Young people from Republic of Moldova and Romania represent more than a quarter from the population of these countries, which represents a very large and important segment.
Young people from Republic of Moldova are very little involved in social life. According to some statistics more than 50% of youth are not involved in social life. And only 5 % of them are volunteers or members of initiative groups. Unemployment rate among young people is at least twice higher than the unemployment rate for country. Republic of Moldova has the highest migration rate from Europe and Central Asia for young people from 15-24 years. The situation in Romania is not very different, and young people face the same problems and difficulties.
The result of the research "Youth Voices" done by UNICEF, demonstrates that youth of Moldova want to be more actively involved in the community and they want to participate in the decision making process regarding youth and community problems. Unfortunately, they do not have such possibilities. They do not have the ability and necessary knowledge to be efficient in the problem solving process.
Teachers and decision making persons do not have enough skills to use the instruments to involve young people in social life. Although there seems to be political will at local levels to involve the youth in activities, lack of mechanisms and abilities to encourage youth participation remains an important problem.
Young people from Republic of Moldova and Romania are not actively involved in social life because they are not motivated, because they are apathetic. But the problem has much deeper causes. Youth is apathetic because they do not have confidence in decision making authorities (local and national level) and also because they do not see direct benefits from being involved in social life.
Mistrust and skepticism related to decision making authorities was formed in time and it is linked to an unpleasant experience young people had with decision making persons, because of the stereotypes, or because they do not know another person who deserves their trust.
A big problem is that there are no factors to stimulate appearance of alternatives. Stereotypes related to decision making persons are caused because of the inadequate behavior of these persons, because of the misinformation, gossips and inadequate and untrue information.
The following problems were identified:
- Teachers and community leaders do not have sufficient materials on civic education and adequate abilities to create opportunities for youth participation and transfer knowledge and abilities
- Local leaders do not consult young people opinions;
- Young people do not have opportunities, adequate knowledge and abilities to participate in decision making process;
- There are no created capacity for information sharing and follow-up actions.
Target groups of the following action are young people, teachers, and decision making authorities from Republic of Moldova and Romania. Six communities from each country will be selected for the implementation of the action on the territorial criteria. The project activities will address to above mentioned groups, but the indirect beneficiaries of the project will be community members, local public authorities, schools as institutions.
The project aim is to contribute to develop the skills and attitudes necessary for citizens in a democratic state. such things as motivation for participation, negotiation with the decision factors, efficient communication, cross-border cooperation will be learned. Teachers from selected communities will be provided with civic education materials/ trainings that would facilitate the community participation and cross-border cooperation projects. Also the project will promote students and community leaders’ participation to the community decision-making process and inter-community cross-border cooperation projects. Through the implementation of this initiative, target groups will get involved in community life and will have a better understanding of civic participation.
Two specific objectives were developed to achieve the overall goal of the project:
- Specific Objective 1. Provide teachers from selected communities with civic education materials/ trainings that would facilitate the community participation and cross-border cooperation projects
- Specific Objective 2. Promote students and community leaders’ participation to the community decision-making process and inter-community cross-border cooperation projects.