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Citizen Participation Market: “We act because we care!”

Citizen Participation Market: “We act because we care!”

On October 29, 2015 the Institute for Rural Initiatives in partnership with Interethnic Relations Bureau of the Republic of Moldova presented the practices of successful inclusion and civic participation within the “Citizen Participation Market” event.

The event brought together over 75 active citizens and stakeholders, including special guests Mr. Paul G. Graddon, Political-Economic Section, U.S. Embassy in Moldova; Mr. Ion Gumene, Senior State Advisor to the Prime Minister of Moldova in the field of public administration reform, State Chancellery; Mrs. Tatiana Caraman, senior specialists at the Interethnic Relations Bureau of the Republic of Moldova, as well as LPA representatives from communities the project is being implemented in, representatives of the 15 initiative groups involved in the project, as well as civil society representatives and mass media.

The goal of the event was to “market” examples of success and progress achieved in the field of empowerment and development of the community activism, within 15 communities across the country and to share experience gained within the project, as well as, to collect suggestions and proposals to improve civic participation of ethnic minorities in Republic of Moldova.

The event was preceded by a summarizing session, where members of the LIGA groups had the opportunity to exchange experience and lesson learned. The purpose of the session was to do an evaluation of the 2 years project, as well as promote and ensure the sustainability of the civic activism and participation.

A special guest of both events was Dave Beckwith, international expert in organizational development, strategic planning and community organizing. Dave has mentioned: ‘I do not know the language spoken in Moldova, but know another language – the language of human beings that unites all participants. There are many things in this world that can lead to despair but I look into your eyes and I see Hope. Thank you for this.’

‘The fact that you have managed to involve minority groups in the implementation of project activities in the communities they are coming from, represents a great example of positive and beneficial change, it is a successful practice that should be followed. I am confident that many years ahead you will reap the rewards of your effort. I’m happy that I got to know you and I got to hear your stories,’ stated Liuba Valcov, senior consultant at the Bureau for Relations with Diaspora within the State Chancellery.

The event was implemented within the “Minority Empowerment in Moldova” project funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, administered by WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. and is locally implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives.