Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries, but few people are aware of its levels of poverty, or what defines it as a country. Situated in Eastern Europe, between Romania and Ukraine, it has a population of 3.5 million people across diverse ethnic groups including Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Roma and Bulgarian. The official language of Moldova is Romanian, locally known as Moldovan.
In Moldova, 1 in 8 children live in poverty, a significant majority of whom live in rural areas. Living in poverty has many strong impacts on education, health, wellbeing and safety. Many parents have to migrate abroad to find work, with a huge 40% of the working population working abroad. This leaves 40,000 children with one or both parents working abroad for more than 3 months per year.
Academic performance in Moldova is among the lowest in Europe. Around 50% of 15 year olds are not reaching the basic levels of reading and maths, and the urban / rural divide is also evident amongst children’s school attendance. Only 50% of children living in poverty attend preschool, with Roma children living in Moldova at the highest risk of gaining a poor education. Furthermore, many children are exposed to violence in the home, with around 76% of children aged between 2 and 14 years old having experienced both physical and psychological aggression and punishment.
In 2017 there were 1,390 children living in orphanages, baby homes and institutions for children with disabilities. Shockingly, 80% of these children have at least one parent; many end up in orphanages due to poverty, disabilities or other family pressures.
Where does The Moldova Project come in?
The Moldova Project's mission is to help families living in extreme poverty to find long-term solutions so that they can have happier, safer and more independent lives.
We work with up to 40 families on a one-to-one basis, keeping their needs, difficulties and hopes for the future at the centre of our work. Each of the families we support is visited on a monthly basis and given the support and advice that they need to work towards self-sufficiency. The support we provide includes guidance and training on a range of issues, help in securing employment, medical aid, enabling children to go to school and fun experiences and opportunities.
Help us do more for families living in extreme poverty. Click here to donate.
The Moldova Project is governed by a team of 7 Trustees. Read more about our Trustees. Our latest annual report provides details of another successful year. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers, sponsors and supporters who made all of this work possible.