For the third consecutive year, the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) organized, within the IntegrACT program, a dialogue and exchange of ideas between youth from rural areas, graduates of the IntegrACT program, and representatives of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova. The activity is symbolically called by iRi “Young people having a coffee with the Minister”.
Even if the Minister did not reach the activity, 2 representatives of the Ministry of Education and Research (MEC) from the Youth Department came to have a coffee and discuss with the young people: Mr. Marcel Marin, head of department and Mrs. Aliona Dumbraveanu, main specialist. The discussion involved 12 young people – members of the initiative groups from 10 partner communities and representatives of 4 youth NGOs.
The meeting took place in an informal atmosphere. iRi presented the results of the IntegrACT program (5 years of activity 2017 – 2021) from 29 rural communities, lessons learned and recommendations for the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova.
Within the activity, young people had the opportunity to interact directly with the leadership of the Youth Department of the Ministry on youth sector in Moldova, to ask questions about the problems youth face at local level, but also about the implementation of youth policies in rural areas.
“One of the recommendations for the Ministry would be to diminish the role of the district councils, to change the poles of influence from the district level to the local level – where is the final branch of the youth policy. Resources allocated to districts reallocate to LPAs to support local initiative groups or youth NGOs.” – Lilia Sula, Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi).
“We want when we go to the District President to ask for money for youth actions, they do not answer that there is no money. Now we know that they have money for the youth sector, this is what the Ministry told us during today’s event and it will be a good argument, because we want to develop young people not only at the district level, but also locally where opportunities are much less.” – Mariana Bruma, representative of NGO Univers, Drochia town.
Towards the end of the event, young people were encouraged to request resources from the LPA for youth activities, but not before presenting an action plan of the local initiative group and an official letter to the LPA between October and November when the LPA develops the budget for 2022. From iRi’s experience, there are open mayors who want and actively promote young people in the community, mayors who hired a youth specialist, mayors who rethought a broader position of the youth specialist.
At the moment iRi is involved in the youth sector through the IntegrACT model tested in 29 partner communities, mostly in rural areas and will continue to replicate it on a larger scale in the coming years.
“I go home confident that there is no problem without a solution. Solutions always exist, we just have to keep looking for these solutions and look good. Hence the saying: Who seeks, finds!” – Alexandru Mincovschi, iRi’s youth experts’ team.
The activity is part of the project “Empowering for INVOLVING: an IntegrACT brand model” implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) within the 2021 Grants Program for youth organizations of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova (MEC).
The photo album from the event can be accessed on the Facebook page of the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi):