Everywhere We Go! – Moldova, October 2004 (Donation 9)

CWUHA Tiraspol Playground Appeal
Edinburgh, Scotland
OutReach Moldova Hincesti Orphanage
Chisinau, Moldova
by Lindsey Menzies

Moldova Part I – CWUHA Tiraspol Playground Appeal

On Sunday 29th August, several Sunshine Appeal representatives met up with Katy Low and Duncan Kirk of the CWUHA to hand over a cheque for £1000 for their appeal to build a safe playground for the kids in the psycho-neurological hospital in Tiraspol. As most of the Tartan Army would not be arriving in Tiraspol until a few hours before the match, and because the CWUHA people are based in the UK rather than in Moldova/Transnistria, a decision was taken to make the presentation here in Scotland before they set off on their next convoy to Moldova at the start of September. We did the presentation in the centre of Edinburgh with the Old Town looking particularly photogenic in the background – more, perhaps, than can be said for the Sunshine Appeal representatives!

Katy and Duncan told us a little more about the sort of conditions kids in hospitals and orphanages are facing in Moldova and Transnistria and spoke of what the playground will mean to the kids out there. Katy is going to be one of the drivers in the convoy and she will be taking the large presentation cheque with her so that she can do a handover to the director of the hospital – photos of this and of the playground as work begins on it will be available on Katy’s return. She is also hopeful of being able to get some photos of the ongoing work and also of the finished playground so keep checking back to this report for an update on how our money has been spent.

Thanks to those who attended – Sunshine On Leith, Bert, Big Dave J, Sacks and Jaggy Bunnet – and thanks too to Katy, Duncan and Katy’s friend for taking time out of their weekend to come and collect the money.

Bright and early on match day a group of 32 Tartan Army footsoldiers assembled outside the Dublin Bar in Chisinau, ready to be collected by OutReach Moldova’s bus for our journey out to the Hincesti Orphanage. The Sunshine Appeal donation will be used both at Hincesti and at the baby orphanage that OutReach Moldova have recently taken over.   The orphanage is some 35 kilometres outside the capital – the fact that the journey took around an hour can be put down to a combination of the condition of the bus and the weight it had to carry, with some 30 bags of toys, toiletries, clothes and sweets adding to the strain on the suspension (to say nothing of the footsoldiers…!)

On arrival at Hincesti, we headed first for the volunteer quarters where we could leave the bags and get a cuppa before heading off to meet some of the kids. Hincesti is home to some 300 girls aged between 4 and 20, all of whom have some form of disability. Before OutReach took over the orphanage in 2000 the children received no medical care, no physiotherapy, no dental care, no education and very little love or attention – but it was immediately obvious that things have changed for the better. We visited several lunchrooms, bedrooms, the physio room, the hairdressers and the dentist’s room and every one was bright and cheerful with cartoon characters and animals painted on the walls – including Nessie in the art room!!

The fact that we arrived at lunchtime made us a little unpopular with the care staff as soup and bread was very quickly forgotten when up against wee bottles of Irn Bru and packs of sweets. Not content with disrupting one group of older kids we proceeded to upset the lunchtime routine of three other groups – photos of kids wearing Scotland Travel Club scarves and polishing off bottles of our other national drink became the order of the day. Of course, we had to get Richie to apologise to the dental hygienist when we visited her…we must have been her worst nightmare!

After spending almost two hours meeting the children, we headed back outside into the sunshine to get the formalities of the cheque handover done. As well as presenting OutReach with the main Sunshine Appeal donation of $2000, we handed over several other donations, including a cheque for £250 from the cancelled Tiraspol buses and donations from Sexpest and MKScot. Finally, we presented them with a plaque that JimfaeKdy had made for the occasion – something to keep in the office to remember the day the “men in dresses” (a quote from one of the kids!) came to visit.
Postscript: Many of the gifts for the orphanage made the trip to Moldova on Kevin Thomas’ charter flight. Due to the late arrival of their bus in Chisinau, those bags didn’t make it to Hincesti until the next day – thanks to Ally Wilson who made the journey by taxi to deliver them! Apparently the kids assumed he was bringing more sweeties when they saw him…..     Thanks (in no particular order) to:

  1. ■Steve, Richie, Suzie, Des and Susannah from OutReach Moldova who, at various times, helped with the organisation of this donation and the trip to the orphanage
  2. ■Tom Small for organising the buses to Tiraspol then convincing people they didn’t want their money back when the game was moved to Chisinau
  3. ■Kirkcaldy TA for buying and bagging so many bottles of Irn Bru and packs of sweets and then carrying them all the way to Moldova
  4. ■Ally Wilson and the rest of the Longforgan TA for organising all the duvets etc then taking a taxi back to Hincesti to deliver them when things didn’t go according to plan on the Wednesday
  5. ■Kevin Thomas and those on his charter flight for ferrying so many of the bags to Moldova
  6. ■Carey McEvoy for donating a ridiculous number of bags of gifts and for persuading his work to part with a considerable sum which I believe will be used to buy cots for the baby orphanage
  7. ■Neil McDonald, MKScot and the unnamed footsoldier who handed me 600 Lei outside the Dublin Bar and told me to give it to the orphanage – your donations were unexpected but very much appreciated
  8. ■The Scotland Travel Club for donating a load of scarves
  9. ■All of those who attended the presentation and helped give the girls of Hincesti a day they’ll never forget – no names in case I forget anyone but you know who you are
  10. ■All of those who donated bags of toys, sweets, clothes, toiletries and other assorted gifts
  11. ■And last, but by no means least, all those who have bought t-shirts or badges, have sponsored someone or have just chucked some money in a bucket – the Sunshine Appeal belongs to all of you and you should all feel a warm glow when reading this report.

March 7, Casa Municipala, Chisinau, Moldova, Time TBC

Whilst not a proper Sunshine Appeal presentation itself this is an additional presentation in Moldova itself which came about when it was realised no Banks wanted to exchance Moldovan Leu. Mick North Croy took the Leu donations, Neil is the money courior plus is coordinating the presentation (and oh boy I am nervous!!!) and is being ably assisted by Andrew from Chisinau. Last and not least Jimmy Malcolm for his suggestion of orphanage for a presentation.

It started off with something along the lines of this on the TAMB Message Board

I know that none of us would knowingly have taken Moldovan Lei out of the country since that’s illegal (Actually its not true its only amounts over 2500 leu that’s illegal) but just in case anyone does have any that somehow got forgotten about….how would you feel about sending it to the Sunshine Appeal so that we can send it on to either OutReach Moldova or even (if someone can get contact details) to another orphanage/kids charity in Moldova?

Over the next month or so poor Mick North Croy got nearly £400 worth of the Leu which is worthless here and no Bank in Britain would change it over. But thanks to a wise man from Larbert called Jimmy Malcolm who got in touch with Mick with a letter to the PO box suggesting an orphanage CASA MUNICIPALA in CHISINAU (website http://www.iatp.md/casa_copilului/ ) along with a few other ideas from others but the SA appeal steering group felt Jimmy’s suggestion was the best one.

Next Problem. And how do we get it over to Moldova, well there was always post but that was risky (considering my Girlfriends Xmas card took two month’s to reach her and don’t ask me about her Xmas Present delivery) and there was always me who had found love whilst in Moldova. As any good boyfriend would do I had arranged a visit to see her in March and the wise Mick who having found out through the board that I was going back got in touch so see if I would be willing to take the Leu. So it was decided that I would be trusted with the Leu to take back over to Moldova.

But how would be hand it over, I offered to go through to Croy Tavern for the hand over but the North Croy TA decided to visit Falkirk for the handover, so one cold January Night the day Clyde beat Falkirk in the cup, Mick and Andy plus their dustmasks braved life and limb to for a night in Falkirk with the Leu to hand it over to me the leu to be taken back to Moldova. They seemed to enjoy it even braving the Railway Tavern for a few drinks!!!

So far I have the leu in a safe place in my house, I have asked Andrew from Chisinau to get in contact with the orphanage to arrange the fine details of the presentation and I have my visa ready to leave the UK on the 4th March for Bucharest then onto Chisinau for the presentation.

In the unlikely event of anyone who happens to be around in downtown Chisinau on that day please feel free to get in touch, the more people there the better.


name – CWUHA Tiraspol Playground Appeal / OutReach Moldova Hincesti Orphanage

location – Edinburgh, Scotland / Chisinau, Moldova

REPORTS – Lindsay Menzies