One of the new challenges of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) is to support the newly formed initiative groups while assisting them to become anchored in the community and not just in one particular project. From an analysis made during several months, the IRI team has identified some real risks in this sense. For minimizing this risk, IRI team has mobilized to strengthen its network of 36 initiative groups across the country.
Within the project “Sustainable Community Partnerships to Support the Rights of Ethnic Minorities in the Republic of Moldova”, the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) supports 20 youth initiative groups from 20 communities from the Republic of Moldova.
Last week (April 8-10), the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) visited two more partner communities: the village of Lozova, Straseni district, and the village of Parcani, Calarasi district. At the meetings the IRI team had the occasion to discuss with the youth initiative groups about the activities the youth organized in their communities and the difficulties they faced in the last weeks.
The most interested topics for the young people were related to team-building, cooperation with LPAs and local stakeholders. The youth also asked more questions about the qualities a community facilitator or leader has to possess.
The young people were very ingenious, creative, inspired, and motivated.
“A leader is a person who motivates, responsible, creative and full of energy… Like a tree that grows and becomes green, the leaves being its team.” – Mihaela, a young activist from Lozova.
“The leader cannot exist without a team, and vice versa. He develops his skills one by one, like the petals of flowers which bloom one after another.” – Anastasia, a young realist from Lozova.
“One becomes a leader through his or her attitude, his or her way of manifestation. Leader walks hand in hand with his team, invests in it and creates other leaders for continuation.” – Simion, an ambitious youth from Lozova.
In Parcani, the meeting took place in the primary school – the only public institution in the community. The IRI team talked to Mrs. Natalia, a local Roma community mediator, on the challenges faced by the initiative group.
“Having only the primary school in the community, the young people have to go to secondary school in the neighboring community of Raciula, so the meetings with the youth initiative group become more difficult.” – Mrs. Natalia, a community mediator from Parcani.
“The community meets more for the holidays, Easter, or Village Day. It’s not enough.” – Victoria, a young activist from Parcani.
The goal of the visits, both in Lozova and in Parcani, was to offer assistance to the local youth initiative groups, to participate in their team consolidation process, and to continue to motivate the community initiatives.
“You cannot build a team with one person. A strong initiative group is formed from several persons who have the desire and the enthusiasm to do something voluntary for their community.” – Elena Turcan, program coordinator IRI.
Compared to Lozova community, the village of Parcani needs more support and assistance to strengthen and motivate the local youth initiative group. So each community is different and unique. Each needs a special approach and tools for valuing local opportunities and maximizing the potential of every young person regardless of their social origin, status, language or ethnicity.
This event is part of the project “Sustainable Community Partnerships to Support the Rights of Ethnic Minorities in the Republic of Moldova” implemented by Terre des Hommes Moldova (Tdh), in partnership with the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) with the financial support of the European Union and with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova.