On Friday, June 29, 2018 the IRI team together with Peter Ujvagi, member of Toledo City Council, Toledo, Ohio, USA, and Elizabeth Balint, project director WSOS/Great Lakes Consortium, Toledo, USA, had the opportunity to visit one of the 22 communities involved within the Minority Empowerment in Moldova program.
In Carpineni, during a year, local initiative group managed to mobilize over 200 local volunteers, entrepreneurs, local public administration representatives that joined their efforts for community benefit and create an outdoor fitness area for the residents.
Guests from overseas were pleasantly surprised by the results of the project and appreciated the motivation and the initiative of the community residents.
“In Toledo, Ohio, USA, we do not have free outdoor fitness areas. It is a very useful example for the community I live in. I cannot wait to replicate your example in the city of Toledo in the neighborhood I live in,” said Peter Ujvagi, member of Toledo City Council, Toledo, Ohio, USA.
On the other hand, the hosts were open to learn from other experiences and to continue the community development initiatives in the same spirit:
“The entire process of involving citizens in community life represents a valuable experience. As a result of the Minority Empowerment in Moldova project, we noticed an increase and an openness for collaboration and integration of the Roma community in our village,” mentioned Ion Carpineanu, mayor of Carpineni village.
“Taking into consideration the realities of the rural communities in Moldova it is very difficult to start the initiatives involving citizens and doing something with them. It is a complex process that requires knowledge, developed skills and dedication. After successfully completing the fitness area we understood that we can accomplish and we want to do more. Now we are working on building a playground in another very remote area of the village,” said Silvia Feraru, member of the initiative group from Carpineni village.
The visit was performed within the Minority Empowerment in Moldova project implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives with financial support from the U.S. Department of State in partnership with WSOS / GLC from NW Ohio, USA.
More photos from the event can be found on the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives: