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Report: Evaluating Youth Centres in Moldova

The National Youth Council of Moldova (NYCM) is a non-political and non-governmental youth organisation that incorporates 58 youth organisations on a local and national level. NYCM is the primary organisation that addresses interests of young people of Moldova and it serves as a unique national platform for influencing cross-sectoral youth policy. NYCM has the mission to promote youth interests in Moldova and to contribute to the advancement of youth structures by developing programs and activities for training, educating, lobbying, and consulting. NYCM is an organization that promotes policies in the youth sector.

The following report was assembled by the National Youth Council as part of the organisation’s strategic objectives for the years 2014-2018. During this timeframe, NYCM aims to analyse and evaluate the functionality and effectiveness of youth centres across the Republic of Moldova.

According to the National Strategy for Health Sector Development 2020, young people comprise a quarter of the population of the Republic of Moldova and represent the driving force for development in the country. For this reason, development of the youth sector should be a state priority, and should prompt the adoption and implementation of effective policies for all types of young people. The Ministry of Youth and Sports is a central public institution empowered to and responsible for developing the youth sector. Furthermore, it plays an important role in interagency cooperation with other ministries, public institutions, and civil society in finding solutions to contemporary problems and improving the lives of the young in Moldovan society. The diversification and consolidation of youth services would be most effective in developing the full potential of each young Moldovan.

The first group of youth centers in Moldova, which were initially designed as information centres, and occupied a passive role, have since then evolved and now provide a wide range of services for young people. By 2003, with the support of UNICEF and FISM, the Chisinau National Resource Centre for Youth; the National Centre for Working Youth; the Media Centre; the Video Centre for Youth; and Regional Youth Centres in Soroca, Basarabeasca, Bieşti, Ungheni, Bălţi, Comrat, and Făleşti have all been established. Along the way, similar centres, operating as public institutions and public financial authorities, were established in Criuleni, Orhei, Edineţ, Leova, Sîngerei, Dubăsari and Alexăndreni.

Ninety-five percent of youth centres established as public institutions did not have sufficient access to external resources. The majority of youth centres were created by NGOs, and some were later taken under the guardianship of public authorities, which were then made responsible for the centres’ financial stability. However, there are also centres created and still operated by NGOs that remain parallel to, but are supported by, public authorities.

Moldovan youth centres have developed a wide range of services that exceed their initial objectives. Services include nonformal education; information services; vocational guidance, training, and professional integration; leisure, sport, and volunteering opportunities; entrepreneurial initiatives; and youth exchange programs.

Coordination and monitoring of youth-friendly health centres is conducted nationally by the Ministry of Health.