Solar panels were installed at social-care facilities in Tudora, Mihăileni, and Găgăuzia region, while in Cotiujenii Mari, a building hosting three public institutions had the heating system renovated and energy-efficient windows installed. All these interventions ensured more financial sustainability of the institutions and better conditions for the beneficiaries.
These infrastructure improvements were possible thanks to the support of several partners: US$23,500 were provided by UNDP, $36,500 — by the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, $31,300 — by the Government of Moldova, local public administrations, locals, diaspora.
Life at “Concordia” Social Centre in Tudora, intense
In Tudora village, Ștefan Vodă district, solar panels with a power capacity of 13 KW were installed at the “Concordia” Social Centre. This has led to a 37% reduction in electricity costs during winter months.
“Solar panels are a huge help to us, as we use electricity a lot: we cook, we wash, provide multiple services to vulnerable people. They can take showers, wash their clothes,” says Veronica Mocan, manager at the center.
“Our energy consumption is always high because life in our Centre is very diverse and intense. We conduct activities for children and refuges from Ukraine, such as educational and arts & crafts activities, sessions with psychologists,” explains Veronica.
During summer, up to 60 children from Tudora and neighboring villages, including refugees, are taking part in the activities of the Centre.
For older beneficiaries, the Centre staff arranges TV watching and debates.
Friday is the day when both children and adults are involved in gardening. “The little gardener” weekly event is very popular, notes the manager of the Centre.
“Concordia” Social Centre provides services to about 600 people monthly, including to refugees from Ukraine.
Besides beneficiaries, the 13 employees of the Centre enjoy better working conditions, as the savings from electricity expenses can now be redirected to cover other needs.
In Găgăuzia region, the GBV centre became more energy resilient
Solar panels with a power capacity of 15 KW have been installed at the Centre for Rehabilitation of Survivors of Violence from Găgăuzia region. So far, the installation has managed to reduce electricity costs by 30%.
“By reducing energy costs, the Centre has directed savings towards improving and expanding its support to families affected by violence and refugees that are hosted by the Centre,” tells Svetlana Gheorghieva, director.
She remembers that the energy crisis made her, and her staff really worried about how to cover the bills.
“The bills were reaching about 50% of the total budget and we could not afford to save energy, as we shall provide our beneficiaries with the right living conditions. Our beneficiaries are mostly women with small children and if we don’t provide sufficient heating, a child gets sick and the next day, all children get sick, so saving energy is not an option,” explains Svetlana.
“Due to the solar panels that have been installed, as the director of this Centre, I do not have to compromise anymore between paying employees’ salaries or paying for the bills,” says the director of the Centre.
In Mihăileni, a social centre is more confident in expanding its services
In Mihăileni village, Rîșcani district, a solar panel system with a power capacity of 10KW has enhanced the energy resilience of the multi-functional center “Dumitru Musteață”.
The Centre serves over 300 beneficiaries annually, including older people, people with disabilities, children, and vulnerable people. Now 17 refugees from Ukraine are hosted at the Centre. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, about 178 refugees have been accommodated in Mihăileni facility.
The Centre also acts as a social canteen, delivering warm meals to 30 people from the village.
“Sometimes, we had to pay from MDL7000 to 15,000 per month for electricity, but now, for some months, we pay nothing. We even have savings in the system and can use itlater,” notes Tamara Obadă, director of the multi-functional center “Dumitru Musteață” from Mihăileni.
The costs savings will be further directed towards improving the services provided by the Centre and improving its infrastructure, so as to continue to provide support to vulnerable people.
A public building in Cotiujenii Mari, hosting 3 social institutions, is now more energy efficient
In Cotiujenii Mari, Șoldănești district, a building hosting three public institutions (the musical school, Children Creativity Centre and the Centre for Youth Resources) benefited from energy efficiency measures.
Its old heating system was renovated, and energy efficient windows were installed. These interventions have led to 40% reduction in utilities costs.
“During bad weather, everything would leak and break, often requiring the use of rubber bands to cover pipes and fix leaks. Every time the heating season was starting, our workers were afraid that something bad could happen,” notes Larisa Rîbac, director of “Gheorghe Urschi” musical school from Cotiujenii Mari.
“Before, we used to pay for heating around MDL78,000 per month and we were turning it on for just one hour per day, because of the size of the building. After changing the system, we can afford to keep the heating up to 4 hours per day,” explains Larisa.
Now the institutions located in the building are hosting activities, including summer camps, attended by both locals and refugees.
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Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, UNDP and its partners have been working to address the urgent needs of both refugees and host communities, as well as promote the socio-economic integration of those who have fled the war. This has been achieved by providing support in areas such as employment opportunities, improving access to public services and strengthening social cohesion.