OGI Moldova: A Look at 2018
As many of you know, Open Gate has been busy digging its roots internationally and has been doing some amazing work around the world. Moldova has been a sought out location for Open Gate International for a long time. It’s considered the second least visited country in the world and is the poorest country of Eastern Europe, but the beauty of it is unmatched. Moldova has a lot of potential for opportunity and economic development, so Open Gate plans to be a part of this country’s period of regrowth.
During the first visit in Moldova, O.G.I met with Catricci Nail Salon to discuss a partnership of training young ladies from the vulnerable populations in the nail industry while taking a look at the building that was going to be purchased. Our Chief Catalyst, Deidre Pujols, had the opportunity to speak at the Beginning of Life women’s group and encouraged them with ideas and a vision to help them get through their cultural hardships. O.G.I made their way to the community of Antonesti to bake decorative cookies with the young ladies of O.G.I’s culinary program. They wrapped up their first visit by taking a trip to the Uniqa Factory and learning about their company and how they train young men to learn about the new technologies of home construction.
In June of 2018, our very own Chef Cinthia made her way to Moldova for the first time and taught the young women of Antonesti how to make pasta, pizza, and many other recipes. These women were truly inspired by Chef Cinthia and loved learning from her. During this visit, O.G.I met with the CEO of Build and Grow to search for a family in need who would be a good candidate for a brand new home. After some time of searching, we found a beautiful family who was the perfect fit for this home. A team of professionals from France, Germany, Russia, Belarus, America, and the Netherlands came together and completed this project within three days. The family has a young son with a disability, so being able to help a family who has sacrificed everything to give their son the best life possible, was very emotional for everyone. We were also fortunate enough to connect with a Moldovan Ministry representative to share the things that we are working on in the country, with the hopes of getting their support for our efforts to advance Moldova.
A few months later, Chef Matheiu visited Chisinau to teach the women from our partner organization, Beginning of Life, how to make specialty pastries. These women were extremely happy to be a part of that class. Chef Matheiu took the next steps for culinary development and partnership and is going to launch a program that will help unskilled and unemployed women to become employed and skilled in the culinary industry. This program has scheduled to launch this January 2019! Another advancement in Moldova was Catricci Nail Salon’s grand opening of their new facility. After scouting out places during the first Moldova visit, Deidre Pujols cut the ribbon to officially mark the opening of this beautiful salon and life-changing program.
2018 was a significant year for Open Gate and their partners with all the progress that was made in Moldova. Deidre Pujols visited this country several times throughout the year while having Sherri and Lance living there for the past two years representing O.G.I. They’ve been busy building relationships and partner programs for the communities and have done more than we could have ever imagined.
“I am planning with great anticipation to be progressive with the development of this beautiful country and its vulnerable populations. Sherri and Lance have served the people of Moldova on behalf of Open Gate International for two years. Their mission is complete and they did a tremendous job with the foundational efforts and making strong relationships with Moldovians who we will continue to walk alongside of. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their commitment.” – Deidre Pujols, Chief Catalyst
The Noziks relocated back to the USA in December 2018 and plan to remain engaged as volunteers with OGI Stateside. They will also continue to support and advocate for the foster care and adoption movement in Moldova until every child has a family.