The small town of Razeni is a 30-minute drive south of Moldova’s capital Chisinau. The community, once home to over 7,000 people, has witnessed in recent years a massive outflow of labor force to countries of Western Europe and Russia - a story so commonly told in rural Moldova. Young people and their grand-parents are usually the ones left behind.
A World Bank $5,000 grant, provided under the Small Grants Program (currently known as the Civil Society Fund), has helped the local NGO, Eco-Razeni, to finance a youth educational and informational campaign ahead of the upcoming April 2009 general parliamentary elections – to teach young people about the importance of elections.
“Young people are often unaware that they have the right to vote when they turn 18,” says Sergiu Gurau, Executive Director of Eco-Razeni NGO. “The [WB] project First Vote is a civic education campaign for youth who will be voting for the first time this year. It aims to educate them about elections and motivate them to get out and vote.”