Reuters Foundation entered new territory in July, providing media training for government ministers. UNICEF Moldova invited us to Chisinau to train the ministers for Health and for Social Protection, the Family and Children, and a group of their senior staff.
It was also the first time the Foundation had delivered media training in Russian, which is still widely spoken in the former Soviet republic as a second language.
Moldova, a sliver of territory sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, has struggled to adapt to the post-Soviet world and is officially the poorest country in Europe. Almost one-third of the working population has gone abroad to look for work and social deprivation is severe.
Galina Baldos, Moldova's Minister for Social Protection, the Family and Children, and Health Minister Ion Ababii needed no convincing of the importance of the media in helping combat poverty and to improve the government's support for the most needy.
They had individual sessions of 3-4 hours each with our trainers, working on how to formulate their messages to the population and how to deliver them most effectively through the written and broadcast media.
Trainers Anatoly Verbin and Oliver Wates also held two-day workshops for a dozen department heads and other officials from each ministry.
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