During the past months I followed an amazing 6-week online course on Coursera called “How to Change the World“. It was an interesting review of the main concepts related to aid and development, focusing in particular on some areas such as poverty reduction, gender equality, climate change, health issues. One of the – maybe obvious – lessons of this course is that there is so much that can be done to change the world, so many well know solutions to existing problems, and so many people already changing it – who just need to be joined.
Well, I have seen many charities and NGOs here in Moldova, but the one closer to my heart is TEKEDU (I am actually now a proud member of its Advisory Board).
TEKEDU is now out of start-up phase and fully operational, and for Easter it is launching a fund-raising campaign to give a jump-start to its IT training activities in residential schools for children without parental care. Maybe you want to consider giving 20 or 50€ to these guys, and make a little contribution to changing the world.
Gemini is a sort of shopping mall in central Chisinau (on Bd Stefan cel Mare/Puskin St., near McDonald’s). I went there initially because this is where you can have clothes fixed – new zips, re-hem, repair holes. But I ended up going back there several times, including with visitors, because I find it fascinating and different from anything I knew. While the first two floors are sort of normal shopping galleries, with stands selling anything from shoes to toys and jewellery, on the third floor you can buy all sorts of accessories for tailoring and knitting, and on the fourth floor a wide variety of fabrics is on sale, close to the ateliers which repair your clothes and tailor-make your dresses. A nice piece of fabric that is enough for a long dress with sleeves can cost you maybe 200-300 lei, and the tailor work will take a couple of days and cost you another 600-700 lei. That’s about 50 € in total for a tailor-made dress.
And again today (two days later).
And this one below is from a few days earlier – end August.
In case you were wondering, here is a map – Moldova is the landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine. Transnistria, its disputed territory, is a thin stripe of land on the east border. Distance from Chisinau to Bucharest (the nearest Ikea) is 400 km; less than 200 km to Odessa on the Black Sea.