Two months ago the East European foundation, a subdivision of Eurasia foundation, partnered with the Moldovan Parliament to launch a grant competition called "Parteneriatul pentru copii", or the Partnership for Children. Both groups recognized that Moldova's youth was severely lacking in development opportunities and the childrens' free time was not be supported through community efforts. This is especially true in rural areas of Moldova, so their grant competition focused on improving recreational facilities in rural areas.
When I first arrived in Zgurita, one of the first thing I noticed was the lack of activities available for kids. I saw a lot of bars around, but no gymnasium, auditorium, cultural center, etc. There were two old basketball goals that were 30 years old left over from the Soviet days, but they were both leaning and broken. When you look at the basketball goal today, you can see the ground around the goal beaten down to only dirt, so it's obvious that the kids are trying to play and are interested. One of the first projects that my partner proposed we do in the village was to build a sports gymnasium at the school. Finding the resources to fund a huge project like that is really difficult, but we knew starting with a cheaper, outdoor court would be more feasible for us. This grant competition,"Parteneriatul pentru copii", was asking for applications to compete for grants up to $4,500, which was perfect for what we wanted to do.
My partner and I wrote a great grant to build a multi-purpose basketball and volleyball court at the school, and we were awarded the $2,900 assistance that we applied for. This Wednesday we will begin phase one by forming a group of volunteers from the school to cut the grass and weeds on the future site of our court and we should be able to start construction in about 2 weeks.