As a Community & Organizational Development Advisor, I spend my of my time working with my primary organization. This organization focuses on development work in the northern part of Moldova. They help farmers through field school training seminars and exchange programs. They also help schools and communities rehabilitate old buildings through infrastructure reconstruction.
A few months ago I had learned about two communities my organization had worked with who have been trying to keep their kindergartens open. They both need assistance with replacing the old beds, tables, and chairs. These schools have been slowly trying to fix the infrastructure of the buildings from the roof, installing new windows and doors, bringing water into the school and installing toilets and sinks. There are more children in these communities than there are available spaces in the kindergarten, especially due to the limited number of resources available.
I met with one young mother to talk with her about the project to learn more about the issues and how it would impact her family. Meet Ana, a 31 year old mother who has lived in the same village all her life. She has one daughter, Nastea who is 4 years old. Her husband is not employed, and is trying to find work abroad to provide for their family. When Ana goes to work at the mayors office, she takes her daughter to the kindergarten which allows her the opportunity to be able to work and provide the only income for their family at this time.
The kindergarten is the only kindergarten in this village of about 900 people. It has 2 classrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a space for children to sleep, and an entryway. The kindergarten has old beds, tables, and chairs that have gone through at least 3 generations in Ana’s family. At this time there are about 50 children in this village, but the kindergarten can only accommodate about 20-25 children, and that is even putting 2 children in one bed during their nap time.
Parents have been helping with what they can, repairing furniture with the resources and skills they have but they don’t have the money to purchase new furniture and have reached the point that some items are beyond repairs. The budget is small for the kindergarten and it cannot afford buy these things.
“I desire for my daughter to have a better learning environment where she can nap comfortably, learn, and play.”
Ana knows the outcome of this project would make the learning environment for the kids more comfortable and attractive having new beds and they hope to be able to find a way to add chairs and tables to the school in the future.
When asked how this would impact Ana’s family she told us how happy they would be if they wouldn’t have to worry so much about how her daughter is doing in school knowing that her learning environment was improving which would improve her education and willingness to be there and learn. She also explained how it would be a positive thing for the community and the families that send their children there and would enable the kindergarten to have more children attend and keep it operating.
This project would not only benefit the children from these communities, but would also benefit their young mothers. Enabling the kindergarten to open up more spots in the school would allow more mothers to reintegrate into the labor force. We are working on various health trainings and gender-related activities for the community once the beds are installed.
We had submitted this project for a Peace Corps grant and we recently found out that part of the funding has been awarded to this project. We still need to raise funds for part of it in order for it to begin. You can read more about this project on the Peace Corps website HERE. Would you consider giving $5, $10, or $25 toward this project? That amount of money can go a long way here in Moldova.