FHI 360 Moldova

Civil society organization empowers authorities to engage youth

“I was ready to leave my home and never come back again, but now I want to return to my grandmother,” says 15-year old Svetlana (a pseudonym). She has been living at the Center of Social Inclusion for Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Victims in Căușeni for  almost nine months, where she receives free psychological, social, medical and educational assistance. 
The Association of Psychologists Tighina (APT) recognized Svetlana’s need and placed her in the Center. APT’s work is supported by the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society (MPSCS) program, which is implemented by FHI 360 and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
 
“Svetlana was living with her grandmother in her home village since her mother died a few years ago while working abroad. She often ran away from home and from school. During this period she made several suicide attempts due to some conflicts with villagers,” explained Ana Schiopu, APT’s Training Coordinator. “We assist authorities and organizations in identifying youth in difficulty and finding solutions for them. We are assisting more than 30 youth every month in our Placement Center. Many of them are from the breakaway region of Moldova,” added Schiopu.
 
The mayor of the Svetlana’s home village said that after Svetlana’s suicide attempts, local authorities worked with APT to solve the problem. “After nine months of hard work with the school principal, the social worker, local police, the girl's grandmother and other villagers, we believe that we have a youth integration system in place and we are all prepared for Svetlana’s returning home.” 
 
Tatiana Osadci, a social assistant at APT, explained, “Many children remain in the country without parental care, because of the massive exodus of Moldovans abroad.  Authorities do not have the necessary capacities to get involved in such situations”. For this reason, APT helps local authorities and organizations learn best European practices in the field. “We already have good results,” said Ms. Osadci. “In the localities where we provided assistance a few months ago, the public youth protection services are much more efficient and the cases of establishing a guardianship are increasing – this means that children and adolescents do not remain unprotected anymore.”
 
To assist youth left without parental care as a result of migration and to facilitate their social inclusion, APT will continue building the capacity of authorities and organizations in Căușeni, Ștefan-Vodă, Anenii Noi, and the left bank of the Nistru River—an area with a total population of over 200,000. APT also empowers organizations to participate in local council meetings to put the youth interests on the agendas of local governments. 
 
After making peace with the people around her and with herself, Svetlana has become more confident and started to dream big: “Next year I’m going to study at a college in Chisinau and in two or three years I will be a professional hair stylist,” she says confidently.
 
 
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