36 young people from partner communities of the “Migration and Local Development” Project will join the existing Hometown Associations (HTA) encouraging their peers from the community, as well as those overseas, to get involved in the development of their native localities. This was agreed at the “E-road HOME” summer camp, organized during 20-22 August 2019 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the Government of Switzerland.

Young people aged 13 to 16 have learned that migration can be an opportunity, and they can promote positive changes in their native locality. They learned how to engage in the community development and how to attract other young people, including those from abroad.

“UNDP Moldova is an organisation working for people and, most importantly, with people. Everyone's involvement in this process is crucial. This camp supports young people who are the driving force behind local development. After these three days, the participants shall act as local ambassadors, having a challenging and responsible task - to inspire other peers to develop their native localities,” said Andrea Cuzyova, UNDP Moldova Deputy Resident Representative, in her opening remarks at the camp.

The camp began with a personal identity rediscovery session, followed by drawing a map of local resources, where young people learned how to create synergies by engaging natives, regardless of where they are living now, in local projects. Practical workshops were organized, devoted to innovative tools such as crowdfunding platforms or communication on social networks.

The Hometown Association of natives from Vorniceni village has an experience of four years. I understand that engaging youth is a key element for local development. We are glad that this youth engagement component was initiated to help our association expand and grow. Together we can communicate more effectively online with the native who leave abroad, so as organize unique activities for the fellow villagers of all ages,” says Vera Siminel, Chairperson of Vorniceni Hometown Association.

Starting with 2020, the initiative groups of young people involved in the development of hometown associations will have the opportunity to receive small grants for various projects. To get easier in touch with the peers who left the community, this year's camp graduates will also participate actively in organizing local camps for children living in the community and those who have left it, starting with next summer.

‘It was a great experience. I go home with many ideas and plans: to attract more young people to the Hometown Association. I will talk both with the young people from the community, and those who have left it. Together we will design and implement specific projects for the locality,” says Radu Strelciuc, a young man from the city of Cahul.

Similar camps will be organized quarterly during 2019-2022, to ensure the continuous growth and development of the youth groups from Hometown Associations. Future editions will include such topics as crowdfunding, vlogging, effective online and offline communication, fundraising, and project implementation.

For more information, please contact: Tatiana Solonari, Communication Specialist, “Migration and Local Development” UNDP Project, tatiana.solonari@undp.org, phone: 0693 77 215, 022-820-840

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