An initiative group, created in 2019, has the power to bring about change in its home village. Ina Hâncu from the village of Volintiri, district of Ștefan Vodă, is already known by her fellow villagers, thanks to her civic spirit and the energy with which she does many good things. She founded the group “Mediu curat și oameni sănătoși” (translated as “Clean Environment and Healthy People”), which started with just a few members and now has dozens of volunteers and locals who care about the environment

“Many people don’t see the link between environmental pollution and the health of each of us, although the link is very real. Together with our team, we try to explain to as many people as possible about the harm of littering around the village and to show them models for separating and recycling the waste that accumulates in households,”

said Ina about the daily life of the initiative group.

The “Mediu curat și oameni sănătoși” team became stronger with the involvement in the project “Civil society actors as drivers of change in South Caucasus and Moldova”, funded by the European Union and implemented by People in Need Moldova. This project supports the development of 14 young civil society organisations from different districts of the Republic of Moldova by providing a platform for learning, assessing their own capacities and resources, and planning how the organisation will develop in the next 3 years.

At the same time, organisations involved in the project can apply for flexible funding to run public campaigns that bring positive changes in their communities. The “Mediu curat și oameni sănătoși” group has been awarded a grant of 9,135 EUR, of which 7,135 EUR is being used for their local campaign to promote environmentally friendly behaviour.

Together with members of the group, Ina Hâncu has managed to organise information sessions for Volintiri villagers about the dangers of throwing plastic and used batteries in unauthorised dumps, and about the dangers of chemical fertilisers for soil and groundwater. Their campaign also included the planting of 2,000 trees at the end of November, with the involvement of border guards, representatives of the Ștefan Vodă District Council, Volintiri town hall, the fire brigade and the village’s schoolchildren.

As part of the campaign, the “Mediu curat și oameni sănătoși” team installed two composting bins and mobilised dozens of volunteers to clear an unauthorised rubbish dump near the village.

“Our participation in this European project gave us the opportunity to bring our message to the people and convince them that caring for the environment should be everyone’s concern. We learned how to promote change, how to think strategically, how to involve people in our activities. I think it’s going to be an even more exciting time for our group, because after the trainings and workshops organised by People in Need Moldova, we have the strength and inspiration to move forward,” stated Ina, already thinking of what they have to do for a cleaner environment.

The regional project “Civil society actors as drivers of change in South Caucasus and Moldova” has similar activities in Armenia, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. The activities of this project run from 2020 until 2022.