Between 22nd and 24th of August, 2014 in Chisinau, the Institute for Rural Initiatives conducted the very first training course for national minorities “Academy for building community activism”. The event was attended by 53 participants from 15 communities from Moldova, representing five ethnic minorities from Moldova: Gagauzians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Romas and Czechs (TAU Gagauzia –Vulcanesti town, villages Cazaclia and Gaidar; Taraclia rayon – Taraclia town, villages Corten and Cairaclia; Riscani rayon – villages Mihaileni and Nihoreni; Edinet rayon – Edinet town; Drochia rayon – villages Chetrosu, Baroncea and Gribova; Hincesti rayon – village Mingir; Cahul rayon – villages Zirnesti and Huluboaia).
During three days of the training participants worked together in multiple workshops in order to develop their skills and abilities in the fields of strong team building, local problems identification and promotion of community activism and participation.
Training attendees, despite their speaking eight different languages, were able to overcome cultural and language barriers and formed a group of very active and friendly participants.
“This is a success. We have proved once again that we can, and that things can be done, but only together, regardless of language we speak or ethnicity we have, in order to solve our problems. This training course is just the first one out of three planned, and hopefully by the end of the project we will have 15 local teams well consolidated that through 15 local projects will solve community problems identified by our teams and community members,” mentioned Tatiana Costev, Executive Director IRI.
At the training, participants had come up with the initiative to organize an intercultural evening, during which representatives of the five ethnic groups made presentation of their traditions, history and culture. Intercultural evening turned into a veritable manifestation of cultural and ethnic diversity of Moldova: Gagauzian and Ukrainian folk music, Bulgarian and Roma dances, each of them greeted with enthusiasm and interest.
The training was conducted by an international team of trainers: David Beckwith (U.S.), Iustina Neagu (Romania) and Silvia Strelciuc (Republic of Moldova).
Training course “Academy for building community activism” is part of the organization’s efforts to develop and promote community activism and participation within the project “Minority Empowerment in Moldova”. The next training course will be held in December 2014.
The “Minority Empowerment in Moldova” project is funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, administered by WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. and is locally implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives.