The Republic of Moldova is a former Soviet republic situated between Romania and the Ukraine. Compared to other post-communist countries in transition, its people have suffered considerably more poverty than other Eastern European countries.
Due to political instability, territorial separation and corruption, the economic situation has become stagnant. The average worker has a monthly salary of about 150 EUR. The average pensioner receives about 50 EUR a month. Due to a lack of work and low wages, many young people are forced to go abroad to work, leaving children and the elderly behind. Statistics show that over half of the working population is currently abroad, sending money home to support their families. Unfortunately such situations often cause families to break up and the elderly to be left alone.
The economic crisis, followed by the country’s instability, has led to permanent under-funding of the health system and the elimination of basic public services such as water, sewage and garbage removal.
Where We Work
Străşeni is a city of about 20 000 inhabitants. It is 25 kilometers from Chisinau (the capital of Moldova) and it is the main administrative centre of Străşeni district. Due to economic crises after the Moldovan independence that caused a further lack of continuous investment in the maintenance of infrastructure, water supply has been out of order in the whole city for more than 10 years. Since 2010, when it was finally repaired, it still remains an unaffordable luxury for many elderly and poor families, and the price of water supply is too high in comparison to their low incomes. It is important to mention that many residents use public or private wells, either because they can’t afford bills or they are not even able to connect their houses to the central water supply.
Part of the city has a central drainage system, but the small channels have mostly been damaged and are non-functional. The residents who are not connected to the drainage system have to dig their own cesspits, which greatly causes pollution of underground water and wells, sources still widely used as water supplies. The city used to have public central heating but stopped functioning in the early 1990s.
In order to meet the needs of the population, the town is provided with state institutions of medical care: hospital and policlinic. It is clear that these institutions are in a difficult financial situation and cannot assure quality services.
A major problem remains the poverty of the population combined with worsening hygiene.