Projects – answers to activEco Challenges 2017:

Challenge #1: how to boost Organic Agriculture in Moldova?

Urban composting in Chisinau

Team: Marcela Dubceac

Marcela studies ecology at the State University of Moldova and is passionate about microorganisms and their role in the fertility of soil. While participating at the activEco / ActiveOrganic seminars, she was very excited about seeing in reality many things that she learned in theory – and astonished when she came upon the topic of bokashi composting, possible even in the apartment or office.

In collaboration with Seed It Forward team, she took upon herself promoting this topic and providing solutions for urban composting in Chisinau. Several months later, there were a few tens of families sorting and composting their organic waste in the capital, two NGOs, one restaurant, one company and one foreign embassy – and these numbers will very probably grow when the team has time to work more on the project continuation. 

More photos here.

Where: Chisinau, Moldova

Mentor: Eugen Guzun

Greenhouse for the Agro-Industrial College in Ungheni

Team: Norinela Vlas

Professor at the Agro-Industrial College in Ungheni, Norinela was one of the most active participants of the Challenge “Organic Agriculture”, and was thinking a lot about how to share new discoveries with her students. She decided that the best way would be to create a greenhouse from new and recycled materials, and use it to grow in an ecological way – respecting the rotation principle, using biological methods of plant protection, etc. – cultures that are less known by farmers in our region.

So, in September-October 2017, Norinela, three other teachers and about 15 students worked on the creation of the greenhouse. It materialized as a construction of 8×3 m, made of polypropylene and iron arks fixed on a base of iron and wood, stood on concrete. It was raised with 35 cm and filled with a mixture of manure and soil covered by straw.

In November, the greenhouse got its first inhabitants – strawberries. We are looking forward to updates!

More photos here.

Where: town Ungheni, Moldova

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Permaculture in Coacaza Rosie

Team: Sasha Nikitin

Nikitin Sasha has been working on his piece of land for several years, but clay soil, slope and hot summers made it difficult to improve the situation. Seminars about organic agriculture helped him realize that was lacking were trees, many trees to create the microclimate and improve the soil. And so, in November 2017, Sasha organized several planting events for his friends, greening the territory and sharing his experience in permaculture.

More photos here.

Where: village Coacaza Rosie, Criuleni, Moldova

Mentors: Eugen Guzun, Ivan Chiriac

The Saturday planting in Ion’s garden

Team: Adrian Furculita, Dorina Gheorghita

Adrian comes from a family of farmers, which owns quite a bit of land and does pretty well. However, in the last years he’s become increasingly interested in organic agriculture and has been trying out more valuable cultures on family lands. After participating in the activEco / ActiveOrganic seminars, he convinced his parents to plant a protection belt made of fruit & nut trees trees along the border of the farm, and organized a planting event that involved 10 people and resulted in about 100 trees planted.

More photos here.

Where: village Mindresti, Telenesti, Moldova

Mentor: Eugen Guzun

Organic Agriculture Club & Urban Composting in Tiraspol

Team: Tatiana Sergheeva

Tatiana has been interested in conservative agriculture and trying to share ecological practices with her neighbors even before meeting activEco / ActiveOrganic team. However, the seminars inspired her to do something more consistent – and so began the Ecological Agriculture meetings in her yard, when she shared the things she learned about mulching and composting, natural fertilizers and biological plant protection. To top it all, she held several workshops on Bokashi composting for over 10 families from Tiraspol, who can now transform their organic waste in compost even if they live in apartment.

More photos here.

Where: Tiraspol, Transnistria

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Orchard in the clouds

Team: Nicolae Negara, Vasile Padureanu

Nicolae and Vasile are very lucky to be owners to a lot of agricultural land on the top of one of the highest hills in Moldova, 395 meters high. It has a beautiful view and a great forest nearby; however, its conditions are not very favorable for growing something, especially an orchard: poor sandy soil, strong cold winds, etc.

After taking on the Organic Agriculture Challenge, Nicolae decided to try out permaculture techniques: start with planting nitrogen fixers and most resilient trees to improve soil and to create microclimate.

The process began on November 25, 2017, with a small planting event of 9 bravest people who came to help two beginning farmers, and continued on December 15, with five more people. They planted over 300 pioneer trees, as well as sea buckthorn and a lot of hazelnut seeds, so that they can germinate and grow under the protection of pioneers. The planting process was accompanied with useful discussions about permaculture and organic agriculture in general.

More photos here.

Where: village Temeleuti, Calarasi district, Moldova

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Challenge #2: how to change Mobility in our region to a more sustainable and human?

Bicycle traffic laws to children

Team: Anna Senko, Natalia Shavanova

Close to Kiev, in town Vasylkov, an activEco Challenge #2 project on sustainable mobility, “Bicycle traffic laws to children”, joined a local project “With bicycle to school”. As a result, pupils in all Vasylkov schools benefited from lectures on cycling / traffic rules & bicycle caring practices, as well as installed bicycle parking racks – now coming to school by bike is becoming not only cooler, but also more safe.

