Moldova has been welcoming refugees from Ukraine since 2022. Although the relationship between the refugees and the host community is usually positive, integration is challenging due to discrimination and growing living expenses. According to UNHCR reports, participating in cultural activities can bring about positive impact, emphasizing mutual benefits and understanding.
To both promote harmony between the locals and the refugees, and increase the number of fruit trees in Moldova, Acted, with the financial support of the Word Food Program (WFP), arranged several tree planting events near refugee accommodation centres (RACs).
In line with its 3ZERO objective, seeking to not only bring humanitarian assistance, but also to promote protective living environments and social cohesion, Acted brought together refugees, RAC workers, local communities and Acted staff to plant fruit trees in different parts of Moldova.
Mihaileni is a village in Riscani Rayon, located in the northern part of Moldova. It is home to over 4,000 people. Like other places in Moldova, Mihaileni hosted displaced Ukrainians after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
In January 2023, with the support of the UNHCR, Acted renovated a building and turned it into a Refugee Accommodation Centre. The Centre is now housing 17 refugees, including two children.
There were several empty green spaces next to the main building. On the biggest one, there was a gazebo and a few young trees. To make the space a full garden, Acted purchased 25 fruit trees – including apple, cherry and sweet cherry trees.
A warm autumn in Moldova made it possible to plant trees in mid-November. The planting activities in Mihaileni brought together refugees, RAC staff, Acted’s Northern Distribution and RAC teams and drivers.
Olga came from the village of Lyadova, Mohyliv-Podilskyi Rayon, Ukraine. She has been living in the RAC in Mihaileni for four months. Before that, she lived in a RAC in Stefan Voda Rayon. This one was closed by the government.
When I came to this RAC, I was surprised that there were only wild plants. I asked why there were no cultivated plants and thank God, now we are planting some fruit trees.
Elena arrived from Kherson in September 2022. When the Russian Federation occupied the city, Elena’s family moved to the capital of Ukraine – Kyiv. Later, they moved to Moldova to be in a safer place.
I really enjoyed this activity; it was very interesting. The labour activities are useful for people.
Acted, with the support of the WFP, organized events in five RACs located in Chisinau, Copceac, Cahul, Mihaileni, and Glodeni (Riscani Rayon). A total of 96 people, together with Acted's staff, took part in these activities resulting in the planting of 230 fruit trees that will bear fruit for future generations. The collective work brought refugees and the host community together.
Acted’s workers received many appreciations after the planting.