Community Center in Cobani, Moldova
Since the opening of the community center in February of 2017, the activities that have been performed by our partner NGO Neemia have had a transformational impact on the community. Here is a brief description of the main programs that are currently being implemented at the community center.
- After School Program. This program is designed to provide assistance in the afternoons with homework for children from low income families and children whose parents work abroad. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during the school year 20 children ages 7 through 10 come to the community center where they are fed a hot lunch and then they engage in a variety of educational activities (completing homework, doings arts and crafts, learning civic lessons, etc.) The parents and teachers of these children are very thankful that they are engaged in the after school program as they perform better in school and are behaving better at home. There are more children who want to come to the center but at the present time the space is limited and we can accommodate only 20. We are exploring options to build an addition to the current building where we might be able to accommodate more children and possibly start new programs.
- Hot Meals at Home. This program is designed to provide the elderly in the village who don’t have any relatives and live by themselves and individuals with disabilities with hot meals three times per week. We opened a kitchen at the community center and the cook prepares hot meals for lunch and then our partner, NGO Neemia, distributes the hot lunches to about 25-28 families three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Many of the individuals who receive hot meals have severe health problems, some are blind, some are bed ridden, and some can barely walk. For many of them, the meals that are delivered to them are the only hot meals that they eat the entire week. Many of the children who are benefiting from various programs at the community center are involved in the delivery of the meals to the elderly.
- Children and Youth Clubs. There are a variety of clubs where children and youth of various ages have the opportunity to interact with each other and engage in a variety of educational programs. The clubs include the following The English Club, The Reading Club, The Guitar Club, The Math and Science Club, The Soccer Club, The Adolescents Club, The Youth Club, The Volunteering Club, The Culinary Club.
The English Club
The English Club has two groups: a beginners group and an intermediary group. The beginners group has 16 children and the intermediary group has 10 children. The children attending the English club are between 12 and 17 years old. Each group meets two times per week. The children in the beginners group learn basics of grammar, vocabulary and English communication. The children in the intermediary group learn advanced grammar and engage in verbal communication on various topics. The club provides assistance to the students to complete their homework for their English classes and also provides opportunities to improve their English communication skills.
The Guitar Club
The Guitar Club has two groups: a beginners group and an intermediary group (those that attended the club last year). Each group has 8 children 12 to 17 years old. They meet two times per week and learn how to play guitar. In addition, these children participate at various community events where they perform various songs that they learn at the club.
The Math and Science Club
The Math and Science Club has a group of 16 children ages 14 to 16 and they meet two times per week. This club was started at the beginning of September of 2017 and is attended by those who are interested in learning more about science and mathematics.
The Soccer Club
This club is attended by children ages 11 to 13. They practice two times per week. During their practices, children engage in physical exercises and various soccer playing skills. This is an opportunity for relationship building with these kids and teach them various aspects of character development and integrity.
The Adolescents Club
This club has 25 children ages 12 to 14. They meet one time per week for games, discussions, competitions, watching videos, etc. The goal of this club is to create a healthy environment for relationship building and learning about each other.
The Youth Club
This club has a a group of about 20 students ages 15 to 18 who meet at the community center once per week for discussions on various topics, watching videos, playing games, etc.
The Volunteers Club
This club has a group of 28 students ages 14 to 18 who volunteered to work with the NGO Neemia on its projects. There are monthly meetings and students participate in weekly cleaning activities at the community center, volunteering for the Children’s Club, and volunteering in various social activities in the community. Our partner NGO Neemia also organizes two conferences per year and a summer camp for the members of the Volunteers Club.
The Reading Club
This club has a group of about 10 students ages 13 to 17. These students meet one time per month where they discuss a certain chapter from a book that was read by all students. During the meeting, students analyze, compare and contrast and derive conclusions from the reading.
The Culinary Club
This club has nine students ages 14 to 17 who want to learn various cooking skills. These students meet once every two weeks. They expressed interest in learning how to cook in order to become independent and be prepared to be a college student.
- Summer Camps
Summer Day Camps
Each summer our partner, NGO Neemia, organizes summer day camps for the months of June and July for children grades 1 through 4. Immediately after the school ends at the end of May, they start the first day camp at the community center. Starting with the first week in June, children from the 1st grade complete their day camp, then during the second week, the 2nd grade, during the 3rd week, the third grade and during the 4th week the fourth grade. The same happens during the four weeks of July. Each grade is involved in various educational activities where they are engaged in reading, arts and crafts, games, competitions, learning civic lessons and other activities. About 80 children participate in the day camps during the months of June and July.
Each summer for one week at the end of July, our partner, NGO Neemia, invites a professional artist to organize a day arts camp for the children in the village of Cobani. Every year 15 to 20 children from Cobani attend this camp where they learn the basics of drawing and painting.
Every year in July, our partner, NGO Neemia, organizes a week-long soccer camp for about 40 children ages 8 to 14 from Cobani. During the week children participate in various soccer practices in the morning and in the evening and they also engage in various civic lessons. Each year the camps culminate with a soccer tournament for about 100 children from several surrounding villages. These camps have been received very positively by the village administration, parents and children.