An Important Event in Hansca Community Home

A major event took place – the hallowing of Community Home in Hansca, Ialoveni. Even though it happened on the same day as the Town Day, the Community Home’s hallowing was the first event to be held by the Town Hall that day. Among the event guests were employees of Hansca Town Hall, Ialoveni District Council and Keystone Moldova, politicians, journalists and town people.

The six young men  – the Community Home dwellers who have been living together for a year now – were meeting guests with flowers handmade by them. Their greatest joy on that day was due to the media attending the event. “We’re going to be on TV and our relatives are going to see us!” Andrei, one of the young men, exclaimed. During the ceremony that was conducted by three priests they listened quietly, their eyes wide open, candles in their hands. It was a totally new experience for them.

SONY DSCCommunity Home is a social service for persons with severe disabilities in need of constant care and support. The six boys were taken from Orhei boarding house for children with mental difficulties.

“The Community Home service is very beneficial to our town – firstly, due to the better conditions that are created for persons with disabilities than in the boarding house, and secondly, due to the image it gives our town both in the country and abroad”, says Mrs. Elena Mosnegutu, Mayor of Hansca. “Delegations from other countries – Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and others – came to see how the service was implemented in our country”, she added.

The service is developed by Ialoveni District Council, but Hansca Town Hall is taking an active part in the process: it provided the land plot for the house, helps supply it with water and is repairing the part of the road where the Community Home is located – all for free. Moreover, employees of the Town Hall visit the Home on each holiday – Christmas, Easter or the Town Day, bringing gifts to the young men. Currently, the Community Home is sustained by Ialoveni District Council that covers its operational costs.

During the year that has passed since the young men moved into the Community Home, they have achieved great progress: they developed their self-service and communication skills, they learned to keep their household and clean up the house, and some of them had surgeries done to help them walk better. They learned to make jewelry and flowers; some of them became familiar with photography, others helped in cooking. Apart from that, the young men became good friends and enjoy going out for a walk. The thing they liked most of all was visiting the school where they attended the Farewell Bell event and taking trips to picturesque places of the community. The town people know and accept them, and neighborhood children love to spend their time with them.

The Community Home social service was created as a public institution by Ialoveni District council with the help of Keystone Moldova as part of the Community for All – Moldova program. The service development was funded by Open Society Foundation / Mental Health Initiatives and Soros Foundation Moldova. The Community Home operates under its Framework Regulation and the Quality Standards developed by the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family with the support of Keystone Moldova and approved by the Government in 2010.

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Young Entrepreneurs Support Businesses Started by Persons with Disabilities

Thursday, June 13, a group of Moldovan entrepreneurs donated MDL 8,000 for small businesses to be developed by two human services: Hansca Community Home and Orhei Supported Living. The donations were made during the Summer Entrepreneurship School organized by Rural Investment and Services Project II (RISP II), funded by the World Bank and the Swedish Government, jointly with European Business Association Moldova and Women Entrepreneurs’ Association Moldova.

“Such manner of fundraising is new for Moldova”, says Mariana Rufa, Executive Manager, EBA Moldova. “I got the idea while studying certain experiences from abroad. Our Association helps develop entrepreneurial thinking through workshops held for young business owners. There is also another long term product we want to create with these trainings. Hopefully, the money donated by young entrepreneurs will help build new businesses and generate other money.”

All summer school participants donated money, each driven by their own personal reasons.

“I was motivated by the fact that there are such organizations helping people with disabilities develop their own businesses and improve their lives”, said Nadejda Hamîc, a shopping mall manager.

Rita Pînzaru, manager of a beauty parlor, mentioned: “I don’t know the people I donated money to personally, but I’m doing a good deed and it makes me feel good, too.”

The donations are meant to support a rabbit farm built by four young men from Orhei Supported Living and a quail farm run by the beneficiaries and support staff of Hansca Community Home in the district of Ialoveni. The farms are developed within the Small Business Incubator Program created by Keystone Moldova jointly with Winrock Moldova and funded by Open Society Foundations / Mental Health Initiative. Young entrepreneurs collected MDL 4,000 for each of the two businesses.

“We will use this money to buy a power generator and a climatizer”, said Maria Josu, teaching psychologist at Hansca Community Home. “Our goal is to give the young men in the service a steady job. It is important for them to know one should get up every morning and go to work and then, at the end of each month, get remunerated”, she added.

In his turn, Ion Digori, coordinator of Orhei Supported Living, mentioned they intended to use the donated money to buy high breed rabbits. “Besides financial aid, this training also gave us relationships with three business partners who got interested in buying rabbit meat”, he said.

The training brought together 25 entrepreneurs from all over the country, each of them with up to 5 years in business. They exchanged experience, gained new knowledge and met people who could become their future partners. “The main goal of the training is to allow people who have already succeeded in marketing, accounting and legal aspects to share their practices with starting entrepreneurs as well as businesspersons with 5 to 10 years of experience. Another great advantage is that entrepreneurs develop a communication, social and business network – find partners and build contacts with facilitators. Later this connection will become stronger through specific partnerships”, said Mariana Rufa.

Persons acting as training facilitators were delegated by Nicolae Dumitrescu Academy, BCR Chișinău, Mobiasbanca – Groupe Societe Generale S.A., Țurcan Cazac Law Firm, Coca Cola Bottlers Chișinău, Profsystem, Moldovan German Association for Economic Development and GITANA Winery. Each of them shared their companies’ experiences and practices with the audience, mentioning the specific marketing and promotion, legal and accounting aspects learned by them.

“This training gives business owners the opportunity to learn new things, improve their business-related knowledge and build new relationships. Moreover, such training events contribute to personal development and enhance motivation”, declared Olga Sainciuc, Deputy Director of the Consolidated Agricultural Projects Management Unit for World Bank funded projects.

Many participants mentioned they enjoyed the training and were looking forward to applying the newly acquired knowledge and ideas.

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Helping Hand Moldova helps families of persons with disabilities start businesses

Busy as a bee, Efimia, a lady from the village of Ciocilteni, Orhei manages to keep a cow, a goat, a pig and different fowl, all by herself. Above that, she is bringing up a boy with an intellectual disability who has returned home from the Boarding house for children (boys) with intellectual difficulties of Orhei. With a large household and about 2 ha of land, she is still often short of money because of too small of a benefit and lack of a steady job.


Because she has a family to maintain but no job, Efimia started to look for an additional source of income. Thus, last year Keystone Moldova donated an incubator for 50 chicken eggs to her. She incubated two lots of goose eggs instead. “I hatched 58 goslings. When they were grown, I butchered them and cured the meat in jars”, she says. “In the future, I’m planning to sell goslings and geese to earn some money. We don’t have a market here in our village, so I’ll go to Orhei to sell them.”

This year, with the support of Helping Hand Moldova, Efimia has a chance to develop her initiative into a small business. The foundation gave her a small grant she used to buy the necessary equipment: an incubator for 162 eggs, a power generator (for cases of power outages that can happen for various reasons) and a mill to make maize grits for chickens or goslings.

Now Efimia has big plans for spring/summer period: “It is going to be much better with the new incubator – it has a bigger capacity and is more sophisticated than the first one. I want to hatch about three lots of goose eggs”. She says she is going to involve her son Vlad who helps her around the house in developing her little business.

It is not the first time Helping Hand Moldova has supported Keystone Moldova’s beneficiaries. For three years in a row, beneficiaries and services developed by Keystone have received  surprises from Helping Hand. Last fall the foundation donated many useful things that were chosen based on beneficiaries’ needs: computers, wheelchairs, clothes and footwear for children and adults; toys, fabrics and materials for handicraft. The goods were distributed among approximately 20  families and 5 Community Homes and Supported Living services.NSG120129_0139

Besides material aid, the foundation also provided 3 small grants of EUR 2,000 each to help three beneficiaries of Keystone Moldova and their families start a small business. The grants were used to buy equipment for a family of Ciocilteni, Orhei, a mini tractor for a family of Talmaza, Stefan Voda, and shoemaking equipment for two young people with intellectual disabilities who were deinstitutionalized from the Boarding house for children (boys) with intellectual difficulties of Orhei and will live in a Supported Living service in the village of Oxentea, Dubasari.

The donations offered by Helping Hand Moldova are collected in the Netherlands in various ways: during fund-raising events organized by the foundation, with individual donations and with donations made by other Dutch organizations and communities. With its big team of volunteers including families, friends and relatives, the foundation wishes to provide support and material assistance in the education and social field in Moldova.

Keystone Moldova helps reform the social security and care system for persons with disabilities to ensure their social inclusion by means of the Community for All – Moldova program. The program is implemented jointly with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, with the financial support of Open Society Foundations / Mental Health Initiative and Soros Foundation Moldova.

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With Helping Hand Moldova, dreams can come true

Traditionally, Helping Hand Moldova provides donations for the beneficiaries of the Community for All – Moldova Program implemented by Keystone Moldova. Persons with disabilities, their families and inhabitants of Community Homes and Supported Living Services created with Keystone Moldova support are getting gifts for the third year in a row.

