Czech support for Moldovan social enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemicPublished: Feb 2, 2021 Reading time: 3 minutes
Three social enterprises from the Republic of Moldova have received grants to continue supporting people with disabilities, a group that has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the three organisations, – Credem-Eco, Floare de cireş, and the Nativity Monastery – received 297,000 CZK (approximately 11,420 euro) through the “COVID-19 Response: Helping people with disabilities cope with the pandemic” project, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and implemented by People in Need (PIN) in Moldova.
Credem-Eco, based in Bălți municipality in the north of the country, used the grant to purchase sewing machines for its sewing workshop, which employs three people with disabilities. This has enabled the organisation to diversify its product range, and to specialise in the production of personal protective equipment such as facemasks, gowns, and coveralls. The employees were trained on how to use the new sewing machines, how to protect themselves from COVID-19, and how to reduce the stress caused by restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
Floare de cireş, based in Răzeni, a village in the centre of the country, bought thermal bags, bicycles, and a stainless-steel refrigerator to ensure the continued functioning of their canteen. Thanks to these purchases, vulnerable families and seniors living in the village are able to receive warm meals every week. Sergiu Gurău, Executive Director of Floare de cireş, says the grant also helped extend an on-the-job training programme for employees with disabilities. “Eleven young people with disabilities attended practical lessons on preparing bakery products, thus preparing them for work in the small bakery that we will be opening soon,” says Gurău.
Thanks to a grant awarded to the Nativity Monastery in Zăbriceni village in northern Moldova, the medical staff from Edineț district hospital, which is heavily involved in fighting COVID-19, received food three times a day as well as accommodation. The grant was used to purchase several sets of bedding and a rotary ironing machine, while the canteen received new kitchen equipment. Additionally, 10 people with disabilities were employed to collect medicinal and aromatic plants grown on the monastery’s grounds.
Silvia Bicenco, Country Director for PIN Moldova, says: “Vulnerable groups have felt the negative impacts of the pandemic more than anyone else; the help provided through this project came at exactly the right time. We are glad to see active social enterprises that are dedicated to supporting people with disabilities, beneficiaries who would have been even more affected had they been left alone to face the pandemic.”
Through the same project, psycho-neurological institutions for adults with disabilities in the districts of Dubăsari, Edineț, and Soroca, and in the Bălți municipality received donations of personal protective equipment. These donations included facemasks, face shields, gloves, protective suits, hand and surface disinfectants, single-use gowns, and aprons. The clients and staff of the psycho-neurological institutions were also trained on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Photo credit – © – “Credem-Eco”, “Floare de cireş”, PIN Moldova