In Moldova people often say, «Share with friends not only the good but also the bad news. But it is better when there is less bad news...»
We are always happy to share with you our good and bad news. Despite the fact that we live in different countries and often are in different parts of the world, God made us partners of His great mission. Within this mission, each of us has our own role, special and precious in the sight of God. We are grateful that you are standing alongside us.
This year, as you have probably already seen from our newsletters, was particularly rich in news and events. We are glad to share the good news that God allowed us to grow our ministry wider, expanding our holistic vision and influence in the north of Moldova. In October, BOL established the Youth Educational Center in the city of Balti, which is often called the northern capital of Moldova. This city is the second largest in terms of area and economic importance after Chisinau and the third largest in terms of population after Chisinau and Tiraspol. The population of this city is about 123,000 people. The excessive labor migration of the population of Moldova in the past decade has led to the increasing number of children being abandoned by their parents in every city and village. That problem makes children suffer from the lack of parental care, education and family life models and skills. The department of social care and child protection of Balti states that the official number of children left behind is over 5000, which is about 35% of the total number of school students. Officials within Balti municipal police department underline that the level of juvenile delinquency in Balti community is growing more and more, and in comparison with Chisinau is almost 10% higher. They connect this growth of criminal activity with the “left behind” minors’ data.
“Disadvantaged families use any possible way they can to survive,” says Anna, a local social worker, “People are working two or three low-paid jobs or they leave the country trying to support children from abroad. Often they are involved in criminal activities or fall back to alcohol, drugs and others addictions. These things put their children under high risk and vulnerability both now and in the future.”
As a solution, Beginning of the Life decided to open an educational center for young people in Balti where they will be able to receive an individual approach to their needs and problems, vocational orientation, character and life skills formation, as well as psychological and spiritual counselling. In spite of intensive opposition and intimidation from the school administration officials, students started to come to the center and share information about the program with one another. Two “Way to Success” training course groups are underway, each with 10-15 students. Aside from this, during one year our team in Balti will provide material support to 30 children from the most disadvantaged families. Of course, we continue to develop awareness work within the public schools of Balti which was started 4 years ago. Despite many obstacles that have appeared along the way, we desire to be there where the differences are needed…