The most affected, vulnerable groups of Moldovan society are found in rural communities, where people suffer from unemployment, low quality healthcare, poor education, or high out-of-pocket spending which drives them further into poverty. In the long term they may desire to go abroad and leave behind children and families. Usually, the children are the ones who stay behind, lacking parental care and support.
As an answer to this acute issue in our society, Beginning of Life brought into being the Rural Center project. The team there is focused on empowerment of the rural communities of Moldova through shaping the capacity for good and active citizenship of local youth, engaging them in overcoming the consequences of poverty. The target groups of the project are young people and teenagers from 12 to 22 years old, from 10 different rural communities local to the central regions of Moldova – Telenesti, Soldanesti and Floresti.
So far the center has focused primarily on mobilizing local young people and teenagers, increasing their awareness of the most acute social issues in rural communities (poverty, inequality and social injustice), plus strengthening their capacity for civic participation. Afterwards, these young people were involved in reaching out to over 1200 children through 13 summer camps organized within that area. As a result, people learned about the project’s intentions, opened their homes and communities and many children had opportunity to engage in several days of relaxation, interaction with other children and the chance to learn about ways of bringing change to their lives and families.
Also, now during the school year, children from vulnerable and poor families the Rural Center every day, having lunch, getting help with their homework and participating in various activities of intellectual and spiritual development.