Back to School Bike Ride:
On September 1, Ruxanda Barba '08 organized a bike ride in the central park of Chisinau to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of the academic year. Bikes were rented from the bike point located in the same central park for the 5 alumni who attended the event. 2 of the 5 alumni were taught how to bike by Ruxanda Barba '08 who was their instructor, as they had never biked before.
First Day of School Celebration at the Educational Center for Children Diagnosed With Cancer:
On September 2, Maria Mocanu '13 with the help of the 7 STEP organization representatives held a First Day of School Celebration for children diagnosed with cancer. The funds used were collected during last month's kite sale organized by the same alumna with the help of Peace Corps volunteers in Cimislia. Children viewed an entertaining program, and received new books for school as part of the donation. The goal was to encourage the continuation of the children's education and making their lives a bit easier.
On September 7, Ruxanda Barba '08 organized a FLEX alumni reunion at the American Councils in Chisinau. 18 alumni attended the events were they had the time to catch up with their fellow alumni, exchange impressions about coming back home and readapting, and talk about overcoming their reverse culture shock, as many of these alumni came back this current year. One of the goals of the reunion was instructing the alumni to advertise the FLEX recruitment process at schools, including schools for disabled children. Alumni were distributed flyers and information leaflets to deliver to their schools.
On September 7, Ruxanda Barba '08 organized a book drive along with 3 other FLEX alumni. The books were collected from other alumni during the alumni reunion, and from the volunteers' high schools. The books are to be delivered to an orphanage during the upcoming visit. The goal is to encourage education of young people who may not afford or have the access to reading materials.
FLEX Recruitment in Chisinau:
On September 11, 8 FLEX Alumni volunteered at the 'Spiru Haret' recruitment center in Chisinau. Alumni helped with the recruitment logistics for round 1, which gathered around 350 participants. This way the alumni gave back to their community FLEX by helping the program search for candidates who are as qualified to be an exchange student as they were.
20 Years Celebration with Sky Lanterns:
On September 12, Ruxanda Barba '08 organized a symbolic celebration of the 20 year anniversary of the FLEX program by setting off 20 blue sky lanterns with the help of 8 other FLEX alumni. The event took place on the 'Viaduct' bridge, which has a lot of traffic and is close to the biggest Mall in Chisinau. The goal of the event was not only to celebrate but create awareness for the program. Many passers-by would ask about the significance of the blue sky lanterns creating a great opportunity to tell them about FLEX. Some of the people walking by were eligible candidates for the program, and FLEX alumni took the time to inform them about application procedures.
Reception at US Ambassador's Residence:
On September 15, the US Ambassador to Moldova hosted a reception at his residence for the returning alumni of USG exchange programs. 17 alumni attended this event and had the chance to network with alumni from other programs, and
Theater Play Field Trip:
On September 15, Ruxanda Barba '08 took 6 FLEX alumni to the 'Mihai Eminescu' theater to watch a play called 'Panic at The Grand Hotel' performed in Romanian by Moldovan actors. This was to serve as inspiration for the upcoming theater performance 'The Vegetable Garden' to be performed by FLEX alumni volunteers. Alumni also got a chance to get better acquainted with their home culture.
FLEX Alumni Facebook Page Redesign:
On September 25, Ruxanda Barba '08 and Irina Grigoras, the designer from Granat Digital Advertising Agency worked on redesigning the FLEX Alumni Facebook page. The goal was to improve the page aesthetics and make it pleasing to the eye. The page has gained a more official look, which is important as it is used as the main media channel to reach out to the alumni community and beyond.
FLEX Appreciation Day Celebration:
On September 27, Ruxanda Barba '08 organized a letter writing workshop for FLEX alumni at Tucano Coffee Shop offering FLEXers the opportunity to express gratitude to their host families and American friends who offered them a great taste of American culture and offered their support throughout the exchange year. 9 other alumni participated at the workshop designing and decorating their thank you letters which were sent to their destinations. Alumni exchanged stories from the US and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have been part of the American culture.