FHI 360 Moldova

Moldovan civil society organization effectively represents citizens’ interests

“I was determined to help my 14-year-old nephew Nicolae after he lost his mother and grandmother, and after his father abandoned him. Nicolae risked losing his house and

 
 endangering his future. I was delighted to find out that the University Legal Clinic in Balti (CJU) offers free-of-charge legal consultations,” said Ion Gutu, a 33-year-old resident of Balti.
 
“We advised Mr. Gutu on the appropriate legal procedure to help his nephew Nicolae. Additionally, CJU prepared the necessary legal documents for the court hearings, and provided guidance to Nicolae and his uncle throughout the entire judicial process,” explains Serghei Tapordei, legal adviser at CJU. 
 
CJU’s Director Olesea Tabarcea explained that the demand for the organization’s services continues to increase as more Moldovans leave the country in search of employment abroad: “We help several hundred of people each month. In 2014, approximately 40% of our beneficiaries were seeking consultations in the family law field. We explain this by the mass exodus of people from Moldova, which leads to the breakup of families.” 
 
With the support of the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society (MPSCS) program, implemented by FHI 360 and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), CJU offers legal consultations in the north of Moldova to those who cannot afford it. Among the organization’s beneficiaries are the unemployed, pensioners, single parent families, multi-child families, students, persons with disabilities, and war veterans. 
 
“Thanks to CJU, Nicolae is not in risk of losing his house anymore. Moreover, he is now benefitting from a monthly state social allowance. It is very good that these kinds of organizations exist. They are helping us navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth of our judicial system. I had no idea one could start and win such a complicated legal case,” mentioned Ion Gutu.
 
In addition to offering individual assistance to citizens in need, CJU periodically conducts public sessions on legal topics that are of high interest to rural residents. These sessions ensure that CJU reaches a larger number of beneficiaries and involves other actors who represent citizens’ rights. The organization efficiently cooperates with relevant authorities, provides trainings to other CSOs in the field, and mentors and trains law students and helps them put their skills to practice through volunteer opportunities. 
 
“Because of poverty, the majority of the citizens cannot afford paid legal assistance. They become vulnerable in this way. We promote social equity by representing and empowering citizens and by keeping authorities accountable before the law. Together with our partners, we will more frequently visit the residents of Balti and nearby regions who do not have means to come to us. In this way, we will be closer to our beneficiaries,” concluded Olesea Tabarcea. 
 
 
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