On Friday, February 25, 2011 there was held a roundtable discussion entitled “Social inclusion at the local level: accomplishments and challenges for the future”, which is a part of our project “Building democracy at home: supporting interethnic dialogue and intercultural cooperation”. This activity was realized in partnership with USAID within the AED program for the consolidation of civil society.
The event brought together around 17 people, representing many national minorities and initiative groups from the Cahul district (Czech, Bulgarian, Jewish, Romani, German, Ukrainian, Gagauzian, and the initiative group from Alexanderfield village within the Cahul district), a representative from the Cahul District Council as well as representatives from the academic field (the pro-rector and professors from State University of Cahul).
At the event, the concept of social inclusion, its implications as well as social inclusion as relates to national minorities was discussed. As planned, the Institute for Rural Initiatives presented the contents of the Memorandum elaborated within the project which identified problems confronted by national minorities in the Cahul district and recommendations for improving the situation of national minorities within the district.
Additionally, participants were presented a slide-show about the accomplishments within the project “Building democracy at home: supporting interethnic dialogue and intercultural cooperation” as well as other local initiatives related to supporting social inclusion at the local level.
It should be mentioned that the friendly atmosphere of the event permitted participants to share their impressions and opinions. For example, Elena Ghidu mentioned, “Until now I had a totally different and limited opinion of the concept of social inclusion; thanks to the discussions which took place within the event, my horizons were expanded as relates to understanding this concept”. The representative from the Cahul District Council, Ms. Valentina Rogai, mentioned the fact that she was pleasantly surprised by the organized activity. She mentioned the acute need for the IRI initiative and also the necessity of similar such efficient efforts in the future.
As a follow-up, the event will be proceeded by the transmission of the Memorandum to the Cahul District Council to be examined and to initiate work in the elaboration of a local plan of action for the improvement of the situation of national minorities in the region.