Date: July 4, 2013

On Sunday, June 30, Keystone Moldova joined other NGOs at a volunteer recruitment fair. The fair was part of the celebration events to mark the 20th anniversary of the Peace Corps' activity in Moldova. On this occasion, Peace Corps volunteers walked from northern Moldova toward the south. The procession ended with a concert in the La Izvor Park, the place where the fair was held.

With four years of experience working with Peace Corps volunteers, the Vis Community Center of Bacioi, Chisinau represented Keystone Moldova at the event. Until now, the Center has had two volunteers from the U.S. The fair helped them recruit another volunteer, who plans to start her activity in Bacioi the following week.

"Foreign volunteers have a positive impact on the Center's activity. Through their example, they show young people in Moldova how they could also become active members of the community without expecting financial reward but rather receiving a spiritual reward," said Liliana Celcinschi, coordinator of the Vis Community Center.

The Center's beneficiaries joined in the fair's activities. They participated in the concert, showing off their talents in singing and playing the accordion. One of the Center's volunteers performed a beatboxing act-a form of vocal percussion involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth and voice.

Apart from that, Keystone Moldova held an exhibition at the fair, displaying numerous handmade items by beneficiaries: fabric or thread flowers, fish bone pictures, and bags made out of recyclable materials. All of these were made by persons with disabilities, their parents, or support staff.

"It is an important event for the Center because it gives the children the opportunity to show off their talents. It gives them confidence through the abilities they discover in themselves. They feel what they create is appreciated. This year, we started a workshop where we make clutches from recyclable materials, and the kids finally got to find out what their work is worth because they can sell it," said Liliana Celsinschi.

Keystone Moldova established the Vis Community Center in Bacioi in 2007 so it could provide support to children from vulnerable families, including children with disabilities living in the community. The Center's services include psychological, educational, and social assistance.

Keystone Moldova helps reform the social care and protection system for persons with disabilities to ensure their social inclusion by means of the Community for All-Moldova Program. The Program is implemented with the help of the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family and funded by Open Society Foundations/ Mental Health Initiative and the Soros Foundation - Moldova.

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