Build an environmental training center in Moldova

by 'EcoVisio' Public Association
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Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Build an environmental training center in Moldova
Eco-Center provides jobs to local unemployed women
Eco-Center provides jobs to local unemployed women

Dear partners,

We’d like to dedicate this report to people that help us build the Environmental Training Center.

First, it is YOU who make the construction possible through your generous contributions, through spreading the word and through sharing your ideas with us. It is also people from different parts of the world who come to stay for a night or come to volunteer for a few weeks. It is training participants that don’t mind digging their hands into clay

It is a diverse team of architects, engineers, trainers, designers, builders and other specialists who help us think about various aspects of the Training Center: how to improve energy efficiency, reduce construction costs, create appropriate training atmosphere, allow multi-functionality.

It is also a number of people from the local village who are open to learning new construction methods, who decide to work on building something in their own village, rather than emigrate abroad. Several workers mentioned to us that they were offered opportunities to work in Russia, Germany, Italy. They decided to work at home, near their families, although the pay is smaller and less stable, but the work is more purposeful. For ex. Ion, a father of 3 kids, said at the beginning of the year: ‘My friend invited me to work in construction in Moscow. Although the pay would be higher in Russia, I prefer to help build the Eco-Training Center here, even if you can’t guarantee work for a full season’. As our fundraising progressed, we were able to employ Ion all season and it allowed him to connect his house to running water and to gas for cooking.

We’re happy that the Environmental Training Center provides jobs to local people, but it also places a responsibility on our shoulders to fundraise enough to continue construction, and once the Center is built to ensure its sustainability. And we can only achieve it with support of partners like you. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to this project!

The walls of the Environmental Training Center are almost ready. In the next few months we’ll be working on heating systems, kitchen equipment and windows. Stay tuned to more updates!

With warmest wishes from Moldova,

Liliana

Ion & Marin make sure every detail is considered
Ion & Marin make sure every detail is considered
Center already provides 2-3 trainings a month
Center already provides 2-3 trainings a month
Young and old, volunteers join hands to build it
Young and old, volunteers join hands to build it
Ion was able to work in the village, not go abroad
Ion was able to work in the village, not go abroad
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Heavy snow on April 20th
Heavy snow on April 20th

This year Moldova was hit by a very unusual phenomenon – a heavy snow storm at the end of April when most fruit trees were already in bloom. Some places got up to a meter of snow in less than 48 hours. According to news reports, over 10,000 trees got broken in our capital city alone, 679 communities around the country lost electricity and when the snow started melting fast, many houses and agricultural fields got flooded.

This is just one of many examples of how climate change affects each of us and why an Environmental Training Center is so crucial in Moldova to help educate people about environmental issues, showcase sustainable practices and, more importantly, build a strong network among different stakeholders to reduce environmental damages and build more resilient communities. Together with you and your generous support, we can succeed!

Although the Center is still under construction, we’ve started a new program – active Organic focused on organic agriculture and permaculture. In a series of practical workshops and study visits we’ll cover such themes as soil rehabilitation, plant protection, efficient irrigation systems, CSAs (community supported agriculture), rural entrepreneurship and more.

First activeOrganic seminar brought together 30 participants from 15 regions in Moldova (selected out of over 100 that expressed interest) and included farmers, professors, NGO representatives, students, state officials, all eager to learn and practice environmentally-friendly agriculture on the land they own. One participant mentioned: “I was growing potatoes on the same piece of land for 16 years, not realizing how this practice depletes the soil. Now I’m ready to try crop rotation, and other soil rehabilitation practices like mulching and composting”. Many other participants mentioned that the training exceeded their expectations and they are looking forward to the next ones.

Thank you for making trainings like this one possible! Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. This summer we plan to apply natural plastering and we really need your support to employ more people from the village to finish cob walls by autumn.

With gratitude,

Liliana Botnaru

Flowering trees breaking under heavy snow
Flowering trees breaking under heavy snow
First ActiveOrganic training in the new Center
First ActiveOrganic training in the new Center
Practical workshop on fast composting
Practical workshop on fast composting
Applying permaculture principles in garden design
Applying permaculture principles in garden design

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Mobilizing volunteers for tree-planting
Mobilizing volunteers for tree-planting

Dear partners,

Thanks to your support in 2016 we managed to complete construction of the wall frames of the Environmental Training Center and cover it just before the first snowfall.

Since there is a fair amount of wood used in natural construction, we initiated several tree-planting actions this autumn in an attempt to reduce the Center’s footprint. Through one of EcoVisio’s projects – Seed it Forward – more than 100 volunteers were mobilized to plant trees on public land, prone to erosion or soil degradation. Just in Riscova, were the Environmental Training Center is located, volunteers planted honey locust, poplar, ash, maple and acacia trees, as well as bushes like rosehip over about 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) of public land. Tree-planting actions were also organized in other parts of Moldova through Seed it Forward initiative this autumn and will continue in spring.

As the Environmental Training Center is taking shape, its impact is already noticeable. I mentioned in our previous report how one of our training alumni got inspired to build a solar dehydrator for drying fruits and vegetables at Eco-village Moldova. But the initiative did not stop there. A month later he helped built a similar dehydrator for another NGO “Gradina Moldovei”, which promotes organic gardening and a first heirloom seed bank in Moldova. Then, in October-January, the same alumni helped facilitate a series of workshops on building and using solar dehydrators. As a result, one more dehydrator was built with participation of local community members and is now accessible at the village Public Library in Riscova. Study visits to that library were organized for local school students to learn more about renewable energy, healthy diet and social entrepreneurship ideas, like fruit drying.  

All these initiatives would not be possible without your care and support. We’d like to sincerely thank each one of you for believing in this project, donating to it and spreading a word about it!

Planting trees to prevent soil erosion
Planting trees to prevent soil erosion
Training room and kitchen taking shape
Training room and kitchen taking shape
Eco-Training Center ready for winter
Eco-Training Center ready for winter
One of solar dehydrator trainings
One of solar dehydrator trainings
Drying fruits and vegetables using solar energy
Drying fruits and vegetables using solar energy
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Draft design of the Environmental Training Center
Draft design of the Environmental Training Center

Dear friends,

Autumn is harvesting time for most Moldovans, and Environmental Training Center is no exception. It’s been a busy summer, but now it’s time to reap what we have sown. Our Center started taking shape: foundations are ready, wall frames are mounting up. The Center will inclue a big conference room with natural light, a well-equipped kitchen, dining area in a green house up front and a few rooms for hosting training participants on the second floor. We hope to put a roof over the training room by the end of the year. There is still a long way ahead, but I trust that with your support we’ll make it happen.

Our educational programs continued this summer, ranging from one-day workshops for people in the village to week-long international seminars. Organic gardening and vegetarian cooking workshops turned out to be most popular, drawing over 40 people at a time. As one participant of the vegetarian cooking workshop noted: “I’ve been to many similar events, but this one was the most inspiring and fulfilling. Maybe it’s the special atmosphere I found here, maybe it’s your practical approach to training. I can’t tell, but I appreciate this workshop a lot”. Local community members were more attracted by the theme of upcycling old clothes into carpets and toys.

One of ‘activEco - sustainability in action’ alumni got inspired by his training and decided to take action by making a solar dehydrator from construction scraps he found laying around. The dehyrator allowed us to dry fruits and vegetables grown in the garden over the summer and preserve them almost at no cost. 

International seminars, like “Actors of Transition” gave an opportunity for people in the village to meet participants from Greece, Germany, Spain, Armenia and Poland. It led not only to a cultural exchange, but also joined efforts to rehabilitate a local soccer field, resulting in a friendly match. These seminars also allowed local families generate some income by hosting training participants. One elderly woman was able to cover all her winter heating costs and some house repairs from hosting training participants this season.

The interest and response we get from training participants and the impact felt in the village just demonstrates the dire need to keep developing the project.

Thank you for donating and spreading the word about this initiative! 

Training room that will fit up to 50 people
Training room that will fit up to 50 people
Organic gardening - a sustainable social business
Organic gardening - a sustainable social business
Fresh from the garden straight to cooking workshop
Fresh from the garden straight to cooking workshop
Local youth & Actors of Transition joining hands
Local youth & Actors of Transition joining hands
Eco-construction workshop is fun!
Eco-construction workshop is fun!
Training Center frame is coming up
Training Center frame is coming up

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THK program coordinators meeting
THK program coordinators meeting

Dear friends,

Your generous support helped us make significant progress in building the Environmental Training Center in Moldova, although there is still a long road to go. Building a conference room that could fit up to 60 people, along with a well-equipped kitchen, dining area and a few bedrooms is a big 2-year project. It will require almost $80,000 investment, but we’ve had a good start and are committed to seeing it through!

In addition to crowdfunding, we’ve started generating income by hosting events and trainings, as well as reaching out to local companies for support.

This spring we finalized the construction of the small training rooms and already organized and hosted several events:

  1. March-April: “Harap Alb” – a series of seminars focused on small project development for kids from the local school. As a result, children from grades 5-7 organized a river clean up, planted over 1000 willow seedlings and are currently fixing up a local stadium to practice sport.
  2. April, 17: Organic gardening workshop that brought together about 50 participants of all ages and explored the topics of organic vs. hybrid seeds, companion planting and soil protection.
  3. May 24-29: “activEco Impulse seminar” – a one week training empowering 16 youth from Moldova and Ukraine to implement eco-projects in their own communities.
  4. June 25: Meeting of program coordinators from the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg (THK) international network to explore the sustainability theme. It united 70+ participants from Germany, Russia, Serbia, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Egypt, Tunis and of course Moldova. We wanted to give the participants an opportunity to see how the space feels, so we installed a temporary tent where the future Eco-Training Center will be.  

By the end of the summer we plan to pour the foundation of the Eco-Training Center and start framing its walls in autumn. Please visit our FB page to find more details about our progress.

Thank you for all your support that makes regional environmental education possible!

Harap Alb - empowering kids to take initiative
Harap Alb - empowering kids to take initiative
Harap Alb-kids designing small community projects
Harap Alb-kids designing small community projects
Organic gardening - caring for our land
Organic gardening - caring for our land
Organic gardening practical workshop
Organic gardening practical workshop
'activEco-sustainability in action' youth training
'activEco-sustainability in action' youth training
activEco-a path towards more resilient communities
activEco-a path towards more resilient communities

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Organization Information

'EcoVisio' Public Association

Location: Chisinau - Moldova, Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Liliana Botnaru
Chisinau, Moldova, Republic of
$15,413 raised of $19,000 goal
 
315 donations
$3,587 to go
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