We’ve discussed with the East-European Foundation (EEF) Program Coordinator about The Youth Fund Moldova, as well as about the crucial role of local authorities in developing sustainable community projects.
What was the latest activity attended by you as a volunteer?
It was a training activity for a group of young people in community development and management projects/ I was very glad to see this initiative coming from them and every time I will be invited I will accept with the greatest pleasure the invitation. Personally, I am starting every day thinking that I can contribute to make the world around better and I think volunteering is the best way of doing it.
What is the most important project you've done this year within the organization you represent?
There are many important projects completed or being implemented by the local and national NGOs with the support from EEF and the resources from external partners. But if it is to mention a project that I’m coordinating, this would be Moldova Youth Fund, which is my soul project so far, involving harmoniously the young people and their communities. Since 2010, EEF has created eight Youth Funds which implicitly means over 150 community projects implemented, 100 success stories, 5000 young people involved, identified solutions and human potential harnessed.
What are the actions undertaken by the Moldovan NGOs which have enjoyed the local public support?
The community involvement starts from our responsible attitude for what is happening around. It has no age and no fixed number of participants. A single man can mobilize an entire community around a common idea, and a community is able to amplify the positive changes within a society. The role of NGOs is very important in creating a favorable environment for citizen participation and in increasing the power of a community to spread the change. There are many examples that can be presented as good practices concerning the substantial community involvement, such as various eco campaigns to save the rivers, the green spaces, the parks, the rehabilitation of cultural and historical areas and others. Now I am thinking it would be great to have them presented as success stories in a Community mobilization Guide.
How important is the youth involvement in community development actions?
Youth participation is important for both community development and the personal development of young people. And this interdependence must be promoted in order to develop the youth participation power in social and economical areas and to motivate them to engage as much as possible in increasing their potential.
When the young people get involved, the community develops. This is already proved by the multiple projects implemented by youth. And when the local authorities will fully realize the importance of this participation to the community future, the young people will not be able any more to say they did not have the needed resources and opportunities to spend efficiently their free time.
What are the next steps to be done so that we will promote at the maximum the gender based equality involving young people?
If to talk about steps, then, randomly they would be:
- The inclusion of issues related to gender based equality within the basic education curricula
- The support of projects, activities, concrete campaigns focusing on human rights principles of equality, non-discrimination, transparency, participation and accountability
- The constant promotion and examples of success stories.
What are those three projects implemented by young people from Moldova inspiring you?
I prefer to say that each project implemented by young people is a step towards future. Above all, the projects with and for youth themselves are the most veritable proof that we are powerful and we can changes things. What inspires me is that their confidence and enthusiasm is able to generate social change and therefore, a change within the general atmosphere.
What are the most important problems and solutions for ensuring a more active participation of youth in all socio-political area in Moldova?
The problems and the solutions, grounds for eternal discussions and analysis. Everything starts from priorities and attitudes, followed by responsibilities and commitments. I would say that we have an active participation from the youth side, which has to be supported and sometimes increased. The differences are visible in the cities and villages. And if we do have a sufficient legal framework for ensuring youth participation, at the implementation level there are still many lacks. Usually all it comes to the financial resources, when actually the keys to all the problems are hold by some people, in some offices, that have only to encourage more, to trust and to provide the appropriate space for the young people participation. The first thing you need to plant seeds is a fertile land.
We would like you to comment on Civic Fest annual event usefulness for Moldovan NGOs and civil society.
The effort, dedication, hard work and the results achieved by the civil society are this event’s key elements. Civic Fest comes once a year to offer its social platform to all the active NGOs willing to share their experiences, achievements, challenges and plans. In other words, an active civil society and smart organizations together with its citizens joining their forces in finding democratic solution to the existing problems can contribute to the progress of a nation.
What are you expectations from the future editions of Civic Fest?
The greatest satisfaction I get from events is the unity between valuable people concerned by finding solutions. Some have already solutions to existing problems impeding certain developmental processes. I want to see as many people and organizations as possible, both local and international that is contributing to the peace and the mutual progress. And why not, Civic Fest to become an event organized at the international level.