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Civil society inspiring communities

January 25, 2013

In May, 2010, the Moldova Civil Society Strengthening Program (MCSSP) launched a bold new initiative called the Inspire Program to help civil society organizations (CSOs) and media outlets better connect with their beneficiaries, the local government, local businesses and the broader community.

The program was designed to support the overarching goal of MCSSP, which is to strengthen representative democracy in Moldova by supporting a constituent-driven, financially viable civil society sector. MCSSP is funded by U.S. Agency for International Development.

Through the Inspire Program, FHI 360 supported 30 CSOs and four media outlets to launch a total of 40 short, quick-impact projects focused on community mobilization and increasing the visibility and credibility of civil society organizations.

Two CSOs addressed gender inequality in their communities by empowering women to participate actively in local decision making. Five others focused on encouraging citizens to vote, and one CSO focused on monitoring  the electoral campaign. Other organizations promoted philanthropy and encouraged donations, promoted youth participation and raised the visibility of challenges facing people with disabilities.

The Inspire Program also was designed to become a showcase for Moldovan CSOs on how to obtain and quantify local funding sources for their work. At least 20 percent of the recipients’ budgets must be provided through contributions, mainly from local sources.

As a result of the project’s efforts since June 2010:

  • More than 2,500 volunteers were mobilized to implement initiatives aimed at solving local issues
  • More than 376,912 Moldovan lei (MDL) were obtained — as monetary or in-kind contributions and volunteer work from local public authorities and fellow community members — by program partners through cost-sharing
  • More than 60,000 MDL were collected as a result of philanthropic activities
  • More than 1,000 media products about CSOs activities were produced and distributed
  • More than 2,000 representatives of CSOs, central and local public authorities, donor organizations and citizens participated at two national and three regional forums
  • More than 3,000 citizens visited three photo exhibitions on CSOs’ work
  • Civic electoral education campaigns reached more than 37,000 young people during parliamentarian elections and more than 70,000 people during local elections
  • More than 3,000 children from the southern part of Moldova trained to became more tolerant toward children with disabilities
  • More than 1,000 young people were informed about various gender issues and relevant policies
  • More than  40,000 citizens were involved in community cleaning activities (such as in parks, school, squares, playgrounds, the river)
  • A total of 1,895 children, 88 teachers and 50 parents learned about the benefits of integrating children with disabilities into mainstream classrooms
  • Two public–private partnerships were initiated