Today, I want to share with you a story from my last trip to Moldova. On the bus from Comrat to Chisinau, I met a young man. He looked quite ordinary, but after talking to him for a bit, was quite extraordinary.
Moldova is going through quite a rough patch. Many of the young people are leaving to work not only in Russia but in Spain, France, Romania and many other countries. They are looking for possibilities that they cannot find in their own country. This leaves behind a nation of very old and very young people. The 20 to 50 year olds seem to have fled the country in large numbers.
Meet R., 22 years old. Has completed 4 years of University and is waiting to hear where he can start his three year placement that he has to complete before he can be a cardiologist.
He told me that he would like to do his placement in Comrat, because he liked it there. Coming from a formerly Ukrainian family, and having completed Russian school in Moldova, R. speaks Russian better than he does Romanian. He likes Gagauzia for its Russian connections and has been there many, many times. In the future, he wants to stay in Moldova, because he sees that his country needs young, able workers. He told me Moldova needed good doctors, so he was going to stay here to help people. Apparently cardio-vascular diseases are the main cause of death in Moldova…so he is on his road to becoming a cardiologist. It was so inspiring to hear his story on the scenic bus ride from Comrat to Chisinau. It was so heart-warming to hear of a young man who wants to stay in Moldova despite having many more opportunities, a lot higher pay, and probably better equipped hospitals if he were to go abroad. No, not this man. He wants to stay in his country to help build it into a better state.
More Moldovan’s should start to think like this. I know it must be very difficult, and it is probably impossible for me to understand how almost an entire generation can leave a country, but R. inspired me to put his story out there. To tell the world that Moldova’s not doomed. I am sure there are many more who think like R. Who want to stay in Moldova to build up a workforce, to create a better country.