In Moldova, children benefit from rehabilitated schools and kindergartens
Ludmila Ceaglîc, the city mayor of Calfa in Moldova, has been running the city for 20 years, yet there is no sign she may want to slow down.
Calfa is an area at high risk for conflict due to its closeness to Transnistria. This has made it almost impossible to draw any investments to the region.
As a result, there is little economic activity in the region, and many of its residents are unemployed.
- 774 kindergartens in Moldova have been renovated through the support of the government of Romania.
- 30,000 kids have benefitted from improved learning spaces.
- More than 50% of Moldova’s kindergartens have been renovated with Romanian funds since 2014.
The population has gone down from 5,000 in 2000 to 1,870 in 2015. The only employees in the village work in the public sector (70 in total), and the rest who do have jobs work in neighboring villages or foreign countries.
Despite the challenges, Ludmila has achieved a lot: From supporting the opening of the only bakery in the village, to building a nursing home for the elderly, she has consistently managed to draw funding from EU, NGOs and other international organizations for the betterment of her community.
A major priority for her office has been access to education. She has led the renovation of public buildings, one of which has become the Golden Fish kindergarten. Following a new round of funds from the European Union in 2012, the office managed to install a central heating system running on biomass energy, which helps save up to 30% of the monthly energy expenses.
Ludmila used a more recent grant, offered by the Romanian Government and worth 16,000 RON, to renovate the building’s roof spring and make other essential repairs. What’s more impressive is that the remaining funds were raised by the parents – who gave the little they could towards the cause.
The kindergarten is one of the 774 kindergartens in Moldova renovated through the support of the government of Romania. As a result, 30,000 kids have benefitted from improved learning spaces. In other words, more than half of Moldova’s kindergartens have been renovated with Romanian funds since 2014, when the project started.
Across the country, the funds have been used not only to make repairs to electrical and heating systems, but also setting up playgrounds or buying new furniture and materials necessary for everyday learning activities.
For some of the kindergartens new learning spaces were built from scratch or, in the case of the ones that had empty unused spaces, furniture and all appliances were bought so that the space could realize its full potential.
These changes have resulted in an increased ability to enroll kids in the kindergartens, especially in those schools where space was previously inadequate.
Other towns share a similar fate as Calfa. In Magdacesti, for example, where the kindergarten daily receives 300 kids, the windows were highly deteriorated and heating a major challenge. Children often needed to nap with their winter coats and caps on because of the cold. In Porumbeni, the roof was in such bad shape that it leaked during rain. The walls were covered in mold.
Following the investments through this fund, all these problems have been resolved.
‘We struggle to do what we can with the limited resources we have,” says the mayor. “One day, these children will come one day to represent the people of Moldova and finish the work we’ve started. Until that day, we’ll work to make sure they have that opportunity.”