Some of our OGI team had the chance to sit down with Mihai Chisari, the Founder of Strong Foundations and director of the Safe Summer Program that OGI is financially sponsoring.
Mihai and his team are preparing to share with us this fall about the powerful impact this project has had on these 10 young men. But before then, here is an update.
OGI’s mission in Moldova is to prevent exploitation through mentorship, vocational training, and job creation, which is why we were so excited to hear that the Safe Summer guys got to spend time with three successful Moldovan CEOs. The purpose of the meetings was to show the boys that there is a future in Moldova, to be inspired, and to hear some very wise words from influential, Moldovan leaders.
Tucano CEO and Guys
Shadowing a barista, server, or cook for the day.
Ruslan Cojocaru is the CEO of Tucano Coffee a multi-national coffeehouse chain and Oliva a restaurant chain, which are both extremely successful Moldovan brands.
Likely, if you are looking for a good cup of coffee or meal while in Moldova, you will be directed to one of his venues. Ruslan spent a generous amount of time talking with our guys, answering questions, and offering encouragement. He also gave them a big surprise and sent them in small groups to Tucanos and Olivas throughout Chisinau to shadow a barista, server, or cook for the day. This was an exciting and unexpected treat.
The guys got to hear from Moldovan employees directly about working at Tucano and Oliva, while also trying their hand at making some tasty drinks and, of course, eating pizza!
Tandem CEO and Guys
Or Corneliu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tandem, a thriving, Made-in-Moldova, high end furniture company that ships all over Europe.
The boys hear examples of ways they may subconsciously limit their greatness. Then they walk on glass unharmed, proving that sometimes when we are afraid we may believe we cannot do something.
A charismatic teacher, Or gave examples of the ways the young men subconsciously limit their greatness. He had them guess how many time they could jump up and down on one leg in 60 seconds. Once they had their numbers in mind, he timed them. When he yelled “stop,” every boy reported jumping at least twice as many times as he had originally thought he could! And then Or revealed – what they thought was 60 seconds was only 30 seconds! He even had them walk on glass, proving that sometimes when we are afraid we may believe we cannot do something, but if we try we just might find out that our fear was making us believe a lie. Each boy that was willing, walked across the glass unharmed! He likened this to the fear and lies that many believe about their futures in Moldova. Or and his team explained all of the different processes in the factory, including how workers move up in the company. They encouraged the boys to keep Tandem in mind when they finished their studies.
The CEO of Darwin and the guys
Andrian Cojocaru is the CEO of Darwin a high-end electronics chain founded in Moldova.
Darwin is the go-to company for those seeking specialized items or brands from the West. Andrian, the brother of Tucano CEO Ruslan, spent about 45 minutes with the guys giving special encouragement about attending vocational schools in Moldova. He emphasized the importance of reading and gaining knowledge while answering questions about who he hires and why. After the meeting the guys were split up between two stores where they shadowed sales associates and were able to ask questions about how the business operates day to day. At the conclusion each guy was given a ticket to a big color festival and concert that Darwin sponsored.
Shadowing sales associates
Needless to say, these experiences will have a lasting impact.
We don’t want reveal too much here, as Mihai and his team are very excited to share specific examples of each guys process this summer. One thing is for sure, not only are they keeping safe, they are learning how to stay safe, healthy, and productive for the rest of their adult lives.
A huge thanks to Mihai and the rest of his amazing team!