During COD (Community Organizational Development) training, we are asked to complete several group community projects.
Our second project included interviewing, in Romanian, our Mayor and the local librarian to find out more about the town.
We discussed how many people lived in the town, what were the main projects that the Mayor’s office was working on, what services the library offered and for each what were the opportunities for the future.
Our village like many other Moldovan communities are completing infrastructure projects like improving roads and sewage systems as well as improving school facilities. They are also looking for ways to connect Moldovans living abroad with their home village. (I’ll talk more about the issue of Moldovan Migration in a later blog post.)
The libraries are finding ways to continue to encourage reading as well as running events and clubs that support the development of other skills, much like the libraries in the US. Our village library runs a chess club and has several computers that patrons can use to browse the internet, check email or play games.
The 3rd project we conducted was to create and run a survey in our local community. Our group of 7 talked with over 130 people in Romanian! The results were tabulated and we presented this information to our class and also to our Mayor. We found out that our librarian had just taken a course on Piktochart so we talked with her about working with us on an info graphic for the survey results. We spent several hours working with her on it and even with our limited Romanian were able to create an informative document.
Humor note: While working on the document, I wanted to tell the Librarian to put some text at the bottom of the page. I knew how to say “page” so I used google translate to find the word for “bottom” which is “fund” in Romanian. As I said the word to her, she laughed and said in Romanian “No, don’t use that”. She listed some Romanian words on my paper and told me to use those. She then said “Fund!” and patted her “bottom”. We all laughed at my language faux pas.
Each project was an amazing and challenging experience.