Learn about Moldova
Moldova is a new country. It stands to reason that you may not have heard about it at all. Even if you do, it is more than likely that you just have a vague idea. Let’s introduce you to our country! You will need the info especially if you have some difficulty in geography.
|Area||33,846 km2, (13,068 mi2)|
|Population (2017 estimate)||2,998,235|
Moldova was a part of Romania, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire and the USSR until the 23rd of June 1990 when they declared its sovereignty. It wasn’t until August 27, 1991, that independence was declared and it was officially recognized as a country on December 25 of the same year. Therefore, it’s a 26-year old nation just walking out of its cradle.
Despite being part of great empires, the country was never developed to its potential. Its fertile soils and viticulture are what it has always been known for. So much in fact that the Russians made it their wine cellar making a number of them move for permanent residence. The situation never changed and the country is still mainly rural with only a few industries. In fact, it is considered as one of the poorest countries in Europe. It is exactly the place that Rotary can influence the most and is needed rather badly.
The numbers given by the latest National Human Development Report of the Republic of Moldova are disheartening :
- Absolute poverty: risen to 9.6% as of 2014
- Poverty in rural areas: 7.5 times higher than in urban areas
- Poverty rate: 16.4% in rural areas, 2.2% in cities, 8.4% in towns
- People living under the poverty threshold: 335,000 or 80% of the total population living in poverty
- Employment standard: 53,3% agriculture
Actually, those numbers are better than the ones mentioned in the previous report indicating progress. However, the rate of this progress is so slow that it is the perfect ground for volunteers that can really do something to change things and want to get involved in long-term plans and see them through to the end.
Here is an idea of what kind of long-term plans are required :
The most vulnerable groups are pensioners and families with many members, especially children. The problem of the poor employment opportunities leads people in their productive age to leave the country and seek a better future elsewhere. It is estimated that 25% of the Moldovan workforce works abroad. This makes it hard for the authorities to cover the costs of the social insurance system. Therefore, plans should be made to counter the labor force migration situation, in order to increase the number of people able to pay taxes and stave off the road to poverty for the elderly.
The political and economic instability causes schools to either work with an average of 10 children and students per school or to close down completely in rural areas due to the inability of the central government to incur the costs of maintaining them.
To put it as politely as possible it can be described as basic at best with many of its pieces being completely outdated and poorly maintained. As specialists put it, it is in need of rebuilding from the ground up.
The problems are great. However, this does not mean that people do not get to enjoy a few good things. Moldova is rich in Culture, Architecture, Landscapes and, of course, the largest wineries in the world. However, it is its people that make the difference. Rotary is not just about doing things. It is also about bringing people together and making friends. And the Moldovans excel in kindness and fun.
The Rotary Clubs of Moldova are determined to do everything in their power to find ways to solve the multitude of the country’s problems. They cannot do it alone and they need help. Every single person that is willing to lend a hand is more than welcome!
Are you ready to lend a helping hand?