Austrian Team Offer Helping Hand In Europe’s Poorest Region

An Austrian led project is helping to improve IT literacy in a heavily agricultural area that is one of Europe’s poorest regions.

Gaguzia is a predominantly Russian speaking part of Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, and the local economy relies on agriculture and in particular vineyards for most of its income.

There is also the production of sunflower oil, non-alcoholic drinks, wool, leather and textiles as well as to oil factories, two carpet factories and a meat processing plant.

But the project led by a consortium of Austrian organisations aims to also improve the standard of education in the autonomous region of 134,000 people, and in particular to bring IT literacy and the prospect of more well paying jobs to the region.

It started this week with the delivery of dozens of computers to local education organisations including the Liceum Tretiacov, the Liceum Mavrodi, the State University Comrat, the College in Svetli and the Media Freedom initiative.

In total the team delivered some 68 second hand computers from Austria that will be used in the educational institutions to train students, and also to offer IT classes for the general population.

The delivery was simply the first stage in an ongoing project to deliver more computers through a cooperation between Austrian and Moldovan companies and that was initiated by Christian Gessl, who brought Rotary (www.rotary.org) to Gagauzia (www.rotary.gagauzia.org) and founded a small NG= and Thinktank (www.cee-bc.org) to gather volunteers to work in the region.

He said: “I am delighted that the newly formed Rotary Club Gagauzia and Central & Eastern Europe Business Council (CEE BC) could team up with Concordia (www.concordia.md) and Structure Projects Network (https://moldova-projects.jimdo.com/) to make the first step of our “Improve IT Literacy in Gagauzia” come true.”

He said that the project was scheduled to run over the next two years (2020 and 2021) and that CEE BC wants to bring necessary IT equipment for other schools not yet included, as well as providing several PCs to local museums and public institutions, and provide expert training.

Besides improving the skills of the general population, the training of locally-based IT experts is also one of the long term goals.

Christian said: “To achieve this, we need to further enlarge the network and include other players in the IT and related sectors. The biggest challenge is to get the many organisations operating in the area to work together.”

He also thanked local IT expert Semion Mitioglo (Computer City) who is one of the early members of Rotary club Gagauzia for his volunteer work in helping to install the machines.

And he said that CEE BC and RC Gagauzia are also greatful to Hans Kohler (former mayor of Rankweil, Austria and President of Structure Projects Network) and Concordia Moldova for their great support.

Editor’s note: Interested? Want to cooperate? Want to volunteer? Contact Christian with a short mail to office@moldova.cee-bc.org or on WhatsApp/Viber +373 60 418070.


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