In early April, 10,000 young people from Straseni, Edinet, and Taraclia districts signed up to participate in the “Your Voice Matters!” project. The initiative, developed by UNICEF Moldova and the Association of Intellectual Games, was launched with the objective of providing young people with soft skills and actively involving young people in engaging opportunities, including activities promoting peace education, and freedom of expression.
The project also aims to engage young people from Moldova and Ukraine in school life through the U-Report Moldova platform. During three months of intensive outreach and training in strategic planning, implementation, and advocacy, the young participants were informed and capacitated on existing tools and mechanisms for participation in decision-making processes in their schools and local communities.
The young U-Reporters also raised their issues and challenges in education through a U-Report poll; and held discussion sessions where they highlighted key issues, including the challenges in youth activism and accessing environmental education. As part of the project, the young attendees built the U-Report Garden in the main park of Chisinau. Through this climate action, 1,000 new trees were planted as a symbol of commitment and youth aspiration for a better future.
Maria (17) and Tatiana (19), young participants, shared their experiences. Read what they said:
“An invaluable experience”: Maria (17), student and active volunteer
“Your voice matters!” is about emotionality, an invaluable experience, and self-realization! I am happy to participate in such a large-scale and cool project. One of the most attractive aspects is that it encourages students to speak up and take part in decision-making processes regarding their own learning process and environment.
Participating in the project made me feel like an important and respected community member whose opinions and ideas have real weight. In addition, it has provided me with experience in teamwork by learning how to communicate with other students, children at risk, refugees, teachers, school administration, and local authorities. Besides, it taught me skills in planning, organizing, and presenting ideas.