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Social services for vulnerable people in Moldova developed with the support of the EU and Soros Foundation

In partnership with local and central public authorities, civil society organizations have created or improved 41 social services for people from vulnerable groups in the Republic of Moldova. The activities were carried out in the framework of the project “Civil society organizations working for better social services,” funded by the European Union, co-financed and implemented by the Soros Foundation Moldova, in partnership with IP Keystone Moldova and AO „Institutum Virtutes Civilis.”

The project has created 12 day and placement centers for children and adults at risk, eight mobile teams and home care services, six rehabilitation centers for children and adults with disabilities, three vocational guidance services for young people at risk, three community houses and sheltered housing services, three services for children and adults with visual and hearing disabilities, two social laundries, a social canteen and a Barnahus-type center in Balti. These services operate in 29 districts and municipalities.

The “Civil society organizations acting for better social services” project started in 2021 and will end in July 2024. It has a total budget of €3,375,000, of which the European Union contributes €3,000,000.

“Quality social services are a hope for a better life in the community for many people in need. Helping vulnerable people is a fundamental pillar of a progressive and humane society. The solidarity of the Member States of the European Union with people in need is firm and unwavering. Through joint efforts, we can build a society where inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity, and non-discrimination prevail”, Jānis Mažeiks, the European Union’s ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.

Social services created or developed under the project must be sustainable. The public authorities take over the services developed and continue to manage them.

The project aims to empower social civil society organizations (CSOs) to become pillars in social policy dialogue and build inclusive communities for vulnerable groups. Thus, at each project stage, specialists have benefited from initial and continuous training, counseling, and mentoring provided by Keystone Moldova. Institutum Virtutes Civilis has developed a methodology for costing social services with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, which will contribute to developing service contracting practices. 

“Thanks to the generous support of the European Union and the dedication of our partners at Institutum Virtutes Civilis and Keystone Moldova, we are working to develop civil society organizations in the social sector that can drive positive change in communities. Accessible and high-quality social services are necessary to develop an open society where everyone’s rights and freedoms are respected. One of the priorities of Soros Foundation Moldova is to ensure the inclusion of every person, to build together a community where everyone has the necessary resources and access to fair opportunities and chances”, said Daniela Vidaicu, Executive Director of Soros Foundation Moldova, at the project’s wrap-up event.

During the project, 6,739 people from vulnerable groups benefited from social services, of which 58.4% were from rural areas and 41.6% from urban areas. Most (74%) beneficiaries were children, and 17% were older adults.

The European Union funds the project, which is co-financed and implemented by Soros Foundation Moldova in partnership with IP Keystone Moldova and AO “Institutum Virtutes Civilis” for 2021-2024.