More photos here.

Where: town Vasylkov, Ukraine

Mentor: Lilia Tkachuk

Repair and safety for BikesCrossBorders veloride

Team: Slava Opra, Gheorghe Papana

BikesCrossBorders was a project organized by EcoVisio members and activEco alumni & participants. It consisted, in short, of bringing a number of second-hand bicycles from Germany, from people who no longer need them, to Moldova, and giving them a new life here. The key part of the project was a veloride for the new bike owners across the border between Romania and Moldova, taking place on June 3-4, 2017 – and Slava with Gheorghe represented the repair and safety team for the 60 km-long ride.

More photos here.

Where: Tomesti, Iasi, Romania -> Todiresti, Ungheni, Moldova -> Pirlita, Ungheni -> Chisinau

Mentor: Julian Gröger

Critical Mass Chisinau

Team: Radu Nastas, Irina Prisacari, Pastusenco Aelita, Eugen Guzun, Alexandr Bostan, Slava Opra

“Critical Mass Chisinau”, initated by Radu and the team, was about organizing regular group bicycle rides through Chisinau – each last Friday of the month – in order to claim cyclists’ rights to be part of the traffic. It was also about increasing cyclists’ confidence, as for some of the participants it was the first time riding alongside regular traffic and learning traffic rules. In 2017, Radu organized 4 consecutive Critical Mass events: June 23, July 28, August 25, September 29, followed by small parties for those who remained until the end. The number of cyclists participating in each ride varied from 2 to 35, but overall many people found out about the initiative and are interested in joining the fun in spring. 

Radu plans to continue as soon as it becomes warm once again, and is dreaming of more international participants.

If you are interested, check out the initiative’s group on Facebook: Critical Mass Chisinau.

You can find more photos here

Where: Chisinau, Moldova

Mentor: Julian Gröger

Walking Club Chisinau

Team: Aelita Pastusenco, Irina Prisacari

“Walking Club Chisinau” was a project meant to enhance walking mobility in the city by organizing offline events to enable participants to get to know their city and people who live in it better.

In July-August 2017, Aelita and Irina organized three walks in the Dendrarium, Botanical Garden and in the park “Valea Morilor”, engaging about 20 people.;

More photos here.

Where: Chisinau, Moldova

Mentor: Alexandru Munteanu

Challenge #3: how to make our home and work spaces “greener”?


Team: Lida Litvinova, Tatiana Kuleva

Lida’s project, “ActivGooboglo”, started with an old dream about a bicycle parking near the Lyceum Guboglo (Ceadir-Lunga, Gagauz ERI). She and her team made an opinion poll abut the idea, and as it received mass approval, the process began.

First, Lida and her teacher Tatiana had the idea to hold an “Active Day” in order to inform the pupils about the ecological situation in our country and the importance of active lifestyle nowadays. They developed an interesting program that included sports games and a cyclo-cross in the Central Park. Many people were participating: pupils from the 1st to 12th grade, teachers, administration of the lyceum – over 100 persons in total. Children were the most impressed ones, whereas the adults decided to make the Active Day a traditional holiday for the lyceum.

The second part of the project consisted of creating and installing the bicycle parking. It was not an easy work, because all the workmen were busy with another projects at that time. However, the small team succeeded – so since October 2017, both pupils and teachers can use the most ecological means of transportation to come to school.

More photos here.

Where: town Ceadir-Lunga, ATU Gagauzia, Moldova

Mentor: Ecaterina Tarus

Oberliht green office

Team: Katarina Jakubjakova, Elodie Mourier, Vladimir Us

Katarina, EVS volunteer at Association ”Oberliht”, inspired her colleagues to transform Oberliht office into a green one. They started with implementing a waste management system: informing all the team members and marking a clear space for bins for recyclable materials, such as paper, plastic and glass. In plus, they also started to separately collect organic waste and turn it into compost by using Bokashi method, which is very suitable for offices or individual households. Besides that, they worked in the garden next to the office in order to turn it into a nice place. They cleaned it and planted several plants and bushes.

In spring, they plan to plant pumpkins – and use their own compost to fertilize the soil for even better results.

More photos here

Where: Chisinau, Moldova

Mentor: Felicia Crețu

Bike parking at the public library of Riscova

Team: Tatiana Ciobanu

Since November 13, 2017, the public library of village Riscova is bike-friendly – thanks to Tatiana Ciobanu, the librarian, who got the impulse while participating in activEco Challenge #3: Green Home and Work Spaces, it has now got a bicycle parking lot! The inauguration was marked by a bicycle race for village kids; the fastest ones got to use the parking first.

More photos here.

Where: village Riscova, Criuleni district, Moldova

Mentor: Julian Gröger

Putting trash to good use in Ribnita

Team: Olga Krivoruchko

Olga’s project – ”Putting trash to good use” – was about collecting used paper and plastic from offices and apartments, and its transformation into something interesting and useful. Olga organized several workshops on upcycling, engaging 4 trainers and 48 people of all ages as participants. And all of them want the project to continue!

