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650 young people from Moldova carried out 29 creative projects in 2021

2022-01-24

Youth-friendly spaces, interest clubs, youth services, personal development courses, youth opportunities – these are the initiatives that 650 young people have carried out for their peers in 25 communities in Moldova during 2021. 30 teams of ambitious young volunteers implemented 29 local projects dedicated to young people as part of the “YouCreate - creative community initiatives carried out by young people for young people” programme, coordinated by Terre des hommes Moldova.

Affiliated to and supported by 23 Youth Centres and allied teachers, the teams had a spectacular track record during the year: from team building, participation in training, analysing the needs of young people in the community, selecting initiatives that best meet the needs of young people, up to implementing from scratch their ambitious projects. The young volunteers, trained and guided by Tdh Moldova throughout the whole process, learned what collaboration and teamwork mean, how to build a community map and identify the needs of community members, but also how to find sources of support, to develop an initiative and prepare the necessary budget, to negotiate and establish partnerships and to successfully carry out their projects.

Thus, they created spaces for relaxation and leisure, both outdoors and indoors, for their peers in the community, made impressive murals, set up movie theatres, interest clubs around film, reading, music, theatre forum and journalism, and provided media education, personal development, art therapy and leadership courses. Each initiative had a budget of USD 1,000 and the volunteer teams attracted additional funds by establishing partnerships with local public authorities and businesses.

Challenges and lessons

The implementation of community initiatives also came with a number of challenges that sometimes turned the volunteers’ plans upside down - for example, the increase in the cost of building materials, the lack of meeting spaces, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the fluctuation of team members – but these also offered them the opportunity to learn to find solutions and alternatives and to strengthen their capacity even more.

“This project helped us to become a united and friendly team and we learned that it is important to listen to the opinions of everyone in the team,” says Andreea, a young volunteer from the village of Ustia.

YouCreate teams also had a cycle of mutual visits, so the young people had the opportunity to share their experiences, to exchange ideas and lessons they learned during the process.

Following the implementation of the projects, the young volunteers gained a vast experience and became experts in the creation of furniture and sports equipment, renovation of spaces, painting and graphics, interior design, oratory, acting, journalism and developed training, presenting and leadership skills.

“Thanks to the YouCreate project, I stepped out of my comfort zone and realized that my voice can be powerful,” says Mihail, a volunteer from the Ungheni Youth Center.

About the project

The YouCreate methodology is developed by Terre des hommes Foundation in order to give young people around the world the opportunity to affirm themselves and make their voices heard in the community through actions based on arts and creativity.

In Moldova, the YouCreate programme has been implemented by Tdh Moldova for two years and is financially supported by the Joint Fund for the development of Youth Centers and strengthening the participation and civic involvement of young people in the Republic of Moldova of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova, Swiss Cooperation Office and United Nations Population Fund in the Republic of Moldova.