U.S. Embassy of Moldova Awards Open World Alumnus Grant for Green Project

Photo of Residents of Cahul helping build the central community park envisioned by Nicolae Dandis.
Residents of Cahul help build the central community park envisioned by Nicolae Dandis.

U.S. Embassy of Moldova Awards Open World Alumnus Grant for Green Project

Nicolae Dandis, President of the DIALOG Association, Director of the Pro-Europa Center, lecturer at the State University of Cahul, City Councilman in Cahul, and Open World alumnus, completed the "Green Areas—A Platform for Cooperation and Education in Cahul" project, funded by the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Moldova.

The Open World Program is a U.S. congressionally funded exchange and partnership program designed to enhance understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Eurasian countries. Emerging leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and other Eurasian countries, come to the U.S. on the Open World Program to share knowledge with their professional colleagues and to learn about life in America.

In 2009, Dandis participated in the Open World Program as a member of a delegation that was hosted in Madison, Wisconsin by the National Peace Foundation. While in Madison, Dandis had the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with various NGOs on how to affect positive change on the local level. “The Open World experience taught me…to be more active in my community, to be more self-confident as an NGO representative…and encouraged me to be an active leader,” said Dandis. While on the Open World Program, he participated in a discussion, hosted by the Sierra Club, on how to protect the environment with limited resources. Dandis credits this discussion with inspiring him to improve environmental conditions and expand opportunities for recreational activities in his home country of Moldova.

The Green Areas project was implemented in the center of Cahul between two housing projects that are home to hundreds of residents. Dandis’s project rallied a diverse group of citizens, local organizations, and media to persuade Cahul City Hall to agree to develop a central community park. “We…wanted to encourage the community to preserve our natural resources and keep our city clean and green, something which our children would inherit from us in the long run,” said Dandis. The Green Areas project represents the first significant effort to develop more green spaces within Cahul city limits.

Click here to learn more about the Open World Program.

[Reprinted with Permission]