On November 16, 2018 the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) presented a new integration model for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds – “IntegrACT – Integration through Action”. The model has been piloted by IRI for two years and is implemented in partnership with a number of local partners within the 2018 Grant Program for Youth Organizations, with the financial support of Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova.
The “Active Youth’s Forum” as a brand was launched by IRI in 2017 with the aim of promoting the concept of inclusive civic participation of young people in rural areas.
This year a number of 70 participants (young people from 17 communities, representatives of local and national NGOs, mayors, youth specialists, district councilors, representatives of central government, mass media) discussed the successes and challenges of the youth field, especially at the local level.
The event was welcomed by Ruslan Stanga (Executive Director, IRI), Mariana Bruma (District Councilor, Drochia District Council), and Svetlana Savitchi (Youth Advisor, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova), emphasizing the importance of active involvement of the young people in the successful implementation of youth policies in the Republic of Moldova on the very local level.
Tatiana Costev, the “IntegrACT Plus” project coordinator, briefly presented the main achievements of the project (PDF, 307 kB).
The most important part of the event was the ‘I succeeded’ panel – an interactive presentation model, similar to TEDx format. During the panel young people from 6 communities presented their success stories and shared how they managed to overcome apathy, isolation and mistrust and eventually got involved in various activities aiming to promote youth policies at community level.
In addition to their own life stories, young people also came up with some motivational messages to all young people from Moldova:
“Dear young people from Moldova, do believe in your own strength, because we can do much more than we think we can”. – Elvira Drangoi, Zirneşti village, Cahul rayon.
“I encourage you not to be indifferent, you are the future leaders of our country, and I advise you to get involved, because involvement is the change”. – Alexandru Mincovschi, Ursoaia village, Cahul rayon.
“I encourage you not to be afraid, take action, do the things you like. Develop yourself and contribute to community development”. – Mihaela Petrov, Vulcanesti, ATU Gagauzia.
“The most important thing I can do as a counselor is to be active, you can fall down at times, but if you have a goal, you have to lift yourself and not to be afraid to follow it”. – Nicolai Disli, Ceadir-Lunga.
The event, organized by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) within the “IntegrACT PLUS” project, aimed at highlighting the value of civic activism among young people, at the local level in the Republic of Moldova, as well as introducing the model for the integration of young people from minority background through civic activism and participation.
“Once again, today’s event, confirms how important is to involve young people at the local level. In particular, this forum is for young people coming from the towns and villages of the Republic of Moldova who managed to do something. We are happy to talk not only about problems but also about certain achievements. Of course, the successes are modest, but we believe in the replication effect of these successes, in particularly in our integrated model that we tested over the past two- three years, and we have seen it work,” stated the executive director of IRI.
The “Active Youth’s Forum – edition II” represents a continuation of the first edition, organized in October, 2017 and implemented within the 2018 Grant Program for Youth Organizations with the financial support of Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova.
The “Active Youth’s Forum – edition III” is scheduled for October, 2019.
The event was promoted by the “Moldova in progress” magazine (in Romanian).
More photos from the event can be found on the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives: