Tatiana Chirilenco, PFP Alumna 2016, invited Eric Weinheimer, the President and CEO of Forefront, Chicago

December, 1 2016

My adventure began in November 2015 when I submitted my application for Professional Fellows Program. Little did I know back then how much my life was about to change and what a fabulous experience this would turn out to be. Neither did I know that in exactly 1 year I will welcome in Moldova for one week the CEO of the one of the biggest and most important non-profit organization in the Illinois state.
As part of Professional Fellows Program, I spent 6 weeks in the United States of America. Out of 6 weeks, 4 I have lived and worked in Chicago, Illinois.
Forefront is the name of the organization that hosted me. Here I have met the most dedicated and talented people that work tireless to build a vibrant social impact sector for all the people of Illinois. These people welcomed me and made me feel part of their team, they engaged me in all of their activities and assigned me a task that I felt was important.
As part of PFP we were offered the opportunity to write and submit an outbound project. The idea was to invite and American counterpart to your native country to share the knowledge and best practices between the 2 countries, provide a better understanding and establish a potential framework for cooperation.
So, giving this opportunity I thought about my country and my work and what are the arising new initiatives and challenges we face. One of them is Social entrepreneurship. It has become a hot topic of interest and discussion in Moldovan civil society. My good fortune was to meet and work for 4 weeks with one the best expert in the field, Eric Weinheimer, the President and CEO of Forefront.
This is how On November 13, 2016, Eric landed in Chisinau, Moldova. It was his first time in Eastern Europe and I was so happy my country was the one he got the chance to see. We have participated in the 2nd edition of the National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship. The Conference was held in Chisinau, Balti and Cahul. It was attended by an average of 175 people, representatives of civil society, donor organization and public authorities. During the entire Eric shared his experience in the field and provided examples of the best American practices. For the 1st time the Moldovan civil society became acquainted with the American social entrepreneurship environment.
As a result of the Conference, some organization expressed interest to bring American experts in this field in Moldova in order to get access to a different approach and way of doing social entrepreneurship.
Looking forward to see what other new opportunities and experiences PFP will bring for me personally and my country.

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