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Development of rural tourism in the community of Cismichioi – benefits for the well-being of each citizen

Development of rural tourism in the community of Cismichioi – benefits for the well-being of each citizen

We gladly visited the local initiative group from Cismichioi, one of the 14 partner communities from ATU Gagauzia where iRi conducts its activity.

It is one of those rare communities where we still find local people speaking only the Gagauz language. The history of the foundation of the village tells us about a group of Gagauz immigrants from Bulgaria, a number of 16 families which settled in the community in 1809.

Due to the pandemic situation created by COVID-19, we met only with the core of the local initiative group (3 people) with whom we discussed the group’s effort to transform Cismichioi into a friendly and attractive community for people of all ages and occupations.

The initiative group shared with us the achievements of the community project where they created a studio to make souvenirs (cups, frames, bags, key chains, magnets, T-shirts, printed pillows, etc.) for promoting the community and the Gagauz traditions.

“Lately, our community has been visited by local and international tourists. They always wanted to buy souvenirs with the visited places in our community. Likewise, our community is economically friendly. We have a sewing workshop, and a furniture factory that we started to collaborate with for this initiative. We are convinced that the community has much to benefit from this partnership, because the income brought from the tourism activity remains in the community budget,” mentioned Dmitrii Ianul, the representative of the local NGO “Delfin”.

“As a result of the purchased equipment, the initiative group participated in the competition of making 400 eco-bags,” mentioned Tatiana Menova, leader of the local initiative group.

The initiative group was formed in 2018 and succeeded to write and implement local initiatives aimed to develop the community. The group is in an active process of applying to different projects to attract more funds for the development of Cismichioi.

All members of the initiative group stated the special importance of the iRi team’s visits to the community, as well as the impact on the group’s activity in order to empower and create opportunities for the locals.

“Involvement in the implementation of the MEM PLUS project in our community has helped us understand the great importance and the value of the community empowerment model in the way that it is sustainable and beneficial to as many locals as possible,” said Dmitrii Ianul, the representative of the local NGO “Delfin”.

The total value of the project is 29,000 lei/MDL, from which 12,000 lei/MDL being the contribution of the local service providers.

In iRi’s opinion, the empowerment of the local initiative groups is the key to a pro-active and prosperous community, and during the meeting a great part of the discussions were focused on improving the level of collaboration with the LPA.

The iRi team encouraged the initiative group to promote their community and continue to strengthen the local initiative group in order to benefit as many citizens and natives of the community as possible.

This activity is part of the MEM PLUS project, implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) in Moldova and Great Lakes Community Action Partnership in OHIO, USA, with financial support from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

For a virtual tour of Cismichioi, ATU Gagauzia, please, visit the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi):