Hometown Association from Lozova supports local library in organizing activities for children and youth

What makes some people have a second agenda besides the main one, to cover out-of-pocket expenses, care about the wellbeing of home community, without expecting anything in return?

Thousands of Moldovans who moved abroad stay involved in the development of their hometowns.

Even from kilometers away, we can contribute for the home communities

Victoria Dunford is renowned for mobilizing donations of more than one million euros for Moldova.

Though she has lived in the United Kingdom for more than 13 years, Victoria has always staid connected to her hometown – Mihaileni, Riscani district. She founded ‘MAD-Aid’ foundation in the United Kingdom and through it, ‘PHOENIX’ NGO in Riscani which provides free-of-charge services to adults and children with disabilities from the district.

Victoria Dunford offered school supplies to children from socially vulnerable families

Victoria Dunford also contributed to the opening of Mihaileni Health Center. Due to her involvement and of other partners, the center was equipped with the necessary furniture. Also with Victoria’s help, Mihaileni Multifunctional Center for the elderly ‘Dumitru Mustata’ was equipped with furniture and appliances, and the kindergartens in the village received supplies, backpacks and technical equipment. Together with other villagers, she helped arrange the local park.

“Our involvement can make the difference for our home community. However, one needs to grow up with these ideas. When I was in school, I volunteered with my classmates after school and collected old objects for the village museum. Any private company should volunteer at least one day a month – either a fundraising event or a workday – to repair a room in a kindergarten, school or hospital. First of all, it is the company that is to benefit by developing the team spirit. Second, people will feel good since they were useful to the community,” said Victoria Dunford.

Only by own example, one can contribute to the development of his/her hometown

Anyone can contribute to his/her hometown development, regardless of his/her work program. Vera Siminel from Lozova village, Straseni district, proves this. Despite her busy schedule as a civilian employee at the Central Office of the Ministry of Defense, she also finds time for her hometown. She has been involved in charity campaigns since 2016, and so far, over 300 individuals, e.g. socially vulnerable families, the elderly, people diagnosed with cancer, have been helped. Together with other inhabitants in Lozova, she convinced the locals and the natives away from home to financially contribute to a number of local projects.

Vera Siminel celebrates along with the fellow villagers the purchase of the two multifunctional tractors

“A very important project was the purchase of two multifunctional tractors, with contributions from Lozova municipality and locals, amounting to USD 15 thousand, and financing from the Government of Switzerland, amounting to USD 20 thousand. Also with the support of the Government of Switzerland and UNDP, we will improve the community waste collection service. To this end, Hometown Association in partnership with Lozova municipality collected contributions of USD 10,000,” said Vera Siminel.

The volunteer believes in the power of involvement and that only by own example, one can contribute to the development of his/her hometown.

Everyone can get involved, not necessarily financially

The involvement of natives is key for the achievement of the community’s economic, social and cultural development objectives. Iurie Luchian, President of Hometown Association in Vorniceni village, Straseni district, is convinced of this. According to him, the natives, both those currently in the community, and those who left temporarily or permanently, but who are involved in volunteering activities, are a source of inspiration:

“Volunteering, both through direct involvement, and material or financial donations, has a positive impact on the community. Every villager has something to offer, not necessarily money. Someone gets involved in planting trees, someone else helps arranging the stadium or shares his/her experience in the field he/she knows best. Some people get involved in organising different events, such as the Diaspora Day or the Village Day. Those who are away from home offer support, including financial. Locals get involved by donating books, clothes for children, by helping the elderly, families in need or people with disabilities. They also donate money for projects that require a share of the contribution. We are currently collecting funds to arrange a multifunctional sports ground. Hence, anyone can get involved and make his/her own contribution, because every smile matter.”

Vorniceni Hometown Association launched a fundraising campaign to arrange a multifunctional sports ground

Active natives with remarkable results for Cioresti village

Cioresti village, one of the 35 partner communities of UNDP “Migration and Local Development” Project, follows the same principles. Together with the community Hometown Association, an inter-municipal tourist route was created, and a multifunctional tractor was procured. People also teamed up to collect and distribute food packages to the elderly.

Mayor Valeriu Gutu monitors the land-use planning works with natives’ support

According to Valeriu Gutu, mayor of Cioresti, inhabitants who volunteer by physical work an those who financially contribute with money or knowledge are equally valuable.

“We never looked at the people living abroad as to potential donors, who would fill the gaps in the local budget. Voluntary contribution is important since it mobilizes the entire community. If they get involved financially, people value more what was built out of their own money, rather than what was made with money received from somewhere.”

‘Though being abroad, the goodhearted people from our village make it rich’

The beneficiaries can always tell more about the impact of the voluntary involvement. Ana Triboi has been a librarian for about six years at Vorniceni Public Library. Thanks to volunteers, a street library was arranged in the local park. Also, the furniture in the reading room was replaced, the windows were changed, and an air conditioner was installed.

The reading room of Vorniceni library is well equipped to conduct exciting activities for all villagers

“People involvement is vital, because together we can organise very interesting activities, such as the Christmas Caravan. I think that both physical work and financial involvement are equally important. Good things can happen when there is a united team. We now enjoy a modern, warm, and light library. Our village is rich and luck to have such dedicated natives, even some of them reside abroad,” mentioned Ana Triboi.

Thousands of citizens of the Republic of Moldova are mobilising themselves and contribute to the creation and development of local services, such as street lighting, waste management and disposal, water and sewerage, sidewalk planning and road maintenance. Only during 2016-2018, the local authorities together with the natives from 35 communities implemented 55 local infrastructure projects worth USD 2.52 million.

During 2019, Hometown Associations in partnership with the municipalities of 44 communities implemented 44 infrastructure and public service projects. All these projects were possible under “Incubator” and “Accelerator’” grant programs, where USD 166.54 thousand were offered the Government of Switzerland through UNDP and another USD 183.71 thousand were mobilised by locals.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), via “Migration and Local Development” Project, announces the launch of the second edition of “Incubator” and “Accelerator” grant programs. The deadline for submitting applications is 27 March 2020.

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