FLEX Alumni Monthly Report December Moldova

January , 20 2014

Volunteering for ‘Alga’ at Pet Exhibition

On December 1, Cucu Catalina, FLEX ’13 along with 5 other members of her Volunteer Club, volunteered at a Moldexpo exhibition for dogs. The volunteers represented the shelter for homeless dogs “Alga”. They also decorated the dogs’ houses for Christmas. The event lasted from 10 am till 4 pm. During that time, the volunteers met some representatives of homeless shelters from Russia, as well as from Poland, which have encouraged our activity and the shelter “Alga” with generous donations. The group from Russia has also posted some pictures of the event on their blog. The goal of this activity was to get more people interested in volunteering by doing different events such as this one.

Radio Interview with Catalina’s Volunteer Club

On December 3, Cucu Catalina, FLEX ’13 has arranged an interview at the local radio station: Radio Moldova, about the Volunteer Club she opened at her high school. Along with 3 other volunteers from the club, they have talked about the activities that they have been doing with the club and how this has affected themselves. The goal of this was to promote volunteering among the people in this country by showing that there is really something to do to be active. Thus, the Volunteer Club benefited of media coverage and publicity, and had the chance to reach through the radio young people from all over the country and encourage them to engage in civic activities.

Charity Fitness Club

On December 5, Cucu Catalina, FLEX ’13 has opened a charity Fitness Club: Give and Take. She was helped by her local coordinator Ruxanda Barba FLEX ‘08 who has worked on making the logo and the flyers. The fitness club worked and is set to have activities 3 times a week: Tuesday- shaping, Wednesday- surprise training and Thursday- kickboxing workout. The trainers are volunteers from the ‘Natalia Dadiani’ school, who have been practicing those sports before. The fee for one work out is 10 lei, and all the collected fees will go towards charity. In the first week, the Give and Take managed to collect a sum of 100 lei that was used to buy products for the animal shelter “Alga”. The goal of this activity is to promote activism in the community as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while supporting the local animal shelter ‘Alga’.

Alternative Christmas Trees

On December 7, Ruxanda Barba FLEX ’08 organized a workshop with 4 FLEX alumni where they would build a couple of eco-friendly Christmas trees from scratch to be used in decorating any room for the holidays. The activity took place at the American Councils office in Moldova, and lasted for 2 hours. The participants used kebab sticks, fake snow, fabric, classic tree decorations, and yarn to build a couple of alternative Christmas trees. They ended up with 3 trees they used for indoor decorating for the winter holidays. They liked the techniques used, and after the activity went home and created some of their own alternative trees instead of buying live trees, thus protecting the environment. Alumni encouraged all their fellows and peers to do the same by posting on Facebook their handy work and inspiring others to do the same.

Hand Made Christmas Trees Workshop

Sunday, December 7 a group of volunteers from the Volunteering Club gathered together with the scope of building an alternative Christmas tree at the children’s public library from Orhei. Alina Zestrea FLEX ’11 was in charge of providing all of the necessary materials for the activity. She invited the volunteers and made sure there was an agreeable atmosphere.  Maria Mercic, a member of the Volunteering Club was the one who taught all 9 participants how to design his own tree. After this event, the participants had the chance to interact, engage in the holiday spirit in a creative way while enjoying some traditional Christmas snacks like clementines and cookies. The goal was to educated young people on how to create eco-friendly Christmas trees from used material, rather than buy a live one. The event aimed at promoting environmental consciousness whilst embracing the holiday spirit.

Spreading the Christmas Spirit at “Mihai Eminescu” Lyceum

On October 10, Olga Guștiuc FLEX ’13 organized an activity at the “Mihai Eminescu” High school, in the senior classroom. Spreading Christmas Spirit was organized in order to celebrate Christmas and have a meeting talking about different traditions all around the world. Also the idea was to involve as many people as possible. So, everyone took a snowflake, wrote their name on it and put it on the Christmas Tree. In result, around 40 people have put snowflakes on the tree and smiles on their faces. The purpose was to build the community of students, engage them in a spirited activity, and build around the holiday spirit.

Clothing Drive in Cimislia

On December 11, Maria Mocanu FLEX ’13 organized a clothing drive at her school for students in need. The activity lasted for a week and students from the school, as well as some teachers, donated all types of clothes and shoes. This activity started because many students don’t attend the school since they don’t have warm clothes and warm shoes. There were more than 100 pieces of clothes, some of them were new. We collected pants, sweaters, hats, scarves, winter coats and winter boots, socks and what was surprising, baby clothes, which we decided to donate to the local hospital. Everything was collected in a special box in the school hallway. There were a total of 3 volunteers, non-Flexers, who helped in organizing this activity, they decorated the box, wrote an announcement and encouraged everyone to help this cause. Hopefully those clothes will keep their owner warm and comfortable and hopefully those students will have perfect attendance again. In the future there are planned more activities as this one and maybe we will be able to share our warmth with other kids in our society.

Christmas Gift Fundraiser for the ‘Aschiuta’ Orphanage

On December 12, Cucu Catalina FLEX ’13 started a fundraising in her high school for the orphanage “Casa Aschiuta”. Catalina has taken by that time the letters the children from the orphanage had written to Santa. The money raised by the fundraiser was for making the wishes from the letters become true. The goal of this activity was to raise as much money as possible to organize a Christmas for those who can’t really afford it. The fundraiser lasted 5 days during which several volunteers have gone through all the classes during the day in order to get donations. In the end, the goal was achieved and the staff and students from the high school have donated 1573.30 lei.

ASEM Dorm Decoration

On 13 December Petrov Mihaela, FLEX Alumni’13 organized the “Christmas Mood” activity. The concept of the activity was decorating all the floors in a dorm from the “Academy of Economics” aka ASEM. The students who lived there donated 10 lei for Christmas decorations such as lights, paper garlands, and stockings etc. The 20 participants joined efforts to decorate the hallways of the dull university dormitory. of students were involved in the process around 20 .The event lasted from 5PM till 7PM.


December 14 a group of volunteers from FLEX and AIESEC organized a QUIZ night for all the people who were interested in challenging their knowledge.  The event was held at Tipografia 5 from Chisinau. Alina Zestrea ’11 and Anastasia Strelnicova ’11 were members of the organizing committee. They found the questions for the quiz, took pictures and entertained the guests. At the event were present 35 participants and 12 members of the organizing committee.

Pet Shelter Visit

On December 14, Cucu Catalina FLEX ’13 has organized another visit with the volunteering club to the animal shelter for homeless dogs “Alga”. This time she went there with 3 new volunteers that joined the club. They have bought some bread and milk for the dogs using the money raised with the charity Fitness Club. They then have helped the staff from the shelter cook the food, feed the dogs, and cleaning up the place. The goal of this event was help associations in Moldova which do civic work, but don’t have many resources at their disposal. The Volunteer Club strives to maintain activism in within the members of the club and to get more volunteers interested in participating.

Christmas Cards Workshop

Sunday, December 14 the volunteers from Orhei met in order to learn how to make Christmas cards for their family and friends. The activity was held at the English Resource Center from Orhei. Alina Zestrea ’11 came up with the idea, and invited the participants and provided the materials. Nicoleta Fratescu was the leader of the event. She supervised the entire process.  The 6 attending volunteers helped spread their Christmas spirit by making holiday cards for their beloved ones. During the time, Alina Zestrea shared some American Christmas customs with the volunteers, which they’ve managed to integrate in their cards by drawings and designs.

Clothing Drive Prep Session

On December 15, Ruxanda Barba FLEX ’08 organized a clothing drive preparatory session, were Ruxanda along with 3 other FLEX alumni decorated donation boxes in the winter holidays spirit. The boxes were placed in the AC office, and the activity participants were actually the first ones to bring and donate warm clothes for those in need. The volunteers were traditionally treated to Christmas clementines and hot chocolate. The participants enjoyed the activity. The drive was to last until the end of the month or until the boxes would be filled up. Also, alumni were informed about the drive during future activities and volunteers would bring more things to donate upon their arrival. It is important to spread the holiday spirit by example and do something proactive, helpful, with a long-term effect, as the clothes are in great condition and will serve for multiple winter seasons.

Food for the Homeless

On December 19, Cucu Catalina FLEX ’13 organized a community service project: “Saint Nick Goes for a Walk”. She collected donations of money and food. The money was used to buy the basic foods such as bread, sausages, and milk. Then, with a group of volunteers, she walked through the city for about 3 hours (from 2 till 5 pm) and gave the food away to homeless people or people they saw begging on the sidewalks as they were walking around. The goal of this event was to supply the less fortunate with the basic foods, as no person should be left behind especially around the holidays. Also, the Catalina’s Volunteer Club encourages civic engagement and leads by example for their peers to follow.

