On November 23, 2021, the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) organized the 3rd edition of the Rural Youth Congress.
The activity brought together virtually more than 80 young people from over 30 communities, mostly from rural areas, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova, youth specialists, local NGOs and representatives of local public authorities.
During the event, the young participants had the opportunity to present their ideas and experiences regarding the activity in the youth field from the last year, but also from the last 5 years since the IntegrACT program implemented by iRi in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova started.
At the beginning of the event, the representative of the Ministry of Education and Research Mrs. Aliona Dumbraveanu, main consultant in the Youth Department, mentioned:
“IRi projects always have a well-defined goal, to promote the concept of civic activism and to continuously support the initiatives of young people in rural areas by involving the entire local community.”
During the event, various young people shared their experiences, affirming themselves as volunteers with an impact in the community.
“Since 2017 when I met iRi, I met young people from rural areas who told about initiatives, success stories in their communities and they inspired and motivated me a lot, because with very few resources, but with great enthusiasm they managed to make changes in their communities.” – Nicolai Disli, president of NGO Pharos, town of Ceadir-Lunga.
Within the Congress, the topic on how to motivate rural LPAs to make them more receptive and connected to the problems of young people was also discussed.
“It is very important for us, mayors, to support the initiatives of young people, to listen to them and to collaborate together, because everything we do will remain for future generations. The youth vision shows us the things in the community with different eyes. Young people need to be targeted where the community needs them.” – Sergiu Roman, mayor of Lingura, Cantemir district.
In addition to the topics covered in the discussion panels, the Rural Youth Congress was an event to promote and popularize the concept of civic activism and inclusive community participation at national level where young people are encouraged and supported massively and systemically by state authorities.
“In the project «Empowering for INVOLVING: an IntegrACT brand model», I had the best experience. I never imagined that young people can influence the decision-making process in the community and through civic activities we can develop our locality.” – Ana-Maria Davidov, member of the initiative group, Crihana Veche village, Cahul district.
iRi will continue to organize activities where young people, especially those from rural areas, exchange ideas and experience with other young people in the country, encouraging and inspiring each other.
The activity is part of the project “Empowering for INVOLVING: an IntegrACT brand model” implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) and local partners within the 2021 Grants Program for youth organizations of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova (MEC).