The Social Reintegration of Vulnerable and Marginalised Older People in Rural communities of Southern Moldova”
The project aims to further the development of social reintegration of vulnerable and marginalised older people into Moldovan society through the continued dissemination and broader strengthening of civil society organisations and their engagement with both local and national government.
Target regions: Moldova mainly Southern regions: 7 districts/Ryons in the South i.e. Gagauzia, Basarabia, Hinchesti, Cimislia Leova. Ialoveni and Cahul.
Overall objective: social reintegration of vulnerable and marginalised older people in Moldova
Target groups: vulnerable and marginalised older people in Southern Moldova. In the result of three rounds of demonstration activities, the number of direct beneficiaries have is 9975 (demonstration activities 8920, volunteers 161, home care beneficiaries 506, training 163 and steering group meetings 225). The female proportion amongst project beneficiaries is much higher than the males i.e. ¾ approx.
Indirect beneficiary: over 41000, which include people of all ages.
The project was centred on implication of old people in initiating, planning and realisation of projects’ activities, changing of old people attitudes concerning their own problems. Thus they understood that problems which they confront with can be solved through their own initiative and effort. In this way they understood the principles of “Active old age against passive ageing”
Older volunteers & beneficiaries of home care visits:
Capacity building of community based organisations & older persons’ support groups:
On average 10 older persons’ support group meetings were organised in seven project communities, attended repeated by project volunteers(161) and beneficiaries (142).
The Project Impact
Establishment of local networks by the groups with local authorities, civil society actors and especially media, has increased recognition and visibility. This facilitated a great deal in overcoming people’s scepticism and making people more receptive to ideas of self-help and community support. The feedback received during the review conference and later during field visits and PSG is reassuring in terms of older people groups as representative forums to discuss and debate local development issues and lately the participation of local officials have worked towards further empowering these groups to ask questions around services planning, access and quality service delivery by duty bound officials. Older people representing these groups commented that it was quite challenging to bring people together, and now that it has been achieved these community institutions will continue evolving and lead community development processes in other arenas. The groups have inspired and stimulated older people to share their impression of themselves as being dependant, and embrace a changed perspective as being active members who contribute to social welfare, especially for fellow older persons. Likewise, the project interventions have contributed to attitudinal changes amongst older people where they feel empowered being organised into groups and local officials have started taking them seriously as community representative forums and most importantly society at large has started accepting and appreciating older peoples role and potential to contribute to local development and community servicing.
The project suppose follow-up of the colaboration between Civil Society and Public Authorities at local and central level, through creation of network of old people organisations with aim to promote collective advocacy.
Beneficiary of the project NGO “Avante”, Cazangic village, Leova rayon
Activities of CBO “Avante” from Cazangic, Leova have created a great resonance with the people in
two neighbouring villages of Seleste and Frumusica, bringing new volunteer members in their numbers. Representatives from these villages were invited to Cazangic to warm houses, sittings
of older people and the celebration of important days. The help offered by volunteers couldn’t leave
anyone indifferent, it inspired other older people, generated their interest and consequently spread
out to two more locations. On June 16, 2006 and 21, 2006 volunteers from “Avante” Cazangic were
invited to the meetings with older people in Celeste and Frumusica. Initially, older people were intrigued and curious, some showed disbelief and others seemed concerned. And then an older man from Seleste, Blindu Ion, participant of many activities in Cazangic, stood up and said, “I participated in their activities and know that volunteering activities are useful. They mobilize older people in any
social need, offering help to the most vulnerable.” Another woman, Antocica Galina added “I live
alone and each day is the same. Becoming a volunteer made me active and always surrounded by
many people and it makes me forget about loneliness” On departure, the older people felt more confident, willing and ready to try out the challenges.
Beneficiary of the project NGO ORGANIZATION OF VETERANS, IALOVENI town
Our group of volunteers from Ialoveni has organized many different activities during HelpAge International’s project, however during the last round we decided to create something new, a “Club for Grandchildren and Grandparents” says CBO leader Valentina Carchelan. Often, we invite children to our activities and now children from ensemble “Pajurita” have become frequent visitors and have joined the family of volunteers. At one of the meetings while listening to older people talking about their problems, their families, one of the little girls asked “Can we invite our grandparents to your meetings, they are so good and wise, they know a lot of traditions and beautiful songs”. Thus at this very meeting the idea was formed and the decision to meet on regular basis was made. The next meeting, which everyone was looking forward to, was a big success. Older people shared their talents in knitting, crochet and sewing, narrated stories, sang songs and informed children of traditions of their childhood and youth. The children also spoke highly of their grandparents and showed their love and
pride by holding their arms dearly and saying “My grandmother is the best of all”. By the end the girls ensemble “Pajurita” prepared a surprise to their grandparents and demonstrated a beautiful modern dance and a song about parents who have left homes to work abroad. The older people cooked different goodies, baked cakes and cookies that grandchildren simply adored. Grandmothers
promised to teach the children cook like them. The meeting concluded with a traditional Moldovan dance. “We will never be sad or bored when our grandparents are with us”, said one of the grandchildren
NGO WOMEN’S CLUB “SPERANTA”, LAPUSNA village, HINCESTI rayon
Planned jointly by members of the “Club for Grandchildren and Grandparents” and summer camp “Tara” of Lapusna community, the older people visited the camp as part of cultural artistic event. The older people were invited to tell children the games they used to play in their childhood, describe toys they used to play with, pranks and tricks they would do, and explain conditions they studied in and what clothes they wore. Emotions and memories from the past swamped the older people, their faces lighted up and touched by attention and interest from children they started talking about traditions from the past, how they spent their free time, relationship between people, how younger people dated and
got married. They drew comparison of intergenerational relationships in the past and of now, and
spoke highly of values they treasured. The grandchildren also underlined the need to have more honest and open relationships. Both sides agreed that they need to preserve values and traditions of the past and build on this more today. Older people were invited to participate in the sport competition, sang songs and danced together and taught children how to play games of old times. The day ended with children taking their grandparents on a swing, swimming together in the pool and playing ball. Older people and children both felt happy with the positive interaction, as none felt left out and lonely.
