In May, 2014 the Institute for Rural Initiatives launched the Minority Empowerment in Moldova project. The IRI team ambitiously started working with representatives of five ethnic minorities (Gagauz, Bulgarian, Roma, Ukrainians, Czechs) coming from 15 communities from all over Moldova.
The project goal was strengthening the capacity of minorities in Moldova, change of perceptions regarding community participation, as well as building a dialogue with representatives of LPA, NGOs, businesses etc. in order to identify and solve local problems by creating decent living conditions.
An important strategic moment applied by the Institute for Rural Initiatives were trainings and capacity buildings aimed to develop and promote community participation. The trainings were conducted by a team of national and international trainers, who have trained and taught the members of the 15 initiative groups new and efficient techniques and tools to be applied in their communities.
Therefore, the leaders of the initiative groups have benefited from a series of trainings, focus groups, open space discussions, round tables, meetings, community meetings with local and national officials etc.
The initiative contributed to empower 15 ethnic communities from Moldova and to change attitudes of 2,800 beneficiaries toward participation and community development.
It is noteworthy that the Institute for Rural Initiatives was the first to implement a project in Moldova involving different ethnic communities with a unique complexity and diversity approach that have directly contributed to the integration of ethnic minorities, increasing their involvement in decision making and to the formation of a democratic and prosperous Moldovan society.
The Minority Empowerment in Moldova project is 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.