By the time this article is published, the war in Ukraine has been ongoing for 70 days. At WAVE, we want to use this Thursday to amplify the voices of our members from the frontlines and share their stories with you. How have they been coping and what can you do to support them? Today, we want to introduce the work of our Moldovan members Association against Violence “Casa Mărioarei”.
The brutal war on the Ukraine has impacted the Republic of Moldova severely. Around 100,000 people from the Ukraine have fled over the border into Moldova, increasing the country’s population by 4 % from one day to the next. The civil society of this small country has opened their homes and hearts and has been working tirelessly to support the refugees. Among them are our colleagues from “Casa Mărioarei”. They are a non-governmental, democratic, independent, non-political and non-religious association founded in 2000, providing support to women and children survivors of domestic violence. Their work is based on the pillars of assistance, prevention and capacity building. The team at “Casa Mărioarei” provides social, psychological, medical and legal assistance, as well as shelter for about 800 women and children that are victims of domestic violence. They further organize trainings to strengthen multidisciplinary teams in dealing with domestic violence and conduct educational programs for men and boys to promote gender equality. They are also actively involved in implementing strategies, as well as national and international programs in prevention and combating domestic violence.
Solidarity for refugees
How they have been supporting women and children fleeing from the Ukraine? Firstly, they decided to dedicate 40% of their shelter space to refugees and to offer them all of the services they provide. They also monitor a group of refugees placed in families, help them with food, clothing, footwear, medicine and other necessities. They are further planning a project that aims at providing comprehensive services and creating support groups for developing educational, economic and cultural solidarity for refugees from Ukraine.
Creating solidarity for refugees from Ukraine is crucial, as our colleague Elena Burca from “Casa Mărioarei” explains:“Considering that Moldova is not an economically rich country, especially now that prices are suddenly rising for everything related to the existence of life, an issue is that there may be some conflicts between locals and refugees. That is why we consider it very important to find ways include refugees in Moldovan society.” During the Easter holidays, they organized several activities at their centre and in two localities in the country, with the participation of locals and refugees. Activities were aimed at bonding and exchanging, for instance a cooking class on traditional dishes of Moldovans and Ukrainians. The dishes prepared were served at a common table, with conversations and exchange of experiences and traditions. They further organized sports competitions, drawing competitions and various activities with children.
Support our colleagues in Moldova
For all these activities, our colleagues are equipped with the human resources and expertise necessary: trainers, mentors and local coordinators, service providers, volunteers and good relations with local public administrations. The problem lies in the lack of finances to involve more specialists in discussions with locals and refugees, but also to organize events and provide all necessary services.
If you want to support our members and colleagues such as “Casa Mărioarei”, please donate to our fundraising drive: https://www.betterplace.at/support-womens-human-rights-defenders-in-ukraine/