On November 25, the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) organized the second edition of the Friendly Mayors’ Club – a platform meant to provide opportunities for discussions and exchange of good practices between the representatives of the local public administration regarding the involvement of the citizens in the community life.
At the event there were invited mayors and local councilors from the communities IRI colaborates with, in order to continue the discussions started in the previous edition – the Friendly Mayors’ Club, 1st edition – regarding the development of the youth sector at local level and the implementation of practical activities that lead to the youth sector empowerment, especially of the local initiative groups.
This time, the present mayors and councilors discussed about the youth sensitive budgeting, the involvement of young people in various decision – making processes, especially in the budgeting and fundraising process, for the development of the youth sector at the local level.
“Such events are organized for the mayors from the communities we have been working for several years. We are already at the second edition. This is because we want a continuous dialogue with you. We want to find out your opinion, hear your ideas, take a step forward. We believe that a strong partnership between the LPA and the community serves the public interest directly. I believe that accomplished mayors are those mayors who enjoy the people’s support after the election day. Successful mayors are those mayors who succeed in involving people in the act of the local governance,” mentioned Ruslan Stanga, executive director of IRI.
A particular topic of the event was the participatory budgeting – a topic that aroused great interest among the mayors. The mayors demanded that a special session focused on participatory budgeting to be organized in the near future.
The discussions were facilitated by the experts of the Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (CALM) Octavii Ivanov and the economist Valeriu Prohnitchi.
Mr. Ion Pinzari, senior consultant within the Directorate for Rural Development Policies and Programs of the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and the Environment, spoke to the participants about a number of opportunities offered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and the Environment to initiate various projects of community interest.
In addition to the thematic presentations, the participants in the activity benefited from a workshop where they exchanged good practices in the field of fundraising for the youth activity. At the same time, the mayors also shared some challenges related to the massive migration of young people to Chisinau or abroad, the lack of jobs in the rural areas, the lack of recreational facilities or extra-curricular activities for young people, etc.
During the Q&A session the mayors learned about ways to streamline the local budgeting process, considering the existing economic constraints, as well as ways to improve the budget planning process in general.
The event was organized by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) as part of the project “IntegrACT Amplify: rural youth empowerment” within the 2019 Grant Program for Youth Organizations of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research and of the project “MEM PLUS”, with the financial support from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in partnership with Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Ohio, USA.