New KiTa (day care centre) opened in Ceadir Lunga
Maxim Friesen has been working with our wortundtat partner Gloria in the Gagauz city of Ceadir Lunga since autumn 2018. He uses drastic words to describe the circumstances, under which the children live in the town in the South of the Republic of Moldova with a population of 20,000. “Many children in Ceadir Lunga live in houses, which remind me of old, almost derelict barns: two-metre high mud walls, broken windows, which are nailed up with wood during winter, no heating and rarely an inside toilet. ”Since November, 37-year old Maxim has been running a day care centre in the same town, which is also home to the social welfare centre Gloria.
The rooms are bright and decorated in friendly colours; they provide the children with space to play and to learn. Soon, a garden will be added. “Here, the children shall learn a lot about friendship, relations and the meaning of life” says the father of three children, who with his wife, also looks after two foster children.
A new challenge has been found Ceadir Lunga
He says: “During the past months here in Moldova, I have become very aware of how difficult life of children is and how little they have.” The state had no funds to run its own children’s homes or to give support to parents or grandparents, who financially or pedagogically can’t cope with childcare. The situation is particularly bad for those children, who live with their grandparents because both parents or one of them is abroad to earn money. “Grandparents are often unable to cope in such situations and their often meagre pension is not enough to look after the children”, says Maxim Friesen.
Eating their fill after school
During the week, up to 30 children aged between 7 and 11 come to the facility, where they are greeted by Maxim Friesen and two employees and some voluntary helpers. After school, the children have the chance to eat until they are no longer hungry. Afterwards there is a wide range of activities on offer – for example help with homework, the opportunity to play, to learn a language or to join a Bible class. “As far as possible, we integrate the children into our work. We don’t only put a plate in front of them, they are also able to prepare the food they are eating”, says Maxim Friesen. The number of currently maximal 30 guests will most definitely grow. Ceadir Lunga – just as other towns and cities of the country – has a great demand for such day centres. If has been planned to extend what is on offer now.