Over the past two years, the ADVANCE project has helped Moldovan women escape the cycle of family violence and empower themselves toward a better future. “Elena,” a mother of seven, exemplifies the courage and perseverance it takes to move forward. After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse in her home, Elena discovered that there are services available to women like her. After a training in her village carried out by one of ADVANCE’s Mobile Technical Teams, Elena began to access legal and psychological assistance provided by the project. Through repeated sessions, she regained her self-confidence and learned to prioritize her own well-being, as well as her children’s.
One of the effects of years of abuse was that Elena did not feel she could do anything on her own, that she always needed her husband to survive. She soon learned about ADVANCE’s entrepreneurship courses and jumped at the opportunity to become self-sufficient. After the course, she went on to develop a business plan and won an in-kind grant worth about USD 500 to start her own sewing business. She said that this success has helped her to trust her own abilities and feel truly independent. Now, Elena lives with her children separately from her husband, and her business is getting off the ground.
As the ADVANCE project comes to a close, we thank you and all of our donors who contributed to the empowerment of so many women like Elena. Over the course of the project, more than 400 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk accessed psychological or legal assistance, and expanded their economic prospects through job readiness or entrepreneurship training. Our Mobile Technical Teams reached almost 900 people in 26 villages. The project has also reached about 1,150 young people through peer-to-peer sessions addressing gender roles and stereotypes, as well as providing tools for violence mitigation and prevention. Among these young people, 120 have gone on to conduct their own prevention activities in their communities.
On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, thank you for your support. While the problem of family violence may persist in Moldova, we are confident that the communities and individuals who participated in ADVANCE are equipped and committed to addressing this serious issue now and in the future.
ADVANCE continues to work with women, as well as men, in Moldova to break the cycle of domestic violence and help survivors rebuild their lives. Men and boys play an important role, not only in preventing domestic violence, but also promoting gender equality. This role was a central focus of two recent events. During the first conference in November, stakeholders, including NGO representatives, service providers, local government authorities, and community volunteers, learned basic information about ways to engage men and boys to prevent domestic violence and how to confront stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles in society. A trainer from Ukraine, who has worked extensively on issues of positive masculinity and violence prevention, engaged male leaders and young volunteers on specific ways they can address violence and support women’s empowerment in their communities. During this training and a follow-up workshop in December, these men identified the ways this is already happening in Moldova, and created plans to expand, coordinate, and strengthen these efforts throughout the country. This series of workshops was an important step in launching future efforts to engage men and boys in Moldova, where rates of family violence remain high.
To date, ADVANCE has assisted more than 230 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk, and reached more than 650 people in rural villages through Mobile Technical Units. The project has also reached about 1,150 young people through peer-to-peer sessions addressing gender roles and stereotypes, as well as providing tools for violence mitigation and prevention. Among these young people, 120 have gone on to conduct their own prevention activities in their communities.
On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, thank you for your support. To date, we have raised nearly $1,300, thanks to the generosity of people like you. If you have any questions or comments about the project, we’d love to hear from you on our wall!
In September, ADVANCE organized a national forum for volunteers, “Promoting and Sustaining Volunteer Activities in Domestic Violence Alleviation.” Forty youth volunteers, who work regularly with the project’s local NGO partners, took part in the forum, which was attended by government agencies, international and national organizations, and media. The volunteers presented their unique perspectives, experiences and recommendations for further engagement of young people in the movement against family violence in Moldova. The event was the first opportunity for volunteers from the project’s two target regions to meet in person and have an exchange, and it was also the first time stakeholders on the national level had a chance to hear the perspectives of youth, and have a joint discussion on the subject. Both sides reported to have gained much from the discussion, which hopefully will continue in the future. Through the event, ADVANCE encouraged decision makers to solicit young people’s inputs as they continue to strengthen the anti-violence network in Moldova.
To date, ADVANCE has provided services to more than 180 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk, and reached more than 600 people in rural villages through Mobile Technical Units. The project has also reached 1,086 young people through peer-to-peer sessions addressing gender roles and stereotypes, as well as providing tools for violence mitigation and prevention. 120 of these young people have gone on to conduct their own follow-on activities in their respective communities.
On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, we thank donors for their generous support. To date we have raised over $1,200, thanks to individuals like you. Stay tuned for more updates!
This summer, 50 young Moldovan women gained leadership skills and enhanced their self-confidence and knowledge about domestic violence and human trafficking during the annual Summer School of Leadership (SSL), co-organized by Winrock and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova. In addition, participants learned about available educational and job opportunities and resources, acquired basic employment and entrepreneurship skills, and discussed political and social issues in the country.
Moldova’s Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family attended SSL and spoke to participants about the importance of building a society in which men and women are equal and domestic violence is eliminated. The Minister and other speakers encouraged the young women to get involved in decision-making processes in their communities and to actively participate in efforts to prevent and eliminate domestic violence. The important role that men and boys play in promoting gender equality was also highlighted. Many of the young women who participated in SSL expressed commitment to lead activities in their communities to address social issues, using the skills and techniques they learned this summer. As one participant noted, “I became more confident in myself [as a result of the SSL]. In the future I want to speak in front of people. I believe that if I apply the knowledge gained at the Summer School I will become a true leader.” In November, participants will reconvene to present the progress of their activities and share their experiences.
In addition to leadership and prevention activities like SSL, in its first year, ADVANCE provided services to over 100 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk, and reached over 450 people in rural villages through Mobile Technical Units. On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, we thank donors for their generous support. To date we have raised over $1,100, thanks to individuals like you. Stay tuned for more updates!
Earlier this year, ADVANCE held a contest for young people in Moldova to submit drawings and videos depicting images promoting gender equality in interpersonal relationships and confronting the problem of domestic violence. The contest aimed to generate messages that will be used in the project’s activities to raise awareness about family violence in Moldovan communities. The winners were awarded small prizes to encourage their continued activism against domestic violence.
The winning video was submitted by Violeta Vasiliu and shows how those affected by family violence privately struggle with the problem and are often forced to hide it from their friends. The first place drawing winner, Diana Schiopu, is an 18 year old student from Causeni city, where she volunteers at a women’s center. Her drawing of a frightened child draws attention to the social effects suffered by children affected by family violence, and encourages viewers to end indifference. Olga Birlea, a 22 year old university student from Cahul, is an active volunteer with one of ADVANCE’s local NGO partners and a member of a national folk dance group. Her second prize drawing depicts a scene of inter-partner violence from a child’s perspective. All of the submissions demonstrated that many young people are actively engaged in speaking out against domestic violence and drawing attention to the support needed for those who suffer from it. Young people are key actors in changing attitudes about gender equality, and ADVANCE continues to engage them in a variety of program activities.
On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, we thank donors for their generous support. To date we have raised over $1,100, thanks to individuals like you. Stay tuned for more updates!
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