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Stories from diaspora// Alexandrina Robu-Cepoi: “Be the change you want to see in the world and don’t hesitate to act immediately!”

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Since she was a teenager, Alexandrina has been involved in various social, educational, economic and cultural projects. She is currently working in Brussels as a Board Member and the Chair of the Women Committee within JEUNE – the Young Entrepreneurs Organization of the European Union, while writing her PhD thesis. Alexandrina Robu-Cepoi is the next protagonist of the “Stories from diaspora” series.

About opportunities

Alexandrina thinks that every person can achieve anything by being perseverant, ambitious, determined and by making the necessary effort for that. “Each of us has thousands of opportunities in his life. The difference is in the ability to recognize them and to fully exploit them.” Alexandrina is the person who seizes the opportunities and turns them into reality.

“When the opportunities are bigger than what I think I can cope with, I get out of my comfort zone and become better. Many of these lessons I learned during the one-year exchange I did in Brazil.”

When she was just 17 years old, Alexandrina won a scholarship for studying in Brazil – a totally new country for her, as she had zero knowledge regarding its culture or language at that moment. Still, she managed to quickly familiarize herself with the new environment and made a lot of friends there. “I learned to be flexible. This ability always helped me,” says Alexandrina.

About her life ‘momentum’

Our protagonist is passioned about the energy sector, international policies and entrepreneurship. In fact, she managed to perfectly blend them together through her activity. “My passion for the energy field has materialized five years ago when I became the executive manager of the Employers Association in the Energy Center of the Republic of Moldova. It began, though, during my flight to Brazil when I met an energy expert who told me with great passion about his field of activity. It was the moment when I realized I was interested in working in this sector.”

Alexandrina already had several jobs in Brussels and all of them were related to energy, international politics and entrepreneurship, as she was working in lobbying associations. “The latest project I was involved in along with my colleagues from Central Europe Energy Partners is the Central Europe Energy Day. There, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, representatives of companies from the energy sector and other interested persons were present. This kind of projects have a great impact on EU policies and will be also organized in the future,” proudly claims Alexandrina.

In her spare time, she likes to travel. The last country she visited was Thailand. “I really love to discover new cultures, traditions, places and people. Traveling helps me find myself, express my feelings and fill my soul with positive energy. Thailand really impressed me with its landscape, culinary traditions and its vast culture. I would like to visit all the continents until the end of my life.”

About crucial decisions

Alexandrina is belonging to the category of young people who make changes, not just wait for them. In the past, Alexandrina was the President of the Rotaract Club from Chișinău. Afterwards, she earned a scholarship for studying at the College of Europe in Natolin for one year. Besides her studies, she was again involved in various projects, including the establishment of the Rotaract Club in Poland.

“I had a great experience at the College of Europe. It was a very intense year, with many challenges and successes as well. I gave priority to studies but I also interacted with young people from 32 countries, I made very good friends, I was introduced to new cultures and had the chance to present my culture.” The College is famous for its strict and busy program.

“It is like a Spartan battle where the most powerful and well-organized people win. It is a lifetime experience.”

Still, the decision to study at the College of Europe in Natolin came to a cost. Alexandrina had to take a hard decision regarding her future actions. “The news that I was accepted at the College of Europe came right after I was hired for the position of assistant and non-key energy expert at the EU High Level Advisory Mission to the Republic of Moldova. It was a difficult decision. I asked for advice from several people, including the college graduates. I was advised to choose the studies and I am really grateful for that. The College of Europe was the ‘business card’ for my future experience in Brussels,” recalls Alexandrina.

About JEUNE

Currently, Alexandrina is managing the Women Committee of the EU Young Entrepreneurs Organization JEUNE, which is one of the largest profile organisations with more than one million members in the EU and neighbouring countries.

When talking about the path to reaching such a position, Alexandrina mentioned that she first had became a member of the JEUNE Organization and after 4 year of hard work she was entrusted with the Chair of the Women Committee mandate. “I was the President of the European Association of Young Entrepreneurs from Moldova, established under the patronage of the EU Delegation in Moldova, when I filed an application for joining JEUNE. Later I became a member of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Women Committee, as from this position I could support more the young female entrepreneurs and help them make their voice heard in the European Institutions.”

About ‘changing the world’ home

Alexandrina comes home as often as she can to see her family, to observe the changes that occurred while she was absent and to eat her favourite homemade chicken soup. “Our origins are the places where we were born, where we find spiritual balance. For me, they are the places where I grew up – the house of my parents and my grandparents. Our roots are also represented by the wonderful people who served as a role model and have transmitted their values to us. So ​​that in the good and bad moments, the family is what makes us rediscover our capacities and believe we can overcome any obstacle,” she says.

Alexandrina always talks about Moldova and tries to present it in the best light.

“Now we have hard times, but the political situation can’t ruin the country’s incomparable and wild beauty.”

When comparing the people from western and eastern Europe, Alexandrina believes that “sometimes, westerners are more favoured but we, easterners, are fighters, having a lot of courage.” She says that there is a big difference in mentality between Easterners and Westerners: from the way they treat their jobs to the way they trust politicians. But in the same time, “both sides have their pluses and minuses.

Furthermore, Alexandrina thinks that each Moldovan citizen can make a change. “I am sure that each of us, whether living in Moldova or in diaspora, can change things for the better in our country. I’m trying to implement at least one project per year in Moldova. Even if it’s very hard to manage it remotely, I’m making this effort because I care about my country and I want to contribute to its modernization.”

Alexandrina thinks that it’s not easy to change the people’s mentality, “but if you inform them correctly and show them examples of how to do things in a more efficient way, perhaps they would make the right choices themselves next time.” Alexandrina provides her own example of how to change the people’s mentality: “The last project we implemented in Moldova was the Diaspora Business Academy for young female entrepreneurs where we talked to 30 young women about the best managerial practices. We have also tried to foster economic relations between Moldovan and foreign entrepreneurs.”

Alexandrina is a great dreamer and an optimistic person. She always sees the light at the end of the tunnel and tries to guide others to it as well. Even though she talks less about her goals and dreams publicly, she plans to come back home and contribute to the development of her homeland.

Photos: Facebook| personal profile

Diaspora

Stories from diaspora// Dumitrița Gore – a violinist who performs on the best stages of Europe

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Dumitrița is a violinist who is in love with classical music and violin. People usually say about such talents: “She was meant to play music.” Arduous and passionate, romantic and beautiful, she always radiates on stage. Dumitrița is really young but already managed to have a lot of achievements and so much is yet to come…

About the way it started

Dumitrița loved music since her childhood. “In my family no one is a musician, but we sing a lot, especially when we get together for holidays.” When she was 7 years old, her mom brought her at the Music Lyceum “Ciprian Porumbescu” in Chișinău. Dumitrița says that at that moment she didn’t know what instrument she wanted to play. “I think the choice was, in fact, more of my mother. At that age I did not realize what instrument I would like to play. I liked music, I had a musical hearing and my mother decided I should try, and that’s how it all started,” recalls Dumitrița.

It didn’t take too much time for her to understand that this is what she would love to do her entire life. Every day, Dumitrița fell in love more and more with classical music. “Ever since I started learning at the Music Lyceum “Ciprian Porumbescu”, I did not think I could do something else besides music.”  The help and inspiration she got from her teachers, the passion about music, and the motivation from her successes at the national and international competitions convinced Dumitrița to continue playing violin.

“Since I was 14, I started playing in youth orchestras where I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different corners of the world.” Our protagonist made her solo debut at the age of 16 with the Moldovan National Chamber Orchestra and participated in more than 15 national and international competitions. Among the most important awards she won were the 1st Prize at the “Nedyalka Semionova” International Violin Competition (Bulgaria), the 1st Prize at the National Competition “Paul Constantinescu” (Romania) and the 2nd Prize at the International Competition “Eugen Coca” (R. of Moldova). “Every prize carries a distinct significance for me because each of them is about a lot of work and shivering. The first contest I participated in – the “Eugen Coca” International Competition, was special though, as it was in the 4th grade and was the one that made me spread my wings,” specifies Dumitrița.

About her experience abroad

Dumitrița understood that she would like to continue her studies abroad while she was still studying in Moldova. “I realized that it would open more doors and help me to progress more.” Later, she decided to apply to the University of Music and performing Arts in Mannheim, where she is currently studying. “Here in Germany, the attitude towards music differs greatly from that in Moldova. Classical music is loved, studies are made at a top-level and the competition is very high. That makes me think I have chosen well” she states.

Dumitrița managed to perform in such orchestras as the German Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, Youth Orchestra Romania-Moldova, Moldovan Youth Orchestra, Romanian Youth Orchestra, Romanian Symphony Orchestra, etc. Recently, Dumitrița got the chance to be a violinist in one of the best European youth orchestras – Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Moreover, for more than two years, she has been playing a Charles Adolphe Gand violin, dated 1855.

“In fact, I play in many more orchestras, as a member or a substitute. One can’t be a permanent member in the youth orchestras. Usually, they organize projects and tours for several weeks, to which I am invited. Sometimes, there are auditions, like in the case of  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. It is not something stable or systematical, as a job. That enables me to play in several orchestras, as well as to play more chamber music, which I really like and that inspires me a lot.”

As time went by, she gathered experience and a lot of wonderful memories. “I remember that at the last concert in the spring tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Musikverein, Vienna, during the third symphony by Gustav Mahler, you could see tears in the eyes of both audiences and those on stage. It was a magical and a very emotional moment,” reveals Dumitrița.

About her little secrets

Dumitrița plays in many orchestras, studies at university and even makes some time for other hobbies she has – travelling and photography. “I’m lucky that the profession I chose gives me the possibility to travel quite often. I have projects in different locations of the world, but I get a special satisfaction when I have the opportunity to spend a few days of vacation and to recharge my batteries. For some time now, I’ve discovered my passion for photography, and that’s what I do more and more often,” she says.

Our protagonist says that there is no secret of succeeding to do so many things at the same time. “What helps me, in general, is that I am an ambitious person, and I do not give up easily. I have established my priorities and I try to not give too much meaning to the disappointing moments.”

Dumitrița still feels a connection with her homeland due to the fact that she has her family in Moldova and she also often craves for the Moldovan traditional food, as she says.

There is one more thing that is not widely known about Dumitrița: the violin she plays – the Charles Adolphe Gand violin, is a real treasure, literally, as it was estimated as having a value of about $75 000“I am playing this violin on generous loan from Prof. Gottfried Schatz. It is a special instrument with very strong and very warm sound at the same time. Only after I started playing this violin, I understood how much a really good instrument can help you. It’s a whole new feeling. The pleasure of creating music grows enormously when playing such an instrument. Still, it’s also an enormous responsibility, so I always do my best to keep it safe, take care of it and when I travel, I never let it out of my sight,” Dumitrița reveals.

Photos: Facebook/Dumitriţa Gore

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Stories from diaspora // Constantin Botezat – the young artist from Moldova who gathered his experience in 5 different countries

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Constantin Botezat is a talented artist who comes from the Republic of Moldova. Generating harmony between painting and graphic design is a part of his daily work. His works were exhibited in London, New York, Los Angeles and even Hollywood. He accepted to tell us his story.

About his first art ‘manifesto’

Since his childhood, Constantin has been passioned by art in all its different shapes and forms. He was lucky to have parents that noticed his excitement and contributed to its development. Consequently, Constantin became a student at the Igor Vieru Academic School of Fine Arts in Chișinău. Still, there is one more decisive element besides his passion and the parents’ support – the mentorship provided by his teachers. “The greatest influence was exercised by my school teachers who had a great impact on my life,” says Constantin.

His first exhibition took place at the “Târgu Mureș” Library from Chișinău.

“I was a 15 years old teenager at that time, with a strong desire to express myself but, at the same time, a little unconfident because of the society and the surrounding atmosphere.”

Since that moment, Constantin changed a lot. Today, he is a perseverant, determined, talented, bold and, what is more important, a self-reliant artist who knows for sure that hard work results in desires and dreams fulfillment.

After high school, he studied Design and Applied Arts at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca and Graphic Design at the Academy of Art in Bari. Constantin gathered his first experience while collaborating with a contemporary art gallery in Cluj-Napoca. Afterwards, he did some internships in Lisbon and London. “I am enormously grateful that I had the chance to study in all these cities. In all of them I managed to make wonderful friends and to learn about a very exciting world that inspired me to continue this path. In every city I started everything from the scratch.” Constantin plans to write a book one day about all the cultural amalgam experienced during the past four years of his life.

About art creation and expression

“For me, painting and graphic design enter into a dialogue. I think both are based on the same principles.” At present, Constantin is doing an internship as a graphic art designer at a British magazine and, in parallel, organizes his own art exhibitions in London. One of his goals is to become an art manager and coordinate a team of artists “who will bring a fresh view into the art world,” as he states.

He has a busy schedule, but all his work culminates with wonderful results. “Up till now, I managed to organize 38 national and international exhibitions. The purpose of these exhibitions was actually to promote the image of the Romanian people, traditions and culture,” highlights Constantin. Recently, Constantin opened his exposition called “The spirit of the Bessarabian landscape” which was a part of an event organized by the EBRD cultural program and the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the UK.

2016 was a special year for Constantin. His paintings were exhibited in the USA. “I always wanted to create transoceanic exhibitions and art projects. As I had this opportunity to go to the US, I started to create a series of works that I have presented at several exhibitions.” The first event took place at the Alpine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah, followed by a Hollywood event at the Zen Art Gallery and the third event was organized at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles. During all this time, Constantin had the support of his American and Romanian friends, for which he is extremely grateful.

Constantin Botezat and his friend Carson Mcallister, who helped him to organize the exhibitions in the USA

That was only the beginning. “These events certainly made me much more self-confident and determined to create more. I realised that everything is in our hands and anyone is able to create whatever he wants regardless of nationality, religion, or gender.” Next, international exhibitions were organised by Constantin in New York, Lisbon and London.

All these public presentations represent for him a possibility to have a direct contact with the public who is interested in artistic values and searches for inspiration, according to the young painter. This year, Constantin was able to participate in 3 group exhibitions, all of which took place in London at the Espacio Gallery.

Nowadays, Constantin lives and works in London, which he considers a great city with lots of opportunities. “Through the magazine I work at, I had the chance to meet many personalities from cinematography, fashion, painting. I managed to attend film festivals and premieres. Also, I managed to meet international actors, to go to London Fashion Week and take pictures of new collections. Still, I think London is just one chapter of my activity, the most interesting is yet to come,” says Constantin.

Our protagonist is an artist with pragmatic views. He sees the creation process as an instinctive one: “I think most artists feel when a work is completed.” At the same time, he tries to be well-organized, while being guided by his goals: “I think in this way I become more motivated to get the things done and to reach the desired result.”

About the young generation of artists from Moldova

Constantin expressed his hope for a better future for his homeland – Moldova, through implementing correct reforms. He says that anyone who wants it, should have the possibility to leave. However, it is important to not forget where you started from and to come back, eventually.

“Certainly, many students at arts in the Republic of Moldova dream to continue their studies abroad and I think that is a beautiful purpose. I would love to know that more and more people receive the opportunity to study and travel around the world, as these experiences help to see the world with new eyes and, on the other hand, to cherish the things that have already been achieved.”

Constantin thinks that the young artists from Moldova are very talented and have a tremendous potential. “The most important thing for them is to be self-reliant and to get support from their parents. It is important to invest in the education of new generations because they represent the future of our country,” states Constantin.

Photos: personal archive

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The flow of Moldovan migrants to the Russian Federation is the lowest since the collapse of the USSR

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In 2018, the flow of migrants to Russia amounted to 124,900 people – the smallest indicator in the whole period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, explains the Institute of Sociological Forecasting and Research in the Russian Federation.

These data were published in the monthly monitoring of the socio-economic situation and the health of the population. However, keep in mind that these figures represent specifically the migrants who have registered at the entrance to Russia for a period of 9 months to 5 years, after which they consider themselves automatically gone.

The number of migrants to Russia has dropped from almost all countries except Armenia, Azerb, ijan and Turkmenistan. The number of those who came from Usbekistan and Ukraine has dropped the most, countries from which the largest number of migrants in the past migrated to Russia. From these countries, in 2018, there are 3.2 times fewer migrants than before.

The report shows that the number of migrants in the Republic of Moldova has decreased from 18,600 people in 2012 to 7,700  people in 2018.

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