(VIDEO) The refugee who managed to integrate into Moldova and unite an entire community

Natalia Molceanova arrived in the Republic of Moldova on 26 February 2022 amid the war in Ukraine. Her arrival was with uncertainty and fear, mingled with the hope of a fresh start in a foreign land. With little knowledge of Moldova, she embarked on an eight-hour journey, seeking refuge and safety.

Before the outbreak of war, Natalia thrived as an entrepreneur in Ukraine. However, armed conflicts abruptly halted her business ventures. In Moldova, she discovered solace in assistance through the Altruism Organization, which offered her a position as a project manager. Here, Natalia began to channel her passion for cooking into a platform for learning and integration.

“I’ve always loved cooking, specifically the pastry direction. I love making desserts. I got the opportunity to learn this craft here,” Natalia explains.

At the same time, she has noticed the difficulties refugees face in finding a job in a field that is new to them. So, out of a desire to help and integrate into the community, she set up cooking workshops and other activities to facilitate interaction between refugees and the local community.

“In this way, we want to get to know the country we live in better, to discover its beautiful side,” adds Natalia.


With the financial support of HEKS/EPER Moldova and the Government of Switzerland, the project “Building resilience through employment and social cohesion” has provided an opportunity to develop these initiatives, facilitating integration and helping refugees and vulnerable Moldovans to build a new future in Moldova.

Natalia Molceanova has not only managed to integrate and find a place in the Moldovan community. She became an example of a leader who brings together people from diverse backgrounds and cultures to build a better future for all.

The HEKS/EPER Moldova representative Natalia Hadei spoke about the social cohesion subject in the “National Consensus” TV show with Vitalie Dogaru from RLIVE TV.

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