Ștefănești Kindergarten Water Project – Moldova

Village of Ștefănești, District of Florești, Moldova

Community Description
Ștefănești is a small village in northern Moldova. It is a progressive village that provides schooling and boarding to youth from neighboring villages without schools of their own. The village also maintains a public library, kindergarten, and community medical center.

The recorded population of Ștefănești is 2,480 but approximately 400 of those recorded residents have left the village in search of work in other cities or countries. Two hundred and sixty of those 400 migrants have left behind children to be cared for by family or other community members.

The village kindergarten is under new direction and taking on new development projects to ensure the health, education, and wellbeing of the 60 children in average attendance. The kindergarten caters to children between the ages of 2-6 but only 36% of eligible children attend the kindergarten on a regular basis. Efforts to increase attendance include the development of an outdoor playground, an indoor playroom for use during inclement weather, improving water quality, providing healthier meals, and more structured educational programs.

In addition to development strategies at the kindergarten, several water sanitation projects are in the planning phase. None of the public facilities, and very few homes in Ștefănești, currently offer potable water for washing, drinking, or preparing food. This has caused a high prevalence of Hepatitis A among community members, particularly among children. Children often miss significant amounts of time at school and kindergarten due to illnesses that could be prevented by providing sanitary water.

A certified specialist was brought into the village by the mayor to test the quality of the water. The levels of ammonia, hardness, dry residue, and fluoride did not meet the acceptable levels approved by the Moldovan government’s health standards. The specialist noted that consuming the water in the village can lead to digestive, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular disorders as well as urinary infections. Children, the elderly, and those who are chronically ill or pregnant are at increased risk for illness. The specialist advised the mayor to posts signs at all water sources, noting that the water is not to be used for drinking or cooking.

The kindergarten currently has running water to two restrooms, two kitchenette areas, and one full kitchen. The water provided is not heated or filtered and therefore unsanitary for hand washing, drinking, food preparation, and cleaning.

Project Description
This project is to provide filters to the two kitchenettes and the full kitchen to ensure that potable water is provided for drinking and food preparation.

The project will also provide hot water heaters to the two restrooms as well as the two kitchenette areas to ensure sanitation through proper and thorough hand washing. Hot water is also necessary to ensure that the cleaning staff is effectively cleaning and killing bacteria.

Only minor piping will be involved in order to connect the filters and water heaters to the existing sinks. The mayor’s office will contribute funding for all necessary piping.

A specialist will be hired to ensure the correct installation of the equipment. Any minor labor will be provided by the parents of the children.

The project will be carried out in stages. The first priority is to install the filters in the kitchen so that children are receiving potable drinking water and food prepared with potable drinking water. Filters in secondary drink preparation areas will be the next priority, followed by the hot water heaters.

Children’s seminars will be provided to teach children about the importance of proper handwashing and elementary food sanitation practices.

After the completion of this project, a future project in the planning stage is to bring running water to the community medical center which currently has no running water for handwashing and no bathroom facilities.

Project Impact
164 children and 8 employees will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jessica Wuyek

Installing water filters will ensure that the food and drinks given to children are free of contaminants. The water heaters will ensure that children are able to wash their hands with hot water and will reduce infectious diseases, spread among the kindergarten as a result of poor sanitation and personal hygiene.

Dollar Amount of Project

This project has been closed.  We appreciate the donations from friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Wuyek.