FLEX Alumni Monthly Report October Moldova
November, 8 2013
On October 7 through October 9 Olga Gustiuc, FLEX alumna 13 organized a book drive in her school. It took place during recess on school days. 5 people participated, 1 alumni. Around 30 books were collected, 20 of them are for little kids. This activity was organized to promote literacy in orphanages, and to raise awareness of the low literacy percentage in Moldova. Around 30 people donated books, and around 10 wanted to help for the next activity. The books will be donated to a small orphanage where around 60 kids beneficiate from them.
City Rep Conference:
On October 13, Ruxanda Barba ’08 organized the City Rep Conference for the freshly selected City Reps: Maria Mocanu, Olga Gustiuc, Liliana Luncari, Mihaela Petrov, Daniela Chilari, Ana Indoitu, Alina Zestrea, and Catalina Cucu. The City Reps were instructed on the views, goals, values of the FLEX program and the importance and duties of City Reps. They were instructed on how to fundraise, manage teams, organize events, and report on their activities. They were also given time to brainstorm on project ideas. The 4 regional City Reps were hosted overnight at a Hostel were they got to work more on their ideas and motivate each other to do better, greater activities. The goal of the conference was to instruct the City Reps and motivate them to do wonderful projects.
Lunch With PAX Coordinators:
On October 15, Ruxanda Barba ’08 and 9 other FLEX alumni joined 15 PAX Coordinators for lunch for 2 hours at the traditional restaurant called ‘La Taifas’. The (FLEX/PAX) alumni had the chance to catch up with their coordinators, teach them about the Moldovan culture, talk about readjusting, about future perspectives, about how their families and host-families were doing, and taste delicious traditional food and the famous Moldovan wine. The alumni were treated to American sweets they so much missed. This lunch meeting brought together the coordinators and alumni and strengthened the relations between them. All coordinators expressed deep interest in and desire of ‘getting’ a Moldovan exchange student in the Future. As a result, Natalia Cojuhari ’12 wrote an article which was published on the American Councils website about this experience.
Halloween Decoration at American Councils in Moldova:
On October 19, FLEX 13’ Olga Gustiuc organized a decorating activity. 5 people participated, 4 alumni: FLEX 13’ Catalina Cucu, FLEX 13’ Marina Balichin and FLEX 13’ Violeta Toncu. They decorated the American Councils’ office for Halloween. This activity had the goal to promote the American culture in Moldova through celebrating Halloween together.
Halloween Class Decoration at ‘Mihai Eminescu’ Lyceum:
On October 23, FLEX 13’Olga Gustiuc and 4 of her classmates decorated her classroom at the ‘Mihai Eminescu’ lyceum for Halloween, celebrating the American culture. The teachers were thrilled of this activity and some of them even helped with the decorating. There were a lot of questions asked about how Halloween is celebrated in the U.S., and there was held a discussion about these topics. All the students who had classes in that classroom had smiles on their faces and liked the decorations.
Instructive Seminar About Applying Abroad for Undergraduate Studies:
On October 24, Ruxanda Barba ’08 organized a seminar about applying for universities abroad. The event lasted 1.5 hours at the American Resource Center in Moldova, and benefited 13 FLEX ’13 alumni who attended the event. Lubov Kovalenko from NYU AD attended the event as a guest speaker and provided information on the school and scholarship opportunities. Ruxanda talked about 6 schools In Europe and opportunities of financing studies. The attendees found the seminar very useful, and will be helped by the presenter throughout the application process. The importance of qualitative education was stressed and alumni seemed motivated to apply abroad.
Fulbright Scholar Speech:
On October 25, Cucu Catalina ’13 organized an event: The Fullbright Scholar Speech. She invited at a center for children with disabilities, a professor from USA, Richard Garret. Richard spoke about where he is from and the places he visited, also discussing the cultural differences from 3 pm till 4.30 pm. There were 20 children who came at this event along with two more other alumni: Olga Gustiuc, Flex ’13 and Catalina Turcanu, Flex ‘13. After the speech, the guests were served with traditional Moldovan food “placinte” and Richard received a thank you card from the students attending. The goal of this event was to promote American culture and tolerance by understanding cultural differences.
