working at my organization, meeting people and travelling.
This time brought lots of projects to work on; I enlarged my knowledge about the phenomenon of torture in Moldova, the country’s history and current political situation. One of the most interesting projects Memoria is works on is a series of trainings in the Prison No. 10 for Minors in Goian.
My organization provides these trainings both for staff of the prison like also convict minors, boys from even 14 till 18 years old. Lately, I was able to take part in a training dedicated to rights of minors in detention and thanks to that visit the prison, any I’ve ever visited in my life.

 

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The training lasted only few hours, but it let me have an insight into the system the prison works in and I have to admit I was positively surprised. It’s not the secret that Moldova is not a rich country and even in some European Union countries, like Poland for example, they lack money to keep prisons in a good condition. I was expecting rather very old building with poor facilities, but it turned out that the prison (despite of being an old building) was in a very decent condition. It’s not always because of the government, but also some programs of NGO’s like mine, when it helped renovating some rooms and prepared there a conference room, where the trainings are conducted now. Of course it needs to be noticed that not every prison in Moldova looks good, they call Goian the best one in the country for a reason.

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But the most positive thing for me was the relation between staff and minors, it seemed like very opened one, boys were even referring to some of the staff member with their names, very direct, but still with respect and positive attitude. In addition, they are not closed in any small rooms, they have possibility to walk freely on the area of the prison, they can work, they have some classes, workshops and clubs of interest. After the training we were preparing the barbeque together and they acted really nice and helpful, what basically made my time there.  
I think that such a system gives hope that at least for some of these boys the future will be bright and they will get back to society what can’t be easy as they are convicted for rather serious crimes. They are so different, some of them very confident and talkative, others very quiet and seems like they don’t have a clue what they are doing there. But the fact is that they are all still children, who just need help, someone who will show them the right direction they should go.

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Despite of all my impressions inside that couldn’t really let me feel like I’m in the prison, when it came time to go out it totally felt like. When we were saying goodbye, chatting and laughing, simply coming out like it would be the most normal thing in the world, I realized that for them is like the most desired thing that they can’t have. Freedom is just not in their possession and it won’t be in some cases for a long time.



The Moldova Project
14 July 2014 13:31:50 - 0 Comments -

Comunicat de presă

În perioada  12-19 iulie 2014 Asociația de Caritate din Marea Britanie cu sediul în Republica Moldova, The Moldova Project,îşi propune să găzduiască un grup de 17 studenți aiŞcolii Barr Beacon din Walsall, Marea Britanie.

Scopul proiectului este promovareavoluntariatului atît la nivel național cît și internațional prin activități de animație socio-educativă. Beneficiarii proiectului sunt 60 de copii din familii vulnerabile din r-ul Hîncești – beneficiari ai Asociației, copiii Centrului de Plasament și Reabilitare pentru copii de vîrstă fragedă din or. Chișinău și copiii Casei Internat pentru Copii cu deficiențe mintale din or. Orhei.

Timp de o săptămînă voluntarii internaționali în parteneriat cu voluntarii naționali ai Asociației partenere – “Serviciu pentru Pace”, vor desfășura activități de animație socio-educativăpentru copii, astfel creîndu-le o atmosferădiferitădecât ceea cu ce sunt obișnuiți de obicei, oferindu-le căldurăși emoții de neuitat. Asociația de Caritate“The Moldova Project” a fost înființată în anul 2008 la inițiativa unei voluntare din Moldova și a două voluntare din Marea Britanieca prioritate fiind susținereacopiilor dezavantajaţi și a familiilor lor prin dezvoltarea voluntariatului Internaţinonal în Republica Moldova.  La  doar câţiva ani de la fondare „The Moldova Project” activează în calitate de platformă de caritate/fundraising şi voluntariat internațional care reuneşte persoanele cu inițiativă și suflet mare din afara ţării,  pentru a aduce o contribuție pozitivă în societatea din Republica Moldova.  

 

Victoria Morozov

Director în Moldova

Asociația de Caritate “The Moldova Project” 

 

 

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Anthony LoGelfo (volunteering in ALGA dogshelter) about stray dogs in Chisinau
09 July 2014 15:01:04 - 0 Comments -

As my second week in Chisnau, and my first week of working for ALGA drew to a close this is how the situation stands.  When I look around the streets here, I don’t think to myself straight away that there is a huge problem with stray dogs.  They exist, sure, you will occasionally see one skulking down a dark street or laying idly in the sun, but as far as I can tell they aren’t in such great numbers as I have witnessed before in certain other European cities.  Saying that, as somebody had pointed out to me earlier in the week, in the centre of Chisnau, where I am, the problem is not as bad, but around the fringes and less populated areas of the city it begins to get more noticeable.  I think that I can accept that actually I have yet to have seen the worst of anything yet, having only been here for a few weeks.  But this is where the problem exists in the current situation here and why action is needed: the laws of the country offer almost no protection to these animals.

On searching the internet for research for this report I came across many instances of cruelty and abuse towards dogs in Moldova, many times ending with no punishment or a paltry fine in Lei for the worst offences.  I come from the United Kingdom a country which as a whole can be said to treat animal welfare very seriously. We are often, in fact, termed a nation of animal lovers and it would be almost impossible to find even one stray dog anywhere in the country.   However animal abuse, particularly towards dogs and cats, still seems quite high – maybe because every instance is reported and almost every case becomes national news – and it seems like almost once a week you can open a newspaper and see a story about mistreatment of a dog or cat.  The happier story in the United Kingdom, though, is that these cases, more often than not end, in serious consequences for the perpetrator – a large fine, community service and in the worst cases jail time.  I suppose the point I am trying to make here is that it seems like it would be almost impossible to eradicate cruelty towards animals completely, because there would always exist those certain people who just don’t know better and enjoy the thrill too much of being dominant against animals less capable of defending themselves. The key difference however between the United Kingdom and Moldova, is that when people act in this manner in the United Kingdom they know that they are doing something wrong, something unacceptable. In Moldova I’m not sure whether the same can be said to be true.

“I had a bad experience when I was younger” one Chisnau resident told me when I asked her why she didn’t like dogs.  “I was chased by a pack of street dogs”.   While to me this seems like uncharacteristic behaviour for dogs without provocation, maybe it happens and it would certainly affect someone’s opinion on those animals in the future.   Just like people who are bitten by a dog at a young age and then grow up harbouring a phobia of them.  But what about the rest of the population who weren’t subject to potentially traumatic events like these in their youth?   Where does their nonchalance or uncaring attitude come from?  There isn’t really one single definitive answer to that, and so it seems, it is just the way that things are.   Stray and mistreated dogs are just an accepted part of the norm in the majority of Eastern European countries and have been so for many, many years.  For things to change we are not just talking about one of two little things here and there.  To really see an improvement in the situation would involve changing a whole nation’s mindset – from the rule makers to the general public.  As ALGA have quite rightly identified, trying to persuade the current generations that animals deserve better treatment is something of a losing battle, however starting with the younger generations, by bringing these themes into the classroom at school is what will lead eventually to a brighter future.   

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Creative involvement -10 monts EVS in Romania, Arad starting August 2014
03 July 2014 16:38:59 - 0 Comments -

ADVIT Moldova announces open call for the EVS project „Creative Involvement“ in Romania, Arad. We are official partners for the project so the volunteering opportunity is served for one person from Moldova.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The “Creative Involvement” project initiative emerged from our organi-zation’s passion for investing in people, by promoting values such as human dignity, team spirit and personal initiative, responsibility, com-petence, communication, willingness for action and leadership. We are strong believers in team work and a team spirit; this same spirit we want to extend to the volunteers we host. The main actor in an EVS project is the volunteer: our mission is to support him/her achieve the best of his/her potential through the activ-ities carried out in the project

PROJECT-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The volunteers will engage in activities designed to enhance active citizenship, intercultural exchange and dialogue, tolerance and anti-discrimination. The methodology used will be specific to non-formal education (learning—by-doing, learning-by-playing etc.). The volunteers will be monitored and supported by a team comprised of a coordinator, activity facilitators (Romanian volunteers), mentors, Romanian language teacher etc. Working hours and days off: 5 hours / day, 5 days / week; 2 consecutive days off / week; 2 holiday days / month Food & Accommodation: triple (very large) bedrooms with shared cooking, washing, laundry and social facilities. A monthly food allowance is provided and a monthly (pocket money) allowance is provided, according to the general EVS rules. Communication: Unlimited (passwordprotected) access to wireless internet; telephone + Romanian SIM card with a monthly plan for minutes. Local transport: monthly tram pass allowing unrestricted access on tram/trolley car routes throughout the city. Travel costs to Romania and back are reimbursed by 90%.

PROJECT PRIORITIES

  • European awareness
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Children
  • Roma communities

PROJECT ACTIVITIES Educational & recreational activities for children Human Trafficking: training, preparation and implemen-tation of awareness cam-paigns Food delivery to elderly ben-eficiaries Romanian language class Intercultural events Other activities of the organi-zation & administrative tasks Other activities on the volun-teers’ initiative

If you want to apply for this EVS, send us your CV and specific motivation letter with possible plan of activities; Pls name your CV_name_surname; ML_name_surname. Subject of the email: EVS in Romania, Arad.

Deadline for applications is Sunday, the 6th of July.



TC Make it your Millennium
23 May 2014 12:45:39 - 0 Comments -

From the 29th of April to the 7th of May 2014, at 20 kilometers from Chisinau, capital of Moldova, in a touristic complex of the town of Costesti, on the lakeshore surrounded by nature, took place the international training course Millennium Development Goals.

Organized by the volunteering organization ADVIT Moldova, the course involved 28 youth, volunteers and technicians, working in nonprofit youth organizations from 15 countries: 6 Eastern countries (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and 9 European Union countries (including Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Croatia, Belgium, Sweden, France, Greece, Spain).

During the course, participants presented the situation in their countries regarding the progress and challenges to achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals in 2015, as, for example, to fight extreme poverty, to ensure primary education or to fight against discrimination based on gender.

During the course all the differences that still exist between Eastern and Western Europe became evident: on one hand we could see the progress produced in western countries and, on the other hand, the steps back that countries like Greece, Catalonia/Spain and Latvia (against the worldwide trend) are making, for example regarding the universal access to health, the environmental protection and the fight against the AIDS virus.

During the course were made sketches and presentations on different topics and participants developed a short manual, in English, on such an important issue that affects all humanity and that unites the efforts of civil society entities and public and private institutions from all countries. One day, the group visited Chisinau and met an organization that works with people carrying the AIDS virus.

Less than 200 Km from the border with Ukraine and with a numerous group of youth of this country and neighboring countries, one of the discussion topics was the conflict and how it can affect the future of the entire region.

8th of May, 2014

Lluc Martí

Participant of the course

Voluntaris Actius

Fundació Catalunya Voluntària

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"My Role as a Citizen of Earth" - International Essay Contest for Young People
16 May 2014 09:54:34 - 0 Comments -

"My Role as a Citizen of Earth"- International Essay Contest for Young People

Young women and men from around the world are invited to participate in this year’s edition of the Goi Peace Foundation - UNESCO International Essay Contest for Young People.

The contest is open to anyone up to 25 years old. The deadline for entries is Sunday, 15 June 2014.

On the occasion of the final year of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), the theme of this year’s contest is “My Role as a Citizen of Earth”. In the vast universe, we were born on this planet called Earth, where various cultures and ethnicities, all living things, and all of nature exist together. However, in our world today, we face numerous problems- environmental destruction, resource depletion, wars and conflicts, poverty, and many more- that make our future uncertain. Given this situation, what do you think is the best way forward for humanity? How do you wish to fulfill your role as a citizen of Earth? 

As stipulated in its Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021), UNESCO considers that today’s young people are crucial for the shaping of our future. It is imperative that they are enabled to develop to their full potential. Therefore the Organization’s objective is to help empower young people and ensure that their contributions are taken into account.

This annual essay contest is organized by the Goi Peace Foundation and UNESCO in an effort to harness the energy, imagination and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world. Prize winners will receive a cash award, and first prize winners will be invited to Japan for the award ceremony. 

We look forward to the participation of many young people from communities from all over the world!
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More information and guidelines
 

Entries can be sent online through www.goipeace.or.jp 
Contact: essay@goipeace.or.jp



Our volunteer Mihaela sharing her impressions about volunteering and life in Estonia :)
08 May 2014 11:28:31 - 0 Comments -

Ma olen Mihaela, Moldovast vabatahklik . Ma elan Kohilas ja ma olen juba siin viis kuud…
Feels like only yesterday I met everyone, yet feels like I know these people since childhood.
I had no expectations when I came here, had no ideas how it will be or what kind of things and people will be here. I was just going with the entusiasm of travelling. The first person I met was Veronika, she had a big smile and gave me a worm hug, for me it felt so much, being in a foreign faraway country. It was the moment I realised I am in good hands.Then I got to the beautiful village of Kohila, where the warmth and coziness hit me imediatelly. The feeling of being more than 1000 km away from home was gone. I had a tasty fish-pie at my other supervisors place, got to meet more people and then I got a fortune cookie, with a message I will never forget „Dream the impossible today“….this is when I realised a great journey has started and It will be more than if I have had any expectations.
And now, after  almost 5 months I can confirm that I am dreaming the impossible. The volunteer service…in Estonia… made me rediscover the whole world.
I started working in the Noortekeskus and met all these teenagers and got to go to all their events and meet even more people, old and young and I was feeling like in a happy movie with beautiful people all around. It felt nothing like home, Estonia culture and lifestyle is so much different than moldovian.  And, of course, since childhood I heard a lot of stereotypes about Estonia, during USSR, it always was that totally different country in the north, that are awkwardly calm and peaceful. For us latin people, everything is done in a hurry, in this big quick passionate way. Here…times goes by in a slow gentle  valts. It is even related to the first word I learned here…“oota“ ja “ole õrn“. For me this environment  is perfect, I am a calm and slow person, that likes to enjoy every moment and day. In my first months I felt like everybody around is the same, no rush…I understood that people here like to work, a lot…but do it reasonably and think more than twice before. It is known for me that northern cultures think more and act once and it is enough, but I believed it only when I got to live it.
As I said the lifestyle here is absolutely different, maybe because we are still this small poor country, that can´t overcome it’s social and economical condition, but once, some time ago, Estonia was in the same place….and it makes me think a lot about my people´s motivation…because  only a couple of days ago I witnessed the „Lipu Heiskamine“ on Iseseisvaspäeva in Tallinn and understood  the love of estonians for their country more: it is soft, subtle and natural. In this months I was present for more events, like Jõule, Aastavahetus, Hingatapäev, Sõbrapäeva and etc. And on all of them I saw  estonians getting together, celebrating, being happy…together and enjoying it to the fullest. These people tought me a lot about myself and social relationships. I tend to be shy and awkward sometimes, and here, this is ok and nobody asks from you more than you are able and want to give…Of course, only at the times when there are important meetings and my inner mind starts going crazy from not understanding the language, but yet again even because of the language barrier, it doesn’t feel distant and cold. It is also up to me to learn as much Estonian as I can and for them to help me with this. By far, this cooperation has been great, and I don’t think something will brake it. So as I said, I got to know myself better, by interacting with so many different people, it wasn’t ever a problem for me, as I am away from home since 19, but I learned that the process of integrating and always discovering yourself, and mostly creating one’s self personality and spirit, is neverending and emotionally challenging and exciting more over. I should say that in my 7 years of architecture studies in Romania I haven’t met such a diversity of interesting people,and most of all are able to talk with you about anything, not put any social statuses or age differences beetwen you, this goes both to adult people, as well as teenagers and children. I still don’t know if these experiences made me reinvent myself or just discover an extention of myself.
About my project…it’s mostly flexible, creative work with youngsters. My organization allows me most of the time to do most of the ideas that come up in my head, and this, as well, made me discover some important assets in myself. I realised I like to organize events, be responsible for what and how is happening, give as much creativity as I can to any detail and make sure everything is allright. And all the results come from deep frustrations I had in myself actually, and thought they are not good for me:  like being a control and clean freak, that needs to put everything in order; like my inner creative sensitive side - yet not enought talented to be an artist; like from my wish of making people feel secure and pleased, yet forgetting to think about myself… these and many other details in my personality, that until now where bad, or I was confused about in my life, kind of started putting themselves together in a big beautiful puzzle-picture that is of course…me, in my deepest corners. I realised am I nevertheless still confused, I am still under a big question mark of who I am, but there is still a lott o get to discover, know and learn about me and about what surrounds me. The interesting and ironic part about this project is that I had no idea that EVS is about this or will bring me this epithanies. I assumed it was about the outside world, creating it, helping it, being a part of it, but actually it got me to look inside me more than outside myself, dig in and look in the places I was scared of or I was just ignoring. EVS, until now, is what I wanted to experience with myself when I went away from home to study art, and unvbelievably curios is that the project was far from this idea I had 7 years ago, and yet it is exactly what I wanted and needed…be careful what you wish for, because it all comes to you in ways and at times we don’t understand. And as I said at the begining, dream the impossible today…because it all becomes reality…eventually, with patience and tenderness.

P.S. This is a diary of my acomplishments in general by far, I pomise from now on to write monthly and in more details. I am keeping a daily dairy of events actually, so it shall be easy. I guess I missed some important things that happened here with me, but,  as I said, in big letters, this is what I can relate to at this moment. Maybe by the months coming I can add some more happenings from the past.
    
    Päikest ja sära igavesti!    
    Miha



Painted, cracked and washed: 3 Moldovan traditions about Easter eggs
05 May 2014 17:05:58 - 0 Comments -

Maria Chiara Tognetti, volunteer from Italy about Easter traditions in Moldova.

Nowadays Moldova is one of the few countries in Europe which still keeps alive with pride its ancient traditions. The calendar is studded with celebrations and feasts and every occasion is perfect to eat and drink together, enjoying and socializing. Of course one of the most important feasts is Easter, when in every house women spend days cooking wonderful dishes and decorating their homes. Many traditions entail the use of eggs for different purposes. After the Lent and its restrictions related to food, eggs pop up again on the tables in the most curious ways!

Painted Easter eggs: since ancient times eggs have been considered the symbol of life and, as some archaeological discoveries witness, ostrich eggs were decorated since prehistory. In more recent times, this habit has been adopted by Christians, for which eggs symbolize the resurrection of Jesus and re-birth to eternal life. During the Lent, eggs (as well as meat and diary products) were forbidden, but of course their production couldn’t be stopped. Therefore in order to avoid any waste of food, people started boiling and storing them, waiting for Easter to come. For these reasons along the years eggs (even in more modern versions as chocolate eggs) have become the most famous symbol of Easter. In Moldova, as in many other countries in Eastern Europe, people boil eggs together with onion peels or juice of beet, which naturally color the eggshell with different shades of red. Red is actually the traditional color of Easter eggs, as it reminds the passion of Jesus. As some of us European volunteers had the chance to experiment during a workshop at the Ethnological Museum of Chisinau, along this technique there are many other ways to paint eggs, far more elaborate and complicated! One of these consists in emptying the egg in order to make it last longer, using a syringe to punch a hole in the eggshell (and even if this seems to be the easiest step – believe me – it is not!). After that the shell is decorated with complicated geometric and floral patterns traced with wax and then immersed in paint. Once the eggshell has dried, the wax is removed and the egg is ready to be exposed.

Cracking eggs: usually Orthodox Christians bring food (and eggs of course) to the Easter Liturgy in order to have it blessed. After that they crack their eggs against each other's, saying “Hristos a înviat! – Adevărat a înviat!”. The cracking of the eggs symbolizes the wish to enter a new life, through Christ’s resurrection from death. The greeting “Hristos a înviat! – Adevărat a înviat!” is also used when people meet each other for the first time after Easter as a way to remember the joy of that special occasion.

Eggs and coins: On Sunday morning, after the Easter Liturgy, children wash their face using the water in which have been previously immersed two blessed eggs (one white and one red), together with some coins. They also touch their cheeks with the two eggs. According to the tradition this curious ritual, which is specific of Moldova, should ensure a rich and lucky year.

Painted, cracked and washed, eggs turn out to be the queens of Easter time!

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