“Young people will change things for the better in their communities,” tells us with confidence Mrs. Valentina Miron, local facilitator and civic activist from Ursoaia village, Cahul rayon, a Bulgarian community from the south of Moldova.
Being inspired to make a change in their lives, based on the IRI model, young people from 6 rural communities from all over Moldova (Nicoreni and Ochiul Alb villages, Drochia rayon; Ursoaia and Alexanderfeld villages, Cahul rayon; Gaidar and Cazaclia villages, ATU Gagauzia) initiated and successfully implemented from September through November, 2017 the “We act because we care” awareness campaign. The goal of the campaign was to unite and mobilize young people and other community stakeholders around a common issue that concerned everyone so that by addressing it a change for the better in their village can be made.
The chosen initiatives were diverse: young volunteers organized cleanup events in parks and public areas, planted trees and flowerbeds, installed benches and trash cans, and implemented other small projects of public interest for community benefit.
The activism and the initiative of over 100 young people with civic spirit managed to attract the support of Local Public Administration as well. The help offered by mayor’s offices was diverse, everyone helped in a way they could. For example, in Nicoreni village, Drochia rayon, local mayor Mr. Mihail Rotaras, taken by enthusiasm of the young people, allocated funds for purchasing 8 benches and 8 trash cans in addition to the 10 offered within the frame of the project. As a result, 36 units were installed in public places offering comfort and a welcoming and modern look to the community.
In Gaidar village, UTA Gagauzia, Ilia Chiosea, the mayor of the village, in partnership with local economic agents contributed 9,000 lei to make a bigger impact on the initiative implemented by young people, who were improving the local park.
“IRI’s mission is to facilitate local development processes in rural communities, and in particular to facilitate social and entrepreneurial initiatives in order to re-launch rural Moldova and to improve the quality of life in rural areas”, mentioned Ruslan Stanga, Executive Director, Institute for Rural Initiatives.
The “We act because we care” campaign is organized within the “Rural youth in action: empowerment for civic activism” project implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives and its local partners, with the support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).