In preparation for the upcoming 10th World Wilderness Congress in October, the Starfish has collaborated with CoalitionWild to announce finalists for its 'Wilder World Challenge'. Here, we present the stories of a passionate and innovative movement of people under 30, seeking to create a wilder world.
A little over a year ago, Carolina Dogaru and a few of her friends began "Sanatatea are gust", a project aimed at promoting health among teenagers in Moldova. Led by their guiding principles that "A healthy life is a marvelous one", they are making great strides towards inspiring an interest well-being and lifestyle changes for youth in their communities.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. When did you become someone who is so environmentally conscious? Who inspired you to do so?
Carolina: In my opinion the hardest question to answer is "Tell me something about yourself". I am the type of person how loves to speak loudly, to gesticulate a lot and to put feeling in each of my words. Some people like this excess of energy; others just get too tired. To be honest, I do not claim to be the most environmentally conscious person, but I am just trying to do my best. Above all, one of my dreams is to inspire. Whether it is a child or an adult, I would like people to get inspired by what I am doing because I believe that this is the most beautiful gift for a human being. I am the type of person who says YES to each opportunity that comes, or doesn't come, my way. I soon realized that all the opportunities that we face are interconnected, and that each is a step to accomplishing my dream. When I was 15 I realized that school was just not enough for me; I wanted to do more. This is how I began to participate in all kind of projects. Some people often ask me how I manage to do so many things. I think that the phrase "I don't have time" is a lie. Everybody has time to do what he or she really wants. There are a lot of people who inspire me, because I believe that each person is better than myself at something, and so I try to learn something new and useful from each person I meet.
Q: How did you find out about CoalitionWILD?
Carolina: I realized that some opportunities don't just come to you; some of them are necessary to be looked for. I found out about CoalitionWILD while I was searching for a project to get involved on www.civic.md, a Moldovian website that provides all kinds of opportunities for teenagers.
Q: How do you define a “wilder world”?
Carolina: I love everything that has a connection to a healthy lifestyle. That is why I was trying to motivate other people with our project "Sanatatea are gust", which means, "The health tastes good". This project is about organizing meetings with people who are interested in health. We invite guest speakers including doctors, cooks and personal trainers to speak about various subjects. Now we have started to organize master classes to teach people to cook in healthy ways. The idea of the project appeared some months ago. We were at LeaderSHE (an organization from Moldova which helps young ladies to become leaders) when we had to think about a project by our own. So, me and three other girls: Irina Zuza, Catalina Cazacu and Elena Tumanov, decided to create something which will motivate people to live healthier lives.
Q: Tell me about your project. How is it making the world a wilder place?
Carolina: It is really interesting how the term "wilder world" has different meaning for different people in different countries. For me this term means a world without the need for so many rules and limitations. A wilder world to me is something pure; it is a change that each of us can make for his or her country. I don't think that we have to change the whole world, but if we wish to make any change at all, we must begin with ourselves and the people that surround us.
Q: Where do you see your project in 10 years? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Carolina: The question of "How do I see myself in 10 years" doesn't scare me at all. How do I see myself? Happy! For me being happy is smiling as much as I smile now, inspiring other people with my actions, and sharing love and happiness to other people – in short, I see myself as the same optimistic and enthusiastic girl.
I have a lot of dreams and I truly believe in them. The project "Sanatatea are gust" is like a baby for me who needs a lot of care, time and most of all - love. I feel extremely good when other people appreciate what we are doing. I want to make a change in Moldova and bring pride for my country, which is why I decided to study here.
Q: Pretend it is the Oscars, who would you like to thank for helping you along the way?
I mentioned earlier, I believe that each person is good at something. But those
who are always by my side are my family and my 2 best friends. I want to thank
my mother for her kindness, to thank my father for motivating me to be the
best, my sister for being a person I can count on anytime and my best friends
for encouraging me and not being judgmental. I am really lucky to have such wonderful
people around me!
My favorite quote is "Hope for the best but expect the worse". Each failure is a life lesson it helps make me stronger and work harder to accomplish my dreams. But the most important things in life are not things, and every day I thank God for being healthy, for having a great family and for my 2 best friends.
Check out the Sanatatea are gust Facebook page below (in Moldovan):
We congratulate all finalists on their achievements and encourage them on their passionate pursuit of environmental objectives.