This year’s donation includes useful goods that were chosen according to beneficiaries’ needs: computers, wheelchairs, clothes and footwear for children or adults, as well as toys, fabric and materials for handicrafts. The goods will be distributed among about 20 families and 5 Community Homes and Supported Living Services.

Henk van Veldhoven, President of the Foundation, and Elly Spiekerman, its Secretary, visited the families and services to see what else the individuals with disabilities needed and how they had used last year’s donations. The visits turned into a string of surprises for both Keystone beneficiaries and the Helping Hand Moldova delegates.

The first visit was made to a family where two children with disabilities live. Last year, Helping Hand Moldova gave them a horizontal wheelchair, clothing, footwear and an electric sewing machine and was glad to see their gifts proved very useful to the family, especially the sewing machine which is also a source of income. A daughter of the family, who uses a wheelchair, pleased the Helping Hand representatives, saying she helps her mother when she sews, holding the fabric.

The second visit was to the Community Home of Hansca, Ialoveni. In June 2012, when several boys were taken from the Home for children with mental disabilities of Orhei and placed in the service, they found a gift left for them by Helping Hand Moldova – a computer, which gave them much joy. Two of them have already learned to use it and love playing on it.

Then followed the Supported Living Service in Orhei, which received a mini grant from Helping Hand last year. This time the Foundation’s representatives were pleasantly surprised to learn it had been used efficiently. Last year the boys only had one rabbit and a single cage; now they have 13 rabbits and managed to make more cages for them. The grant also allowed them to do some socializing activities: going fishing, to a pizza shop, to a movie etc. Henk van Veldhoven and Elly Spiekerman concluded the boys had changed a lot for the better: “We see here different people than we did last year”.

Helping Hand representatives were very receptive to the boys’ wishes. This year they gave them a set of tools that the boys wanted very much and that will certainly prove useful in the household. Thus, besides offering material aid, Helping Hand also helps make many people’s wishes come true.

“I wish I was no longer dependent on others and could move on my own”, imparted a beneficiary of the Community Home in Mitoc, Orhei last year. This year, the boy was in for a great surprise when people from Helping Hand came in with an electric wheelchair. At first he was speechless; then he exclaimed: “Now I can go anywhere I want and I don’t have to ask others for help!I have never thought dreams could come true”, he added with a bright gaze.

The aid provided by Helping Hand Moldova is gathered in Netherlands through various ways: fundraising events organized by the Foundation, private donations and donations by other organizations and Dutch communities. With a team of volunteers involving families, friends and relatives in its activity, the Foundation intends to provide support and material assistance related to the educational and social systems of Moldova.

Keystone Moldova helps reform the social protection and care system for persons with disabilities to ensure their social inclusion by means of the Community for All – Moldova Program which is implemented jointly with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family with the financial support of Open Society Mental Health Initiative and Soros Foundation – Moldova.

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Community Homes and Community for All-Moldova in the News

PUBLIKA.MD published a story about the community homes in Moldova where six young men now live. These young men left the Home for children (boys) with mental disabilities in Orhei and moved into community homes.

The community homes were developed as part of the Community for All-Moldova Program, implemented by Keystone Moldova in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family and with financial support from the Open Society Foundations/Mental Health Initiative and the Soros Foundation-Moldova.

Below is the English translation of the news coverage. You can read the story and view the video of the original coverage here.

Children from the orphanages who cannot be reintegrated into their biological families have a chance to a normal life in community homes. This is the case of six boys, who were taken from an institution for children with mental disabilities from Orhei. Now they have a house of their own and the care that they could not hope.

These children with special needs could be integrated in their biological families, because relatives could not provide the necessary care. Now they live in a house built by a non-governmental association.

“Every morning I ask them what they want to do and if our boys don’t want to do that activity, they are not imposed by anyone,” says psycho-pedagogue Maria Josu.

“The boys help me, they want to participate in food processing–to peel potatoes, onions, carrots,” says chef Elena Borta.

Authorities say one community home is too little for Ialoveni rayon.

“We would like to have two more community houses, because we have girls with mental disabilities, to,” said Deputy Head of Social Department from Ialoveni, Vera Ursuleac.

The non-governmental organizations help the Rayonal Social Welfare Department. “By the end of the year, we play to open seven community homes and a supported living service,” says Ina Crasnojan-Laba, specialist of Keystone Moldova.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, there are three community homes for 16 children in Moldova. They were opened by public organizations and local authorities only pay the salaries.

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Moldovan Professionals Receive Introduction to Supported Employment

Supported Employment Workshop ParticipantsTwenty professionals who work in inclusive education and community residential programs, as well as community center leadership and staff from the Ministry of Social Protection and the Ministry of Labor from the Republic of Moldova attended a three-day course on Supported Employment in Chisinau.

