EcoVillage Moldova is a diverse group of people who strive for a more sustainable lifestyle and are committed to building an organically evolving eco-community in the village of Riscova, Moldova. Currently, after several years of work, the Eco-Village site contains three buildings (one residential, one for workshops, and the main building of the Eco-Training Center), a community bread oven, a bike shed built from upcycled pallets, a plastic recycling station, many types of compost, a garden that tends to be organic, an insects' hostel and a small apiary. First two pioneer families have been living there for more than a year now, successfully testing the practical side of the eco-construction techniques and rural life.
Since the beginning, the Eco-Village Moldova site has served as a base for various practical learning / team-building activities – numerous workshops on eco-building, organic gardening, vegetarian cooking, renewable energies, etc. Through contributing to the building process, the participants could learn about the particularities of reed and straw-bale construction methods, natural plastering and lime coloring techniques, as well as building from upcycled materials. Working in the garden, they were also learning more about growing seedlings, compatible plant associations, mulching, natural pest control, seed collection and storage, fostering biodiversity, and savoring fresh fruits and vegetables.
In 2015-2016, the EcoVillage team launched the construction of an Environmental Training Center, which will serve as a regional hub for practical education in the fields of organic agriculture, energy efficiency, eco-construction and community development. The smaller workshop space is ready for use. By the end of 2017, another larger building for events hosting up to 50 people will be finished. It is going to become home to the program “activEco - sustainability in action”, developed in cooperation with Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg; but it will also serve - and already does - as a venue for environmental education and civic engagement seminars and workshops for the local and international community.
The place is already becoming popular. In 2016, for the first time, EcoVillage Moldova hosted an activEco seminar (May 2016), part of the Fifth Yearly THK Coordinators meeting (June 2016), EcoVisio Strategic Workshop (August 2016), final seminar of Erasmus+ course “Actors of Transition” (September 2016) and, finally, the International Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovations Cluster Meeting (October 2016). Most of the participants agreed that it is a perfect place to learn and work on sustainability issues.
Last, but not least, EcoVillage and its founders continue to deepen collaboration with local community. Throughout the whole year tens of locals have a chance to earn some income without leaving the village through construction jobs, catering, hosting visitors, transportation and other services. In 2016, village Riscova was one of the two villages in Moldova where the “activLocal” program (“Harap Alb”) was piloted, providing rural teenagers with skills and motivation for civic engagement and community development. Moreover, in November 2016, in collaboration with “Seed It Forward” initiative and “MEGA” Association, the process of greening the village was initiated, with hundreds of trees planted in Riscova and around it.
In 2017, the activities continued and diversified, with almost no week passing without some kind of event. Or two. Or three.
Just several examples: a teambuilding meeting of the "Țara Verde - Ecological Organization", a monitoring and guiding visit from the GlobalGiving platform, the Basic Mentoring Training for mentors of non-formal education programs from Moldova and Ukraine, activEco-2017 Challenge Workshops on organic agriculture and sustainable mobility, Impulse Seminar of "Social Entrepreneurship - Make It Matter" program, and a series of practical seminars of ActiveOrganic - a program developed by EcoVisio, Eco-Village Moldova and Seed It Forward in order to spread practices of organic agriculture and create a community of responsible farmers. You can learn more about all that on Environmental Training Center's page.
And throughout all that, the Environmental Training Center is growing!
Services currently provided by the Eco-Village Moldova and the Environmental Training Center: