Ekaterina (Katya) Verbitskaya is a talented young designer whose star began to shine in early 2018. In May 2018, Katya won the first prize at the Z Generation Young Designers Contest in Chisinau, Moldovan capital, where she presented her unique collection made of natural fabrics. In July 2018, Katya represented Moldova at the International Young Designers Contest in Kiev, Ukraine. She made it on the cover of the local edition of the Harper’s Bazaar and appeared in the videos of the leading regional fashion houses. In addition to her designer talent, Katya takes interest in the social entrepreneurship and is an avid promoter of the environmental protection.
Katya (with a mic) at the Young Designers Contest in Chisinau in June 2018
In November 2018, we asked Katya to write about her experiences at the Youth Club “Torch" which she attended in Balti. Here is what she wrote:
“My name is Ekaterina Verbitskaya. I am 24 years old.
Six years ago, when I was a member of the Youth Center “Torch", I was invited to the young entrepreneur convention in Estonia. That was my first experience of such kind and I was really impressed. That event expanded my horizons, opened up new possibilities and showed the ways for growth. I learned a lot of very helpful things and met with many interesting people.
When I came back to Moldova, my friends and I opened a small company that produced the furniture from cardboard. We wanted to open that company to see how entrepreneurship really worked. I became the company’s president. For several reasons, that venture did not work out but the skills that we received through entrepreneurship laid the foundation for my future career.
The “Torch" had played an important role in my life. It was where my friends and I tried out many different activities, as within the club, as in the entire city. Mainly, those were creative programs, hiking trips, music festivals and volunteer projects.
At this time, I work as an art teacher and also have my own social enterprise that recycles textile waste from the clothing factories into new garments. The portion from the sales is reinvested in the education programs for students on the environmental problems. I developed passion for the environment at the same trip to Estonia where I learned how serious the problem was and the ways we could help to solve it.
Youth clubs like “Torch" are very important, particularly, in the small locations where often teenagers do not have many opportunities to spend their time with purpose. At these clubs, instructors can interest teenagers in some new activities, involve them in different professional roles. Here, teenagers can meet guests from the other countries, and basically, just have fun.
It would be great if people can continue supporting the project [with Ormos Fund]. The effectiveness of the club could be improved if the club could afford a professional counsellor and other experts in the field to make everyday activities in the club even more interesting and helpful for the club members and volunteers."
December 5, 2018
Katya at the Youth For Entrepreneurship Forum in Vienna in November 2018