Small steps, towards beautiful directions: 23 CSOs learned to develop communication and advocacy plans

Between April 3 and 4, the training workshop on the development of communication and advocacy plans for the promotion of social entrepreneurship at the local level was held in Chisinau, within the project “Using the potential of civil society organizations (CSO) to promote and develop social entrepreneurship in Moldova”. For two days, the representatives of 23 civil organizations penetrated into the essence of social entrepreneurship, at the same time familiarizing themselves with the tools and methods of its promotion at the level of the republic.

The project financed by the European Union, co-financed by Sweden, and implemented by the East European Foundation in partnership with Keystone Moldova and the Contact Center has a duration of three years and includes a series of activities, which were initiated last year. Training workshops are also part of these.

The participants were chosen according to their previous experience in similar activities, the current projects they are implementing and their theme, as well as the composition of the team. All 23 organizations are related to the activity of raising awareness and promoting different themes at the level of society.

On the first day of the workshop, the results of the study on the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of different target groups regarding social entrepreneurship were presented, and the participants discussed communication plans and advocacy work. The second day of training focused on working in groups, on presenting certain concrete steps and communication plans.

“Yesterday we had a day where we worked more on concepts. Today, all the ideas and knowledge accumulated yesterday were already applied in practice, in a workshop with physical presence, in which the participants were very active, they came up with a lot of ideas, proposals, which will continue to be implemented in practice. The participants showed increased interest and showed how creative they are with the proposals they have. It has been demonstrated that even with modest budgets, activities with a very high impact at the level of society can be carried out”, said the project coordinator from the Keystone Moldova organization, Oxana Isac.

Among the participants who showed a lot of enthusiasm during the training workshop is the executive director of the National Association of Community Mediators from the Republic of Moldova (ANMC), Valeriu Căldăraru, who represents the Roma community.

The Roma community, encouraged to apply to the project

“I took a lot of information. Being practically leaders of the civil society, we were doing these lobbying and advocacy things for the Roma community. Now we’re going to present them in a different format and I hope they apply. Applying to such programs is a more complex thing for the Roma community, but we will be the ones who will support them to apply”, said Valeriu Căldăraru.

According to the ANMC director, although the legislative framework of social entrepreneurship in our country has some gaps, eventually things will change for the better.

“I know such situations when one law conflicts with another, and therefore it will be very difficult, but I think we will succeed in the end. When a person has a desire – and we are the ones who will develop these desires among the Roma community – the situation will change, it will definitely improve, I am sure of this aspect”, concluded the man.

With small steps, towards beautiful directions

A representative of social entrepreneurship from the south of the country also participated in the workshop. The executive director of the Cahul Regional Community Development Center, Irina Bejan, was satisfied with the course, its structure was “easily assimilated”.

“Both the trainer and the team members were very close to us. The course was very open, and each member was able to express their opinion, accumulate knowledge, develop skills and competencies in the field of social entrepreneurship, including advocacy and online promotion”, noted Irina Bejan, adding that she would would like to see more social entrepreneurs in his region.

“At Cahul we only have two social entrepreneurs and we would very much like their number to increase. But for that we need to perfect the skills of promoting social entrepreneurship and advocacy, thus increasing our capacities and the number of potential beneficiaries of social entrepreneurship. I have been following the development of social entrepreneurship since around 2019, when I started in the associative field. With small steps we are heading in beautiful directions”.

People with disabilities, motivated to set up their own social business

Andrei Bulgaru, beneficiary of the AO Societatea Pessoenere cu Disabilității “Taur” was also convinced of the usefulness of the workshop.

“It is a very good opportunity, first of all, for self-development, but also for the beneficiaries themselves – those who have disabilities from the “Taurus” association, to obtain a financial income for a small business. What did I learn in these courses? Let’s adequately address the current problems and turn to CSOs, to the institutions of the cause, to solve the problems facing the society”, says the young man.

The social employee of the “Taur” association, Andrei Vizitiv, who participated in the training with Andrei, is of the same opinion.

“These courses are very beneficial both for entrepreneurs who already have experience in business or another field of production, and for people who want to launch their social business and need such knowledge, which helps a lot.”

Even though the training sessions have ended, the participants have the opportunity to further promote their entrepreneurial activity in the regions they come from, with EU support. In a short time, the East European Foundation will announce a competition, within the group 5 trained CSOs will be selected. Thus, the winners will be able to put into practice the knowledge gained in their own locality.

Grants will be offered for communication/media projects, which will aim to implement advocacy and communication campaigns to change the attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge of people in the region towards social entrepreneurship.

The training workshops are organized as part of the project “We capitalize on the potential of civil society for the promotion and development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova”, implemented by the East European Foundation in partnership with the Contact Center and Keystone Moldova. The project is financed by the EU and co-financed by Sweden. The project contributes to the creation of an ecosystem favorable to the development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova.

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