Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has created 28 Safe Space points in the Republic of Moldova, of which 8 are mobile points, to offer physical, emotional, and social protection to both refugees and people from the community, who are in risky situations. One of these is located on the premises of the Center for Young Naturalists in the Botanica sector of the Capital.
Today, an open day was organized there, and those present were able to learn both about the facilities that refugees from Ukraine benefit from, and about the temporary school set up for young people who continue to be enrolled in educational institutions in their country of origin and who attend classes online.
The event was attended by the Resident Representative of UNFPA in the Republic of Moldova, Nigina Abaszada, as well as representatives of other partner organizations.
“This space is for both Ukrainian and Moldovan citizens, young and old… It’s a combination of safe spaces for young and old. Thank you to those who put effort and enthusiasm into this center, energy so that those who step on the threshold of the center remain satisfied, to come back whenever they need. I also thank the ambassador of Japan for the help he offers to the refugees in Ukraine. We also thank the officials from the ministry for agreeing to be with us”, said Nigina Abaszada.
The event was also attended by the ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Moldova, E.S. Yoichiro Yamada.
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“I want to thank UNFPA for the effort made, for this center, and for the support given to the citizens of Ukraine. I respect you a lot for that. The support you provide is commendable. In the same way, we are happy to see that many families from Moldova welcomed the refugees from Ukraine with open arms, it’s a nice gesture”, said the Japanese ambassador.
Every day, women and young people who visit the center participate free of charge in several activities, such as individual and group sessions with the psychologist, healthy lifestyle sessions (mental health, reproductive health education, prevention of gender-based violence and human trafficking), access to online courses, Romanian language courses, workshops on cooking traditional Moldovan dishes, photography lessons and Corel Draw.
“We are very satisfied with everything that is happening in this center. I am in Moldova with two nieces, the parents are in Odesa, where they work. I, from here, teach online to students from Ukraine, and my nieces have made friends here, have different occupations, and are very excited. They like it a lot, and that makes me happy too,” said Olga, a refugee teacher.
“We come here daily, my child asks me every morning when we go to the center. He became very attached to the children here, to the teachers of the center. I am glad that sponsors were found to make available to the citizens of Ukraine all these possibilities, and not only. We hope that everything will remain like this in the future”, said another refugee.
Till now, more than 20,000 women, young people, and elderly people have benefited from the services of the Safe Space points.