The Supported Employment workshop was part of the ongoing support and technical assistance by Keystone Human Services International (KHSI), through a grant from the Open Society Foundations. The workshop was led by Julie Allan of Kilsby, Allan and Morgan, LLC from the UK and guided by Elizabeth Neuville, Executive Director of the Keystone Institute.

The workshop offered an introduction to the principles of Supported Employment, providing examples from multiple places and exposing the participants to the main principles of the service. Supported Employment is a service that assists people with disabilities to find and maintain a job, an important step in fully participating in community life. Importantly, people are supported to find work that fits their interests and capacities. Support for each person is highly individualized and can be customized as needed.

Supported Employment also assists employers to maximize the contributions from all of their employees.

Many of the young men of working age who have been supported to leave the Home for Children (Boys) with Mental Disabilities in Orhei through the Community for All-Moldova Program (implemented jointly by Keystone Moldova and the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family with financial support from the Open Society Foundations / Mental Health Initiative and Soros Foundation-Moldova) are eager to find work. Supported Employment would give these young men opportunities to find meaningful work in an area that fits their interests.

Work is continuing in the Community for All-Moldova Program to assist people with disabilities to lead full meaningful lives in the community. Not only are we committed to inclusive education and inclusive living situations, but we are looking at the best practices in inclusive employment.

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Project to support decentralization of human services in Moldova launched in Chisinau

A project entitled “Public-private partnership consolidation for a sustainable development of community-based services for persons with disabilities” was recently launched in Chisinau. The project worth EUR 273,436 is funded by the European Union and implemented by Keystone Moldova  jointly with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family. EUR 241,401 of the total project cost are provided by the European Union, and the other EUR 32,035 are supplied by Open Society Foundations / Mental Health Initiative.IMG_4226

The purpose of the project is to develop Mobile Team services in five districts of the country: Singerei, Falesti, Ungheni, Anenii Noi and Dubasari. This is supposed to improve the quality of human services provided to about 200 children with disabilities and their families in these  districts. Additionally, the project provides for activities to change public attitude towards persons with disabilities and promote their rights.

“The project’s importance is not so much due to the financial assistance provided as because it is a sign of a new stage in the socially aimed cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova”, declared Head of EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, H.E. Ambassador Mr. Dirk Schuebel who attended the launching event. “Its value also resides in that it contributes to the establishment of a public-private partnership which, in its turn, will ensure a sustainable development of community-based services for persons with disabilities. […] The project will help model the new Mobile Team services to support persons with disabilities locally based on their needs”, mentioned H.E., Mr. Ambassador.

IMG_4221Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Mr. Sergiu Sainciuc, who also attended the event, thanked the EU for funding the project. “We may have a very good legal framework and qualified staff, but without the funds necessary to implement the activities envisaged by the project it will be very hard for us to ensure equal opportunities”, declared the Deputy Minister.

In her turn, Mrs. Ludmila Malcoci, CEO, Keystone Moldova, mentioned that the project supports the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Moldova, ensuring their right to quality services and life in the community. “At the same time, it will help decentralize human services by developing public-private partnership and empowering local authorities and service providers in creating and implementing quality services based on the needs of persons with disabilities. The service models to be developed will be then applied in other districts of Moldova”, added Mrs. Malcoci.

Mobile Teams is a service providing home-based social assistance to persons with disabilities and their families in remote areas with limited access to specialized services. Services provided by Mobile Teams vary based on beneficiaries’ needs and can include: psychological assistance and counseling; healthcare and rehabilitation/recovery services (kinesiotherapy, speech therapy); special training to develop independent community life skills, etc. Thus, Mobile Teams contribute to early detection of children with disabilities, help prevent their placement in residential care and facilitate their social inclusion by ensuring their access to quality rehab and recovery services.

The Mobile Team human service will act under its Framework Regulation and Quality Standards developed by the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family with the support of Keystone Moldova and approved by the Government in 2011. So far, Keystone Moldova has supported the service development in 7 districts – Ialoveni, Hincesti, Orhei, Soroca, Edinet, Telenesti and Leova, and 2 cities – Chisinau and Balti. Recently, the service was also created in the districts of Nisporeni and Cimislia, funded by the state budget. Keystone Moldova will provide methodological support to ensure operability of the service.

The project “Public-private partnership consolidation for a sustainable development of community-based services for persons with disabilities” is implemented within the Community for All – Moldova Program developed by Keystone Moldova jointly with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family, Open Society Foundations / Mental Health Initiative and Soros Moldova Foundation.

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