Where: town Ribnita, Transnistria

Mentor: Gabriela Isac

More photos here.

Challenge #4: how to have more trees in Moldova?

Just plant it, Drochia!

Team: Igor Gutan, Dmitrii Medvedev

“Just plant it, Drochia!” was a project about raising awareness of Drochia youth about the importance of trees, teaching them to plant trees correctly – and actually doing it.

Thus, the project consisted of an informative session held by Igor (from Drochia) and his friend Dima (from Riscani) at Drochia school #2; and a planting event a week later, on November 10, 2017. With participation of 17 volunteers – 15 pupils and 2 other locals, 30 elm seedlings were planted to enforce the bank of one of the Drochia lakes. The rest of elm and poplar seedlings are going to be used to continue the protection line, as well as be planted in other parts of Drochia region.

More photos here.

Where: town Drochia, Moldova

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Trees for the kindergarten in village Papauti

Team: Cristina Sirbu, Vitalie Sirbu

Passionate about trees, but especially conifers, Cristina has always thought that her village is severely lacking trees. When thinking of where to start the change, she chose the kindergarten her son was going to.

So, on November 18, 2017, thanks to about 35 volunteers from villages Papauti and Lipceni, support from local authorities and Seed It Forward initiative, as many other helpers-on-the-way, the kindergarten gained 70 trees – spruce, birch, linden, red oak, maple, catalpa, hornbeam, ash, elm and viburnum.

Cristina has promised herself to monitor and care for the trees together with other parents and their children. And as to continuing the initiative, it seems that the school is coming next – especially seeing that about 25 pupils already got their planting training! 

More photos here

Where: village Papauti, Resina district of Moldova

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Greening Todiresti

Team: Ion Dulgheru, Liza Mamaliga, Olga Dulgheru, Alexandru Cerevatii

Ion had always wanted to plant trees in his village Todiresti; however, up to 2017 he hadn’t had enough support for that. 

After participating in the “Tree Growing” Challenge he felt there is no time better than now, and set to organizing a planting event.

The event took place on November 18, 2017, on one of the hills around the village. The team was relatively small – 13 people, alumni of program “Harap Alb” and representatives of organization “ATOM”. However, in a day, they managed to plant 350 seedlings of robinia pseudoacacia, in order to fix and improve the soil, and provide more nectar for bees of social enterprise “Dulce Plai” and other beekeepers.   

More photos here.

Unde: village Todiresti, Ungheni district, Moldova

Mentor: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Greening the Centre of Excellence in Construction, Chisinau

Team: Ana Apostol, Lilia Zestrea

In April 2017, late snowfall severely damaged green zones of Chisinau. Ana Apostol, student at the Centre of Excellence in Construction, decided to rectify this situation on the territory around the college, by planting young trees to replace the ones that were destroyed.

So, on November 22-23, 2017, with support of her professor, Lilia Zestrea, and the Seed It Forward team, Ana organized a planting event, involving about 35 students and planting over 50 seedlings of ash, hornbeam, elm and poplar, as well as four thuias.

More photos here.

Where: Chisinau, Moldova

Mentors: Gabriela Isac, Eugen Guzun

Fixing the hill in Danceni

Team: Vitalie Pintilei

Vitalie Pintilei, ecological farmer and participant of activEco Tree-Growing Challenge, used the impulse to organize a small tree-planting event in order to fix a slope adjacent to his village, Danceni. The event took place on November 25, 2017 and engaged 7 people who managed to plant 140 trees.

More photos here.

Where: village Danceni, Ialoveni district, Moldova

Mentor: Ivan Chiriac

Transforming an illegal landfill into a green zone

Team: Olga Krivoruchko, Valerii Krivoruchko, Igor Krivoruchko, volunteers 

Near to Olga’s house, on the main street of town Ribnita, there is an old illegal landfill. For quite some time Olga has been fighting it by herself. In 2017, she came to activEco to get an impulse to bring this fight to another level – not just remove the trash, but make this place beautiful, so that people feel uncomfortable trashing it anymore. And, of course, involve more people into the process!

First of all, Olga began to work more with local community. Despite the initial scepticism, when the actual field work began, neighbours – even unfamiliar ones – started to accompany her. They were removing layers of old waste – construction & municipal waste, clothes and shoes, plastic bags, broken glass, rusted nails, etc. Then, they planned the greening – planting schemes, soil preparation, maintenance work. Finally, they planted trees (cherry, sea buckthorn, pine), shrubs (Cossack juniper, spiraea, buxus, Virginia creeper, roses) and perennial flowers (peonies, chrysanthemums, cornflowers, irises).

Results: the landfill decreased in size and ceased to grow, the initiative group grew from 3 to 12 people, and they produced the precedent of transforming a “nobody’s” piece of land into a pleasant community area. 

More photos here.

Where: town Ribnita, Transnistria

Mentor: Gabriela Isac