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Sorin Mereacre, EEF president: Civic Fest brings a new life, energy and enthusiasm to those working day by day for their communities’ well-being
Date: 30.09.2015   

What was the latest activity attended by you as a volunteer?

I have participated in the Auto Caravan for of the European Information. Together with several colleagues, representatives of civil society, members of the Civic Platform "For Europe", we went on a volunteer drive tour from Chisinau to Balti in order to talk with people from different localities about the European Union.

We have talked about benefits of joining the EU by the Republic of Moldova. We discussed with people, we shared informational materials about EU citizens and answered questions about the relationship with the European Union.

What is the most important project that you have implemented this year together with the Foundation you represent?

The Foundation I represent supports a large number of projects, all of them very important to me. Over the last year we have focused on projects promoting a fair electoral process, accessible for disabled persons, amending legislation and create conditions for making gender equality become a reality in Moldova. We also supported the initiative of engaging young people in solving problems of their local communities, joint community projects on mobilization of non-governmental organizations on both sides the Nistru river, training for teachers and other activities we feel highly concerned about.

What are the actions undertaken by NGOs which have resulted in a substantial community involvement in Moldova?

Concerning East European Foundation, these actions are mainly related to the local communities within the "Bridge of Communication" that contributed to the strengthening of the links between NGOs, business and media on both sides the Nistru river. I have to point out also the involvement of young people in the rural communities where the project was carried out during several years by the Youth Fund and local initiatives of social entrepreneurship.

In the last time we have witnessed an increasing involvement of women in decision-making process, an environment until recently only available to men. What are the next steps towards achieving maximum efficiency of gender- based equality?

Being an active promoter of gender equality, East Europe Foundation, together with other civil society organizations contributed to the development of recommendations for the Government's program in this area from 2015 to 2018.

We ave identified five priority areas of intervention to ensure de facto the equality between men and women: (i) establishment of a 40% minimum rate of representation of women and men in the Parliament and the Government; (ii) improvement of legislation on preventing and combating violence against women and adherence to the Istanbul Convention; (iii) the adoption of pro-active measures to ensure women and men equal employment opportunities in the labor market,  including the introduction of paid paternity leave of 14 days from public funds and re-opening of crèches; (iv) elaboration and implementation of policies aimed to develop female entrepreneurship; (v) the strengthen of the institutional framework for ensuring gender equality, including gender re-units, as well as the empowerment of the Council to prevent and eliminate discrimination and ensure equality by sanctioning discrimination acts.

In our opinion, these would be the concrete steps that the Government (with the support of civil society) should do, so as to promote at the highest possible efficiency gender- based equal opportunities.

What European country could serve as an example to follow for Moldova concerning gender- based equal opportunities?

Sweden, France, Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Greece and Ireland are the prominent examples. In Sweden men are benefiting from a paid from public funds child care leave for 2 months. Paternity leave stimulates men involvement in childcare, helping to eliminate patriarchal stereotypes regarding the roles of women and men in society. Also in Sweden, families having a balanced use f childcare leave, benefit from tax facilitations.

In France and other European countries were established seven (temporary) special measures aimed to ensure equitable representation of women in legislative bodies. Thus, gender quotas in those countries have effectively contributed to the rapid increase of women's representation in politics and to a comprehensive process of women inclusion in male dominated political institutions.

Which are those three social entrepreneurship projects from Moldova that inspire you?

Through the efforts EEF inclusively, we can say that in Moldova we have social entrepreneurship inspiring models. Here are three of them:

a)      The "San-Tao" manual therapy and massage salon in Balti, managed by the Association of Business Women of the city, which currently provides employment as, massage therapists for seven people with visual disabilities.

b)      The social enterprise "Floare de Cires" in Razeni, Ialoveni, which provides catering services. It is probably one of the best known examples of social entrepreneurship in the country. I'd just like to add that I admire the enthusiasm of the young people from this organization. Thanks to the FEE support, they managed to expand the range of their company services. Now they grow by themselves the vegetables needed for cooking, in the two greenhouses that have been built recently.

c)       A relatively recent initiative, I have a special optimistic view on is the saline managed by the Center for Rehabilitation and Consulting "OSORŢ" in Tiraspol. The Centre provides assistance to people with disabilities so that artificial saline comes as an effective complement to the services offered by this center.

Do you think that rural area is favorable to social entrepreneurship in Moldova? Please give reasoning to your answer.

I think social entrepreneurship both in the village and in the city has a huge development potential.  It is rather about people with initiative that conceive and carry out successfully business ideas. Another precondition for launching a social enterprise is the community support, primarily of the local government.

The social entrepreneurship is a form of business that Moldova needs. The launch of this kind of businesses would be much easier if the central and local authorities would offer more support to such initiatives.

We would like you to comment on Civic Fest annual event usefulness for Moldovan NGOs and civil society.

Civic Fest civil society festival is a platform for communication and exchange of experiences, where NGOs and initiative groups share their achievements and successful projects, and those interested can learn how to mobilize their communities and how to raise funds.

This event brings a new life, energy and enthusiasm to those working days by day for their communities’ well being.

What are you expectations from the future editions of Civic Fest?

I am waiting for more original ideas and new projects developed by NGOs. I would like to have more initiatives with tangible results that contribute to the welfare growth, based on the partnership between civil society organizations and authorities.

I wish Civic Fest promote every year the spirit of civic activity and celebrate the positive impact of the reforms in education, justice and economy.

Other Blog

Date: 29.09.2015   
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. Read more...
Date: 28.09.2015   
He is involved in volunteering since was 14 years old, is part of the World Scout Organization and coordinates the launching of social entrepreneurship projects. Meet the program coordinator of the East European Foundation, Alexandru Coica. He is the one for whom the emotions of people who see their relatives accepted by society and involved in labor market is far more valuable than income social startups. Read more...
Date: 28.09.2015   
The European East Foundation (EEF) claims that Moldovan NGOs are increasingly active within the community development projects and wants active participation of international organizations during Civic Fest. Read more...
Date: 11.12.2014   
“By exposing us to EU processes and to other countries’ democratisation experiences, EPD has helped us lay down the foundations for closer integration between Moldova and the EU. We have big plans for the future and EPD’s Community of Practice is crucial in helping Moldova’s civil society and government design good policies.” Read more...

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