The Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) organized the second edition of the Rural Youth Congress where participated young people from several rural communities.
In accordance with the restrictions of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, this time the Congress was attended by a more limited number of young people. More than 40 young people (some came together with mayors or youth specialists) from 38 villages of the Republic of Moldova woke up very early to come to Chisinau and learn new things, but also to share their own lessons learned.
The Congress provided space for targeted discussions and exchange of experience between young people from various rural communities of Moldova. Within the discussion panels (positive practices / common challenges) there were identified solutions and possibilities for future cooperation despite multiple challenges, including the global pandemic.
The event was also attended by graduates of the first edition of the Congress, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, LPA representatives, youth specialists, NGOs and media.
“The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research supported and will continue to support all initiatives and projects that promote and lead to the civic activity of young people. We are pleased with these results and encourage you to participate as actively as possible.” – Ivan Gheorghiu, Secretary of State in the field of youth and sports.
The American Ambassador in the Republic of Moldova, His Excellency Dereck J. Hogan, had a greeting and encouragement message for rural young people:
“Dear young people, I admire your efforts in building a more democratic and prosperous state through beautiful initiatives at the local level. The civic activism cannot be underestimated in a democracy, as well as the power of involving young people who are a continuous source of solutions, innovation and hope for a better future”.
The event discussed ways to increase the level of civic involvement among young people from rural areas and tools to motivate the LPAs to be more receptive and connected to the problems of young people.
“I help my community in various ways, more precisely by actively involving myself in social life. I proposed to the local LPA to develop a recreational place for young people.” – Stas Cebotari, 18 years old, president of the District Youth Council, Drochia.
“The biggest problem is that young people must learn to put pressure on authorities. On the other hand we have to make sure that mayors hear youth voices and are softly constrained to allocate money from the local budget for youth initiatives. Most young people aged 14-34 live in the village. Their opportunities are much lower compared to those in the city, and this gap must be reduced.” – Ruslan Stanga, executive director, Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi).
The Congress resolutions will be submitted to the relevant public authorities and to the international partners of the Republic of Moldova.
The next edition of the Rural Youth Congress will take place in the fall of 2021.
The event was organized by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (2020 Grants Program for Youth Organizations) and the US State Department (within Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)). The general media partner of the event was TVR Moldova.
For more photos from the event please visit the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi):