LSM’s work in the Republic of Moldova in 1991 began with children in government orphanages. From basic needs of humanitarian relief, to building a
foundation of solid moral principles of conduct, behavior, and faith, to scholarships for young teenagers to attend college or technical schools, LSM has always kept at its core a focus on education.
One of the greatest impacts has been the tons of school supplies LSM has distributed to orphanages/schools and schools throughout the country of Moldova since 1991. This has directly had an impact on children enabling them to have the most basic school supplies to learn. Through the Face of a Child Project school attendance has increased because children received backpacks, shoes, winter wear, athletic wear, and school supplies equipping them to be prepared to attend class and to learn. LSM has worked and continues to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Education and local school and orphanage administration to promote education and learning in Moldova’s orphanage/schools and rural villages through various projects of humanitarian aid and educational programs. Today, LSM continues its focus on education through the After-School Project a program launched in 2008 in order to offer underprivileged and at-risk children the chance to learn and to expand their academic skills so that by staying after school and with the help of a teacher, they can succeed in their studies. The program provides textbooks and school supplies necessary to advance learning. In addition, children can enjoy a warm environment and a meal each day. This is crucial to their development because most of these children come from backgrounds where parents abuse alcohol or are invalids and are unable to care for their children nor to provide them with sufficient nourishment or basic school supplies.
The project began in the village of Zimbreni but has extended to several more locations. After the school day ends, the children enrolled in this project (each child’s socio-economic background was assessed by LSM staff and decided that he/she would qualify for the program) remain on the school grounds where they receive a hot meal and assistance with homework. This project was born out of the desire of the teachers from this school to do something more for these children from troubled homes so they appealed to the Little Samaritan Mission, knowing that LSM has worked in orphanages and villages for 20 years.
LSM also operates a Soup Kitchen in this village for the elderly and the Face of a Child Project is active in this area for several years.
One of the most important benefits of this new project is that these children have adequate nutritional intake. Since no meal is served during the school day, nor do they receive much at home these children are often undernourished and as a direct result, in many cases it is the cause of poor academic performance. Serving a meal as part of the after-school program, has had significant impact on the concentration and learning abilities of the students.
The children are also able to engage in outdoor activities that encourage a healthy environment for development and interaction. The scope of the after-school program is to offer a positive and constructive environment to promote well-being and academic competence and achievement in the rural villages of Moldova.