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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
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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Dear friends,

Thanks to your generous contributions over the past 2 months we were able to take our first steps towards building the Environmental Training Center in Moldova. Despite freezing temperatures, our natural building adventure started with collecting reed from the nearby lake. Quality reed is harvested only in winter, when the lake freezes over and the reed sheds its leaves.

With your support we managed to hire 10 villagers and an eco-transport – good old horse cart – to harvest all the reed we’d need this season. It was nice to see teenagers, grandparents, housewives and seasonal agriculture workers all on one team, earning a fair wage without having to leave the country. One of the workers told us: “My cousin invited me to go to Moscow this winter. I’d have a chance to earn more than in the village, but the risks would be much higher too. Thank you for offering me a chance to work here on building the Eco-Training Center and take care of my 3 kids and my aging dad.”

The harvested reed will be used to super-insulate the Training Center. We tested the material in 2015 on a residential house and the results were astonishing. A thermal audit that measures the temperature of interior and exterior walls (an indication of insulation efficiency) showed that when outside wall temperatures were -13 Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) the interior wall was a cozy +26 Celsius (79 Fahrenheit). It turns out that reed is an extremely effective building material that is also local, economical, carbon-negative and energy-efficient!

At the end of February we’re organizing a focus group meeting with architects, designers, trainers and other Eco-village stakeholders to finalize the architectural design of the Environmental Training Center.  Please visit our FB page to find more details about our progress.

Thank you for your continuous support!

Local women harvesting reed
Local women harvesting reed
Eco-friendly transportation
Eco-friendly transportation
Harvesting team on the lake
Harvesting team on the lake
The reed pile is ready for eco-construction!
The reed pile is ready for eco-construction!
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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
$13,328 raised of $19,000 goal
 
265 donations
$5,672 to go
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