Participants attending the regional Peer-to-Peer event in the south of Moldova had a chance to hear first hand from mayors and leaders of the 12 initiative groups how it is possible to promote civic activism and participation in rural Moldovan communities, apparently passive.
“Initially we did not have confidence and were uncertain about what we were doing, but the ongoing training and support we received from IRI encouraged us to try. So, with small steps, we started to build the park of our dreams seen through the eyes of our children. During 3 years we have been working on setting up the park, and with every year it becomes better and more attractive,” shared Galina Capsomun, representative of the local initiative group from Gaidar village, ATU Gagauzia.
The event attended by 60 people has raised the urgent need of the Republic of Moldova for the development of rural communities, especially through awakening and strengthening of the sense of civic activism and participation in community life.
“Civic participation is not just beneficial because it mobilizes passive communities and solves certain problems of local interest, but it is especially beneficial because it has a therapeutic effect on the entire society. Qualitative civic activism is the key to the positive changes in Moldova,” mentioned Ruslan Stanga, Executive Director IRI.
The event was also welcomed by the representatives of the Embassy of Turkey in Moldova, the Department of External Relations of Gagauzia, representatives of civil society from the region, mass media, LPA (mayors, deputy mayors, local councilors) and other members of the community interested in the program.
International partners and guests of honor – Elizabeth Balint (USA) and Vladislav Petcov (Bulgaria) – offered an international perspective on the empowerment model developed by IRI during 3 years.
We would like to remind, that the first regional Peer-to-Peer North event took place in Balti in April, 2017. It brought together 7 local initiative groups from the north of the country.
The event is organized within the “Minority Empowerment in Moldova II” project implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives in Moldova, funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in partnership with WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc.