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FLEX Alumni in Moldova Run against Violence

FLEX alumni in Chisinau, Moldova together with over 130 community members took to the streets on July 17 to raise awareness about domestic violence. Say No to Violence Day, an event sponsored by FLEX Alumni and U.S. Embassy Alumni Resource Center grants programs, incorporated the message of stopping domestic violence with a five-kilometer run through the Valea Trandafirilor Park.

The slogan of the race, “It doesn’t hurt to run,” was placed on banners across the park, on participants’ race t-shirts, and on the Facebook group site. Domestic violence, a mounting issue in Moldova, affects one out of every four women in the country. Statistics such as this were placed around the course on wooden boards to increase participants’ awareness of the problem. Furthermore, at registration participants were given a flyer about the resources available to victims of domestic violence, and Valentina Bodrug-Lungu, president of the Gender Center NGO, opened the event with a speech about the problem of domestic violence in Moldova.

Throughout the race, FLEX alumni volunteers and the organizing team of Iulian Baxan ’10, Marina Buciuc ’07, Andrei Cusnir ’07, Alexandru Godoroja ’07, Dorin Hamuraru ’08, Dan Negreata ’10, Cristina Poleacovschi ’05, and Eugen Prodan ’10 gave runners water and cheered them on. Ryan Aiken, Public Affairs officer from the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, awarded the top five male and female runners with medals and made a closing speech.
Following the event, all participants were invited to a picnic where members of the media took interviews and talked to runners and organizers about the goals of the event. Reports from the event from the All Moldova News Portal and the Stirile Pro TV Channel can be found in Romanian at allmoldova.com/ro/project/online/1594.html and www.protv.md/stiri/social/cursa-de-alergari-in-parcul-valea-morilor-impotriva-violentei.html.

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