Just before the very beginning of a new study year (26-28 august) the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) organized a youth summer school entitled “IntegrACT: civic activism among youth. What? Why? How?” The activity gathered 50 young people from 15 rural communities from the Republic of Moldova. During three days the participants learnt while having fun about new ideas and instruments of applied civic activism. The IRI team and the summer school trainers challenged the young people to develop their critical thinking abilities as well as their ability to value the existing opportunities while change to the better the communities where they live, as well as for their personal development.
“When I go back to the community I want to gather our youth initiative group, teach them how to be successful and how we can be active in our community.” – Liona Zagnitko, student, village of Maramonovca, Drochia district.
Through different interactive games the young people learnt about the importance of a team, its impact in the community, the communication with others and how to be insistent on achieving results at the very local level.
“I did not know we could learn about the civic activism so interactive and interesting.” – Camelia Conea, a young lady from village of Tarigrad, Drochia district.
“It was a very interesting training with interactive games, exercises and… clear conclusions.” – Inna Cernioglo, village of Baurci, Gagauzia.
The summer school pun an emphasis on strengthening the capacities of the 50 young people from 15 rural communities so that participant young people become able to act as promoters of participatory community change. Due to the multiple activities in teams the young people from different areas of the country had the opportunity to interact and communicate as a peer to peer experience. Also, the youth had time to discuss about the successful practices implemented in some communities which have been active with IRI support for several years. As a result of these interactions, the young people created an informal network of youth from 15 communities that would help them to communicate more easily, to share the planned ideas and actions, the problems and challenges youth face every day.
“I think this training helped the young people to take a step forward in their perception of applied activism in their relation to the local authorities. If in the past the youth perception was that they had to manifest themselves individually and somehow isolated from the mayor’s office, now at this training there were made efforts that the participant young people get to work in teams using the energy and the inspiration of a team.” – Elena Turcan, program coordinator, IRI.
In the special session “How to interact and collaborate with the stakeholders from my community: the mayor’s office, the school, the church, the entrepreneurs, the diaspora” the young people learnt and had the opportunity to write their own letters addressed to the local partners. The direct involvement of the local public administrations in the youth activity at local level will contribute directly to a better implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2014-2020 at local level.
The event was concluded with the participation of the State Secretary on youth and sports, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Mr. Adrian Balutel, who had a session of Q&A with the young people. Mr. Balutel discussed with the young people about the impressions related to the Summer School as well as the importance of the young people in the on-going effort of community transformation.
“We are ready to organize trainings with other young people in our community, to solve different problems.” – Liviu Ceban, pupil, village of Nicoreni.
The summer school was mentored by the IRI team and the trainers Laurentia Filipschi, executive director, Junior Achievement Moldova and Radion Velcev, director, Youth Center “Urban Center Comrat”.
The initiative “IntegrACT Amplify: rural youth empowerment” is implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) within the 2019 Grant Program for Youth Organizations of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova.