Moldova: Bringing generations together to alleviate poverty and inspire grassroots change
A landlocked country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Around one quarter of its 4.3 million population lives on less than $2 a day.
Lack of agricultural investment, trade restrictions and tired social systems are some of the main causes - contributing to the glaring gap between absolute urban and rural poverty rates. Remote rural communities continue to face barriers to new technology, sustainable practices and financial services - binding them to a life of subsistence farming.
An ageing - and shrinking - population intensifies these pressures. Low wages and poor prospects have driven almost a third of people, mainly young adults, abroad, sending money home to sustain families. While many children are left in the care of older relatives, a growing number find themselves in orphanages, deprived of love and consistency. Here, the problems associated with a reliance on state care - a product of Moldova's Soviet legacy - are readily felt.
Moldova has a population of 4 million people.
At the beginning of 2021, the absolute poverty rate was 25.2%.
In 2022 a total of 28,385 people took part in our programmes.
What we do in Moldova
We work across Moldova to deliver context-specific education and livelihood opportunities that empower people to turn the tide. We build on the assets that already exist in rural communities, mobilising individuals and local organisations to realise and develop their strengths - together.
Safety Nets for older people
We mobilise local people to set up community networks that provide a safe space and practical support for older people. Through intergenerational activities and local actions - such as our annual Blue Bucket Campaign - we both combat poverty and educate community members on the benefits of mutual care.
Our Adopt a Granny programme, also active in Moldova, extends this provision of care to the international community.
We provide entrepreneurial skills training and professional learning opportunities to help rural Moldovans kick-start a business in the agricultural industry. These programmes not only alleviate poverty and help families stay together, they also facilitate best practice - traditional farming communities adopt value-added methods and bring them to the fore.
Our education and awareness-raising programmes teach children about sexual abuse and human trafficking as well as how to spot the signs and avoid victimisation. Younger generations develop social, financial and life skills through Aflatoun courses. We also provide psychosocial support and positive parenting workshops for parents and caregivers to ensure a safe, stable and loving family environment for every child. Our role in co-founding Christian Alliance Moldova Without Orphans (ACMO) reflects this commitment.
Ukraine crisis: Dorcas Moldova’s local network makes the difference
Dorcas Moldova is used to supporting marginalised groups such as older people and children in its projects, and now it suddenly has to deal with a war next door. Annegreet Ottow from the Dorcas International Office is in Moldova to support and advise the Dorcas team in the Ukrainian crisis response, provide training and visit partners. ‘Providing emergency aid is completely new for the team here’, she says. Dorcas also participates in the larger network of humanitarian organisations in Moldova, including thematic working groups organised within a UN context.
During the first few days after the invasion of Ukraine, things were quite chaotic at the border. Many Moldovans spontaneously went there to bring food and offer shelter in their own homes or in schools and churches.
ABCD - Better Together
Despite having the highest GDP growth rate in Europe, Moldova is the poorest state in Europe. For years, the country has been hampered by corruption, unemployment and mass emigration - that together have led to the breakdown of the social systems that the poorest need most.
Some of the worst conditions can be found in rural communities heavily reliant on agriculture - where poverty is four times higher than in urban areas. The country's unfinished transition to democracy can begin to explain this. Limited investment in land and machinery coupled with a closed market has left behind widespread inefficiencies in its wake - with little means for business owners to secure reliable buyers or a good price for their product.
Meet our Country Director...
Leila Sorbala - Country Director Moldova
"In Moldova, sadly there are many broken families. The separation of children from their parents as a result of mass migration is increasing. Despite this upward trend, Dorcas is spearheading some positive changes. We focus on the development of family and community-based services that extend a protective wing around those most vulnerable - and help parents and caregivers choose the right path."
- A.O. El-Sadai - Chisinau
- Asociatia de Binefacere 'Elim-Moldova' - Singerei
- Baptist Evangelical Church - Rezina
- Christian Foundation Titus - Telenesti
- Dinar - Chisinau
- Emmanuel Baptist Church - Balti
- Hope to Children - Floresti
Strategic Partners and Donors
- The Salavation Army - Chisinau
- Draagt Elkanders Lasten
Contact Dorcas Moldova
str. Timisoara, 11 A
Chisinau, MD 2059
Republic of Moldova
Fiscal code: 1009620002842
+373 22 46 14 46
+373 67 66 12 84