Beneficiary of the project NGO INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT”, COMRAT village, Gagauzia rayon
“The idea of creating an association of older people, says Valentina Micotina, CBO leader, came
to me while working on the HelpAge International project. The interest, enthusiasm and great need of older people to come together, to communicate, help each other is tremendous”. “A person needs friends like a tree needs to blossom and the grass needs sun”, continues Valentina. All our project activities like warm houses, home care visits and especially the choir of older people inspired us to create something sustainable which may continue working beyond current project’s life. For this reason we formed the association and named it “Inspiration”. The goals of “Inspiration” are to further help reintegration of older people in society, defend their rights, raise public awareness about older people’s issues, offer different counselling help to older people from lawyers, doctors, etc and of course facilitate organizing communication and entertainment activities for older people. “I’m a pensioner, says one of the beneficiaries, Valentina Kamburg, and I joined the organization from the start in September 2005. I found myself a second family here, have made new friends with whom I can communicate for hours on end and get nostalgic at times to remember our youth, sing songs and joke around. I like that volunteers take very good care of us. Not only do they visit us for home-care when we feel bad but also know all our important days and congratulate us on holidays. We participate in the choir which has become an important event for all, inspires us and has given new meaning to our lives. Despite the fact that I’m a very sick person I never feel alone, I feel reborn as if I have just opened up my eyes and have started living again. I feel happy and always inspired by our volunteers.”
Beneficiary of the project NGO WOMEN’S CLUB “COMUNITATE”, CARABETOVCA village, BASARABEASCA rayon,
Volunteers from Carabetovca, pioneers of organizing golden wedding ceremonies, an interesting localized event which has now moved to other project locations, arranged 50th wedding anniversary
for Efrim and Chira Gribinets as an extra special event. Representatives from the City Halls of neighbouring villages, head of social protection department from Basarabeasca district – Ms. Galina Dragan, witnessed the extra-ordinary event organized by volunteers for the older couple. “I’d like to appeal to you all to appreciate the tremendous work of volunteers and urge you to learn from their experience and share it at your sites”, said Ms Galina Dragan. She underlined that “It is a wonderful job, though difficult and demanding, and not for payment, but as a result it is rewarding for both volunteers and their beneficiaries, vulnerable older people”. As a special guest she expressed a desire to award a wedding certificate to the older couple Efim and Chira. Touched by so much attention and the replica of real wedding ceremony, the couple could not control their emotions and started crying.. “We feel so important today, we are the centre of attention, everyone is proud of us, we feel a little shy. We are used to being in the shadow because we are old and weak, not needed, not useful. Today is special, we feel really happy”, said the couple.
Beneficiary of the project NGO “ARTIZANA”, MANTA village, PASCANI rayon
Older people and volunteers from “Artizana” are famous for their rare handicraft talents. They process leather and make national type of slippers, make baskets and and bread, bedside tables and chests of drawers from vine fibre and osier. “Lately we have been very lucky, says CBO leader Constantin Olteanu, that the older people have found an old type of loom for weaving carpets and rugs. Now we will be able to create original and traditional Moldovan carpets and teach younger generations this handicraft. This would help older people generate some money which would add up to their household income and well being. During the sitting of older people on 14 July, 2006 with participation of children and younger adults an honourable guest from the neighbouring village Eudochia Cavruc was invited to set up and try out the loom. Older people and especially younger generation displayed great curiosity and desire to master the weaving. Everybody tried out some operations and remained happy and satisfied that the work will develop and will bring profit to older people. As expressed by Eudochia Cavruc, “I’m happy to see that volunteering activity is bringing so much help and joy and regret that we in our village don’t have anything similar.” Edochia expressed a wish to spread volunteering activity to other villages. The sitting ended up with a tasty dinner prepared by older women to celebrate the revival of an old tradition of weaving.
Beneficiary of the project NGO “PRO-DEMOCRATIE”, SATUL NOU village, CIMISLIA rayon
Herbal treatment can be helpful for older people
“We organise warm houses on different topics requested by older people, we try to satisfy their needs to the fullest”, says CBO leader Viorica Cutitaru. During one of the warm houses older people raised the topic of using non-traditional medicine to treat some old age diseases. In rural areas it is very popular to use herbs as first-aid medicine or help. Volunteers and older people regularly read special medical magazines, and we invite family doctors who inform them about rules of collecting herbs, drying and preserving them. These sittings stimulated volunteers to organize summer herb collection trips to the forest, fields, and lakes nearby. The herb collection besides being an intergenerational activity helped older people secure more money through processing herbs and later selling them to locals. The herb collection trips to the forest turned out to be much fun. Older people felt like teachers guiding children in herbs collection. They felt important and needed. Children in their turn learnt many new things about the traditions of older people, how different herbs help to treat them, they communicated a lot, sang songs and shared tasty lunch in the open air. Volunteers addressed a district pharmacy with the offer to sell them the medical herbs collected during the trips, and the offer was positively responded by the pharmacy when learning that collections would go to help vulnerable older people. “We hope to raise around 500 lei for older people”, said one of the volunteers.
“Capacity Development of local actors, advocacy and policy dialogues
as a democratic instrument for Governance at local level”
Donor institution: The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Funds of Federal Office of Federal Republic of Germany.
Project period: 8 months, until December 31st 2005.
An extension has been required until February 15th 2006.
The activities done during 2005 year (See also Photos):
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