Kamilla Pivovarenko is a 15-year-old girl from the city of Dnepr, Ukraine who fled the war with her mother and came to the Republic of Moldova. As part of a project through the MilleniuM Training and Development Institute, Pivovarenko performed in the charity show "Stories through Stones," along with other young refugees. Since coming to Moldova, she has continued to be involved in various creative activities that can change the world for the better.
Since UN Women, through its mandate, promotes the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda and encourages women’s participation in decision-making processes, we spoke to Jana Costachi on the International Day of Peace about her experience supporting refugees and peacekeeping processes.
Several women from the Republic of Moldova, who got involved from the first day, along with thousands of other women from our country, in helping people who fled the war in Ukraine, talked about their experience and motivation, but also about the importance of each of our contributions in providing support to people in need. Women gathered within the event organised by UN Women Moldova on the World Humanitarian Day, marked annually on August 19.
Until recently, there were few women beekeepers in the Republic of Moldova, but there has been a recent buzz in activity. Gradually managing to ‘tame’ the bees and overcome stereotypes, today roughly 8 per cent of the 7,696 apiaries listed in the National Food Safety Agency’s National Register of Beekeepers are kept by women.
The COVID-19 pandemic, but also recent multiple crises, led to a series of changes and effects on the population, all of these reflecting on women and men differently, both economically and socially. This is also determined by the fact that women and men have different roles both in society and family.
A delegation from the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) - including its government donors from Austria, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom - visited the Republic of Moldova on 21-23 June 2022 to witness the impact of WPHF-supported partners and assess the unique needs of local women’s organizations as they work to protect women and girls on the front lines of the Ukraine refugee crisis.
6 Moldovan civil society organisations, established and led by women and/or promoting the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda, received financial support amounting to almost 1 mln USD from United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), with support from UN Women Moldova.
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to the Republic of Moldova, looking for a safe shelter. Amid this unprecedented crisis, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, international community, civil society organizations and many volunteers have joined efforts to respond promptly and efficiently to the needs of Ukrainian people. Those involved face many challenges, including maintaining psychological balance. For this reason, many psychologists and psychoterapists have started organizing mental health sessions. One of these specialists is Elena Biceva, President of the Moldovan Association of Gestalt Therapy and Psychodrama, who organizes mental health sessions for public servants involved in refugee crisis response. She explains the role of psychological counselling in crisis situations, as well as how to prevent emotional burnout.
As a consequence of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the lives of millions of people changed overnight. Many Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes, being internally displaced or fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of safe shelter. Refugees had to leave behind their loved ones, as well as give up jobs, hobbies, and other things that their lives were made of.
Yaroslav, 19, is a young man from Odessa who fled to the Republic of Moldova at the beginning of March 2022, together with his family. He is passionate about music, computers and accounting. The young musician has had an atypical development and multiple forms of disability, and the bombing and stress caused by the war has dramatically undermined his health. Before the war, thanks to therapy, Yaroslav was able to walk on his own, with a little help. Now, he uses a wheelchair again.
As a part of continuous efforts for contributing to improving resilience of the most vulnerable groups against multiple crises, especially against the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermaths, UN Women initiated, at the end of 2021, the „Increasing the access of vulnerable women to food and essential supplies” project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, financed by the Embassy Office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova.
Women from Boscana commune, together with women refugees from Ukraine, have organised a cultural activity to get to know each other better and exchange traditions and customs, at the initiative of the Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (CALM), with support from UN Women and financial contribution from Sweden. It was the first time when women refugees accommodated in the commune managed to meet one another, share information, concerns and contacts. Boscana inhabitants also had the opportunity to become acquainted with women refugees who have been living in their commune for over two months.
Ana Grama is a young entrepreneur who transformed her passion for growing lavender into an eco cosmetics startup. Ana’s professional path started with the Pre-accelerator programme for women and girls implemented by XY Partners, with support from UN Women and funded by Sweden.
Tamara Schiopu, 56, is an environmentalist and an expert in ecological agriculture from Moldova. She is the President of EcoLocal - Association of Organic and Artisanal Producers and Consumers of Moldova. Tamara has always been immersed in nature. Her husband has been an organic farmer for over 40 years. Tamara learned about the benefits of this type of agriculture from him and has adopted an environment and climate-friendly lifestyle.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Moldova and Poland have received the highest number of refugees. As of 22 April, about 91 thousand Ukrainian refugees are residing across the different regions of Moldova. UN Women has been working with partners to gather, analyse and disseminate data to illustrate the differential and disproportionate impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on women and girls.
Svetlana Babaș, 19, is a Ukrainian Roma woman who had to flee her home as a result of Russia’s military invasion in Ukraine. She shares her story as a young mother who was worried about her fast approaching due date while escaping war and her journey to safety in a temporary placement center for refugees in central Moldova.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous visited the Republic of Moldova from 8 to 10 April to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment as a key partner to advance gender equality and women’s leadership in the country. During her visit, Bahous emphasized UN Women’s determination to support Moldova’s efforts as a host country to the thousands of refugees fleeing the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
The General Inspectorate of Border Police of MIA received a donation of 60 wheelchair and 40 walkers for people with reduced mobility or elderly people. The mobility equipment has been donated by UN Women Moldova with financial support from Sweden.