In August, just after coming to site, I began an internship program with the NGO I am partnered with here, CASMED. CASMED offers in home social and medical services to elderly in several raions in Northern Moldova. The internship program was an idea I had almost immediately, as a way to help me with my language deficiencies (youth who speak some english helping me on projects), help me with projects and to be able to hopefully offer some mentoring to these youth. I didn’t really know how I would go about starting it and had planned to write a letter and approach a school Director when my first two interns kind of fell into my lap.
After an event this past summer, I was chatting with one of the youth who helped organize it and he mentioned being interested in PR and Marketing. I asked him if he wanted to intern with my organization, who was trying to develop its PR and Marketing. That same weekend, another PCV here who teaches english, mentioned a student of hers who seemed really motivated and had excellent english skills. Both the boy and the student came in the following week for an interview and both decided they wanted to intern at CASMED. I asked each of them if they had a friend who might want to work with them on projects and they both said yes, and so with four interns our internship program was born.
The interns have assisted in almost every project I’ve worked on since I’ve gotten here and have planned and executed several of their own. I love having them in the office every afternoon to have more people to bounce ideas off of, have a Moldovan youth perspective on ideas, to get to see their skills develop and to have people to carry out more projects for CASMED.
Two of the interns here have been working since November on an art exhibit about the elderly in our community. The exhibit’s title is “Somebody needs you;” the exhibit’s purpose is to raise awareness in the Balti community about the elderly. Many of the elderly here are very poor, with extremely small pensions and often winters are especially hard for them with the cost of heating and food increasing.
The exhibit opened this past Thursday and we will have live music every Friday at the gallery to help promote awareness of this. The greatest challenge with this is getting people to attend and engaging the ones who do. So far however I am impressed with the performers and have already found two new interns through this project!