Training on the topic “Gender inequalities in the XXIst century”

On December 19, Ana Indoitu FLEX `11 together with LeaderSHE Club (LeaderSHE Program alumni`s association) organized a training for youth age 16 to 18 on the topic “Gender inequalities in the 21st century”. The event took place at the public district library “B. P. Hasdeu” in Chisinau, which has donated the space.
The event gathered more than 42 participants, of both gender representatives, who pleasantly listened and actively participated in all the discussions initiated by the special trainer, Mrs. Olga Nicolenco, gender expert and political analyst from Chisinau. Another special guest, was Alex S., who is the creator of Start-up weekend Moldova – an online platform for young entrepreneurs. He talked about all the possible sponsors that we can find through this platform and how we can fundraise more money for implementing our ideas. Afterwards, Mrs. Olga took over, giving a very inspiring speech. For more than 2 hours, the youth have acknowledged the importance of gender equality and what are the methods of reaching it through civic activism.
The goal of educating youth about gender inequality event was achieved, based on the feedback that the participants have offered. Xenia Malacenco: “I am so amazed of all the new things that I learned today. Even if I didn`t consider it so much, there are lots of inequalities that derive from our (woman`s) own behavior. We must change and become more actively involved.”
The event was mediatized by the media partner, www.oblivion.md.

Secret Santa at American Councils

On December 21, Ruxanda Barba ’08 organized a Secret Santa game for FLEX alumni. The event was held at the American Councils in Moldova and lasted an hour and a half. 12 alumni were to attend the event. Each person brought a gift which would go to another person at chance. Gifts were numbered, and each person took out a number from the hat and would receive the gist corresponding to the number. All had Christmas snacks: cookies with milk and reminisced on the holiday time spent with their American families. After the event most alumni felt inspired to write a Christmas card to their host families remembering the great times they spent with them.

Youth Voice

On December 21 Petrov Mihaela, FLEX Alumni ’13 and 8 other students from AIESEC organization organized the event “Youth Voice “.The event took place in the Municipal Library “Bogdan P. Hasdeu  “ ,in Chisinau. The event lasted from 2PM till 5PM. The event was promoted in the media and aimed at gathering around 70 participants, but the event ended up hosting around 100 people. Participants were charged a small entrance fee. The money was used for coffee brake beverages and snacks which were provided for all the participants. 7 speakers were invited to give a speech about their personal life examples and academic/career achievements: Constantin Sarcov, Nata Andreev, Andy Oncea, Dorin Curoșu, Mihaela Roșcov, Elena Briciuc. All speakers came from different backgrounds and fields of activity such as journalism , music, education, marketing & advertising, etc. Their goal was to share their passion and to inspire/motivate young people to develop themselves, to find their leadership abilities. The goal of the event was to inspire young people to pursue their dreams in any of the fields they are passionate about. Having speakers from numerous fields helped demonstrate that any path will present different challenges, which can be tackled in different ways using different skills.

Grant writing Session

On December 24, Ruxanda Barba FLEX ’08 organized a grant writing session for FLEX Alumni interested in applying for FLEX grants. The session was held at the American Councils in Moldova, from 2 to 4PM, and 18 alumni were present. Marina Buciuc ’07 helped lead the seminar and share her knowledge and experience as a grant recipient. Marina organized a marathon in Chisinau called ‘Run Against Violence’ in the summer of 2010. Marina and Ruxanda covered the subjects of financing, planning, strategizing, searching for sponsors for cost-sharing, and time management. Ruxanda provided real examples of time tables which could be used for management, and Marina told about various small expenses which are important but sometimes overlooked by the organizers. Also, participants brainstormed about project ideas, motivated each other, and thought about organizations they could collaborate with. As a result, most of the participants because better instructed and more motivated to start a project. At least 5 grant proposals are expected as an outcome of this event.

Secret Santa at the American Corner in Balti

On December 27, Daniela Chilari, FLEX ‘13, organized a Christmas Party at the American Corner from Balti. 10 people came at the event, and each of them brought a gift. Everybody introduced themselves and people talked in English about Christmas, the traditions of this holiday in Moldova, USA and other countries. Daniela showed pictures on her own experience of Christmas in the USA. Then they made a gift exchange. Afterwards, it was a movie screening and they watched "Home Alone". People who attended the party were curious about the ways people in different countries celebrate Christmas and shared with their experiences. They also had a good time and spread the Christmas mood. The goal was educate young people about different Christmas tradition and embrace the holiday at every cultural level.

Christmas at the ‘Aschiuta’ Orphanage

On December 27, Cucu Catalina, FLEX ’13 along with 9 other volunteers organized Christmas for the orphanage “Casa Aschiuta”. With the donations they raised, they have bought gifts for the children. The activity lasted from 12 till 2 pm.  They organized a fun program with games for the children; they also had a volunteer dress up as Santa, another as a bear and 3 as Santa helpers. Afterwards, the children were served with cookies, fresh fruits and candies. There were also balloons with which they played after they ate. The goal of this activity was to bring the spirit of Christmas in children and to promote activism in young people


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