Clean-Up at the Elderly Home:
On October 24, Maria Mocanu FLEX ‘13 organized a cleaning activity for a local nursing home. There were 25 volunteers, non-FLEXers, students from 8th to 12th grade. Press was also present. Some people cleaned the territory, some planted tulips and others dug in the garden. Everyone worked for almost two hours because there were many things that needed to be done. After the cleaning was done the students chatted with some of the people who are staying at the nursing home. The students brought flowers to brighten those people’s day and make them feel special. However what really touched them was the conversation we all had and it was a lot of fun for participants to listen to their funny stories. By doing this activity the young generation proved it cares about the senior citizens, is willing to help them and even more. Also there were created some new relationships between the participants that may grow into strong friendships.
The American Party:
On October 26, Ruxanda Barba ’08 organized an American Party at the ‘Spalatorie’ event venue. The event lasted 5 hours, involved 3 FLEX volunteers and 4 non-FLEX volunteers and benefited around 70 people. The event venue had two simultaneous events held in two separate rooms within the same venue. The movie room screened American copylefted independent films, while the second room hosted people who wanted to socialize. The second room also had decorations in the colors of American flags, it had an xbox people could play, 1 hour of live music played by 2 of the non FLEX volunteers who sang American classic rock songs, playing cards, and other attractions. The event was open for anyone to attend. It had the goal of spreading American culture and values among the Moldovan youth. The party was a success.
Halloween Party at ‘Speranta’ Center for Youth With Disabilities:
On October 28, Catalina Cucu, FLEX ‘13 organized Halloween for children with disabilities at the centre “Speranta”. There was also one more Flex Alumni ‘13, Olga Gustiuc that took part in this event. The Flex Alumni made a “Halloween box”. Just a simple box, which the children decorated with a carved pumpkin, bats and candies. There were 5 children that participated, the event lasted from 4pm till 5 pm, and everybody had a great time. The purpose of the event was to share American culture by celebrating Halloween.
Halloween Classroom Decoration at ‘Natalia Dadiani’ lyceum:
On October 29, Catalina Cucu, FLEX ‘13, along with 5 other volunteers from lyceum ‘Natalia Dadiani’, decorated the English class for Halloween. From 1 pm till 4 pm, they had drawn, cut and made pumpkins, bats, black cats and ghosts hanging from the ceiling. There were 2 purposes for decorating the classroom: first-to share American Halloween traditions and second-to promote volunteering amongst young people. This event got a lot of attention of the high scholars regarding Halloween and also volunteering.
Halloween Party at ‘Aghiuta’ Orphanage in Chisinau:
On October 30, Ruxanda Barba ’08 organized a Halloween Party at ‘Aghiuta’ orphanage in Chisinau, which lasted 2 hours. The event involved 2 volunteers one- FLEX and one non-FLEX, and benefited 15 children. The children were able to carve pumpkins, cut out pumpkins and bats to decorate their personal spaces. The children were treated to refreshments and fruits. They were told about the meaning of Halloween celebrations and the traditions this holiday brings. The volunteers and the children shared quality time and learned about each other. The children expressed gratitude and desire to have more events like these in the future.
Halloween Celebration in Balti:
On October 31, Daniela Chilari, FLEX ‘13 organized a Halloween Celebration at the local orphanage in Balti, Moldova. She was helped by a group of volunteers, who were dressed up as Halloween characters. They organized a Halloween contest between the 35 children who attended the activity. They were divided in 5 groups and each group was helped by a volunteer. First of all, they had to come up with a team name and to find an emblem. The team whose name was the most creative got the maximal points. Then, they had to write and play a Halloween Story. It was so fun to admire little kids and to see how vast their imagination is. However, their favourite part was the pumpkin carving. They all had fun and enjoyed some traditions for a new holiday for them. All the teams got diplomas and a bag of candies. No words can describe how happy were the children and how glad the team of volunteers was for sharing some love and care with those who really need it .