KATHERINE IN MOLDOVA
My name’s Katherine and I worked for a human rights NGO in Moldova called CReDO.
My first impressions
of the project were that it was smaller than I was expecting it to be, with only a few people working there. I was expected to work very independently, and the first few days involved a lot of background reading on CReDO and its aims, values etc. It can seem tedious but it is necessary if you are really going to understand the project that you’re working for.
CReDO specialised in policy research and advocacy for human rights and democracy in Moldova. Their aim is for the situation in Moldova to improve to the standards of EU and other developed countries.
My role as a volunteer
Was to conduct policy research, this involved looking at existing policies in my own country and other EU countries to see what Moldova should be aspiring for. However, it was important to be realistic and have a good knowledge of Moldova’s political and economic situation, to see what changes are feasible for the country.
A typical day for me was
very busy! I would work from 10 until 5 and then go straight to my Russian lesson which lasted for 45 minutes. I could already speak some Russian, but the lessons were one on one and really helped me to become more confident with speaking
At the weekends I would try and visit sights either in Chisinau or in other parts of Moldova. One weekend I managed to go to Odessa! Most of the time I did these trips with other volunteers but occasionally I ventured somewhere by myself. I wasn’t in Moldova very long, and because I was busy all week I wanted to do as much as possible at weekends. Going somewhere alone is ok if you speak either Russian or Romanian, but if not it is best to go with a friend, as you are likely to come into difficulty.
Moldova is really cheap!
I also really enjoyed doing trips out of the capital, because the Moldovan countryside is beautiful and you get a whole different experience to city life. I really enjoyed meeting other volunteers from all over the world. The placement was interesting and a valuable experience. I gained new friends and great work experience. I learnt a lot about Moldovan culture, which is unique in its mixture of Russian and Romanian.