Thirty three girls and boys from vulnerable families of Cioresti village, Nisporeni districthave now access to pre-school education and other 64 children of Hincauti village, Edinetdistrict enjoy better conditions in their kindergarten thanks to the community initiatives supported by Joint Integrated Local Development Programme (JILDP).
Cioresti is situated 73 km away from Chisinau, capital of Moldova, and has a population of 3,363 inhabitants. Infrastructure of the village includes a kindergarten, school, social, recreational and medical centres. However, before the kindergarten 's capacity was limited to accommodating 105 children, leaving 33 children, mainly from vulnerable families, out of pre-school. This situation also had a negative impact on their mothers who had to stay home to take care of their children without any hope to find job. After significant extension and renovation, the kindergarten can accommodate now all 138 children of the village.
Change came through the community mobilization for empowerment process supported by the JILDP in Cioresti village. As part of the community profiling exercise, the lack of access to pre-school education, including for children with disabilities and from single-parent, poor and many-children families, was identified as one of the key human rights concerns in the village. Acknowledgement of the problem by the local public authorities and the community was the first step of the community mobilization. Next, the Programme helped forming a community initiative group consisting of parents and kindergarten teachers to advocate for addressing the situation and including it in the Cioresti Local Socio-Economic Strategy as one of the community development priorities.
Supported by social workers and other community members, the initiative group developed a project proposal on re-arrangement and renovation of the kindergarten building. Development of the project proposal represented a wide consultative and participatory process at local level and involved community members, local public authorities and public institutions. Once approved by the community, the proposal received financial support of the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme.
Community initiative group closely monitored the kindergarten expansion, procurement of necessary furniture, equipment and supplies, educational and didactic materials and arrangement of the playground.
With the project accomplishment, thirty three children from vulnerable families, including 8 children with mental and physical disabilities, 19 children coming from large families and 6 - from single-parent families, received access to the kindergarten, thus being able to exercise their right to education.
Though the kindergarten extension was accomplished less than a month ago, 10 out of 33 mothers, who had been staying at home and taking care of their children, managed to find jobs in Cioresti village and Nisporeni town. "This is a very promising achievement in terms of economic advancement of our rural women who were heavily relying on their husbands for financial security due to the under-developed pre-school infrastructure and had to stay home with their children", said Emilia Bojoga, chairperson of the community women's organization "Cioresteanca", who partnered with JILDP in Cioresti community mobilization initiatives.
A similar project was implemented in Hincăuţi village, Edinet district. Thanks to the community initiatives supported by JILDP, the local kindergarten was repaired, expanded and equipped with a modern heating system. With the project accomplishment, kindergarten can accommodate 20 more children and provide better conditions for all the 64 children. Also, with the kindergarten extension 5 mothers have already found jobs. "We have very good teaching staff in the kindergarten. However, besides the warmth of the teachers' hearts, our children need warm rooms to develop their potential. So, we are very grateful for having a warm and safe space facility for our children and their future", said Elena Tcaciuc from Hincăuţi.
Both community projects were implemented with the support of the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme, implemented by the Government of Moldova with the assistance the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), with the financial support of the Government of Sweden.
Programme aims to yield equal benefits of decentralization and local development on the vulnerable groups, including the discriminated, socially excluded and marginalized groups. In its activity, the Programme is guided by several basic principles: participation, transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, equality of rights, opportunities and benefits for women and men. JILDP works in 60 villages and 10 towns of 10 pilot-districts of the country, selected according to the vulnerability criterion based on the indices of deprivation for small areas.