On a cold, snowy winter day in March 2023, Ukrainian refugees started flooding across the border into
the tiny country of Moldova. The government and the international community were unprepared for
the influx. The true spirit of people of Moldova, known as the “Small Country with a Big Heart”, was
revealed by the crisis.
Moldovan civilians rallied together in a spontaneous and ad-hoc rescue effort, braving the cold weather
to retrieve refugees at the border crossings. They opened their modest homes, offering refuge to
displaced families and providing them with much-needed warmth, food, and shelter. Business, NGOs,
CSOs, and an army of volunteers joined forces to establish and fund impromptu refugee shelters and
A particularly touching incident came to light when our team, comprising Marc Siegel from the AMJF
and Jason Mittman from the Only Epic Foundation, discovered the selfless act of a Moldovan dairy
farmer. Learning that he had sacrificed his sole cow to feed the refugee families under his care, our
team was deeply moved. Days later, with the help of the NGO Friends of Moldova, we located the
farmer and delivered a replacement cow that had been purchased for him.
This act of compassion exemplifies the solidarity and empathy that permeated Moldova during this
crisis. Despite the challenges posed by the unexpected surge of refugees, the harsh winter conditions,
skyrocketing inflation and energy prices, and threats made by Russia against Moldova, the people of
Moldova demonstrated their unwavering commitment to helping those in need, leaving an indelible
mark on the collective memory of their nation.