Matthew Hundemann Class of 2011 Nonprofit and Public Management Moldova, Peace Corps
To pursue his passion of international development, Matthew joined the Peace Corps in June of 2012. Matthew was assigned to work in the country of Moldova, one of his top preferences. His experience studying abroad in Romania with Rutgers School of Social Work in 2010 influenced his decision to work in Eastern Europe. Matthew is volunteering with a Raion Council, or regional government, as a Small Enterprise Development Adviser. With only a few months in the Peace Corps, Matthew is still learning and adapting to the roles and responsibilities of his new position. Currently, he is searching for grants, partnerships, and creating a website concerning a project to restore historical buildings. He has been contacting different embassies and agencies for funding the building reconstruction, working on an energy efficiency project, and working on other general business development projects.
Prior to his placement, Matthew spent the first two months of his term in training. He was grouped with a cohort of Peace Corps volunteers to learn technical project development skills as well as the Romanian language (the official language of Moldova). Matthew feels one of his biggest accomplishments thus far is being able to converse with others in Romanian effectively. In fact, he successfully gave a presentation in Romanian to his colleagues at the Raion Council. Each week, staff are given the opportunity to present an area of interest to their team. When the 2012 Presidential Election was at the forefront of media attention, Matthew was asked to educate his team on the United States’ electoral system.
After completing training, Matthew moved in with a host family in the town of Hincesti. They welcomed him with open arms and offer great insight into the daily life of a Moldovan citizen. In his spare time, Matthew continues to explore the area through volunteering at local organizations and meeting new people. During his term in the Peace Corp, Matthew seeks to gain new skills and learn about different cultures. He hopes to expand on his knowledge and experience in international social work and build a career in Eastern Europe.
To follow Matthew’s adventures in the Peace Corps, visit his blog at repmoldova.wordpress.com.