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Young people advocating for the creation of the first Youth Centre in Cantemir with support of the European Union

Since January 2021, the Centre for Training and Educational Development has been implementing the campaign “All for Cantemir Youth Centre” advocating for the creation of a Youth Centre in Cantemir district and encouraging young people to participate in their local communities.

The main goal of the advocacy campaign is to raise awareness (especially among young people) and representatives of the Local Public Administration (LPA) on the importance of creating a youth centre – a platform for the youth from Cantemir where they can develop their capacities and skills, such as how to elaborate a strategic plan; monitoring and evaluation tools for the youth centre for the future; project writing, offering support to other young people; how to increase their participation in community development and to build a productive collaboration with local public authorities in order to achieve the inclusion of the Centre in the development plan of the rayon that will help them to obtain resources for their activities.

 Moreover, the campaign aims to empower young people from the regions that their voices are important and they are a valuable resource for the society. The campaign received support from the project “Civil Society Organisation Capacity Development, funded by the European Union and implemented by ERIM (formerly IREX Europe).

For the campaign, the organisation selected 20 young people, based on a questionnaire where they expressed their views regarding the future and the importance of the youth centre for them.  After the selection, the participants were trained in advocacy and campaigning and are directly involved in the campaign implementation. During the first 3 months, with the support of media and campaign consultants hired by ERIM, the organisation and the selected youth have created flash mobs, photo stories, press releases, media reportages and submitted petitions to the local authorities. Consultations and meetings with local public authorities are an important part of the campaign and on the 5 March 2021, the youth met with the Mayor of Cantemir who expressed his openness and support for the creation of a youth centre.

This project has helped the young Cantemir activists understand official tools through which they can express their vision, opinions, get involved in solving a community problem and contribute to community development. By implementing the campaign, the organisation has advanced the level of youth involvement in public participation, community life and decision-making processes. Besides acquiring new knowledges and skills in advocacy and campaigning, the youth are directly involved in campaigning for development of a safe space for young people where they can spend quality time and benefit from various services, including volunteering, participation in local decision-making processes, economic empowerment, career guidance and orientation, recreation, etc.

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