FHI 360 Moldova

Moldova’s youth are tackling environmental challenges, one village at a time

“People from my village are praising me, saying they have never seen our community so clean. It is no wonder, as we have cleaned even the most hard-to-reach places, such as sewers and grassy ledges”, proudly said Adrian Coroi, a 15-year-old from Singureni village, Râșcani rayon. Over the course of several weeks, Adrian talked to his peers in the village about the poor ecological situation in the community and youth’s responsibility to act. “I managed to gather more than 60 people ready to clean up our locality, and I convinced local public authorities and private companies to support our initiative. It was easier than I thought,” added Adrian.

As part of the “Waste Management in My Community” campaign, Adrian and 2,000+ like-minded youth across 14 villages in northern Moldova participated in cleanup events, and collected about 16 tons of waste, benefiting more than 160,000 villagers. The campaign was organized by the civil society organization (CSO) “Caroma Nord” 

with the support of the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by FHI 360.

According to Caroma Nord’s executive director Rodica Frecăuțanu, the organization provided trainings to youth on community engagement and waste management prior to launching the campaign. Adrian and 20 other young people developed their advocacy skills, and learned how to access funding for collecting and recycling waste. “As a result, we have created initiative groups in 14 villages that are working with the authorities and citizens to improve the environment,” added Ms. Frecăuțanu.

In every village, the mayor’s office supported the cleanup event by providing trucks for transporting the collected waste. The Corlăteni village mayor Anatolie Baciu was impressed with the youth’s initiative: “In several hours more than 100 young people did the work we would not have been able to do in a week with our one or two budgeted sweepers. We do not stop here. The next step is to plant a park in the spring with the support of the community.”

To support community-based groups like the ones Adrian and his peers are leading, Caroma Nord has established an Environmental Coalition comprised of 40 CSOs and private sector representatives in the northern districts of Moldova. The Coalition has already surveyed more than 150 Bălți town residents to learn about environmental problems, and is in talks with the local authorities about the next steps. The survey will inform the regional environmental action plans for 2016-2020 and resulting activities, which will be funded by the local authorities. In line with its mission, Caroma Nord will continue advocacy efforts so that every resident in Moldova’s north can directly engage with the authorities to collectively improve their communities’ environment.   

 
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