ActivLocal, colloquially referenced as Harap Alb, is a rural youth development program that aims to inspire and equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, activists and civic leaders with the critical thinking, problem solving, and project design and management skills they need to make a difference in their local communities. The target group are teenagers aged 14-15 from rural communities of Moldova.
Harap Alb was initiated by "EcoVisio" Association and Social Enterprise "Dulce Plai", with support of with support of German Federal Foreign Office and the Robert Bosch Stiftung in the framework of the Program "Dialogue for Change" implemented by MitOst Association.
The original name for activLocal alludes to a Moldovan folkloric personage, a prince, had to overcome many challenges nameless, called by the nickname Harap Alb, in order to regain his identity and become the hero he ought to be. This image should inspire youngsters to be confident and active, giving life to the changes they want to see around them and getting to learn more about surrounding world and themselves. That is why the motto of the program announces proudly: "We are the heroes!"
The program consists of three seminars of 6-7 days each. In the first seminar, the participants learn how to think critically about their role in the community, to identify problems, and to envision the potential of their community. At the end of the first seminar, they choose specific problems to address in their community. Then they form teams, which work together for the remainder of the program. The teams draft brief project proposals and turn them in to the facilitators for evaluation and feedback. Beginning with the draft project proposals, the second seminar focuses on honing project design and management skills. Then, the participants have two months to implement their projects in the community. Once the projects have been implemented and concluded, there is a third seminar for the participants to evaluate the effectiveness of their projects and discuss what went right, what went wrong, and how they could improve it if they were to do it over.
Harap Alb - 2016
In 2016, the program debuted in village Todiresti, Ungheni district, and in village Riscova, Criuleni district, Moldova. Thanks to Harap Alb, 42 teenagers got the chance to learn what it means to elaborate and implement a project, and to feel themselves valuable in their communities, getting inspired and empowered for further advancement in the field of social and environmental activism.
As a result of the first edition of the program, 9 participants' projects were implemented. The teenagers organised a Sport Day at school and renovated 2 sport fields, they initiated a Book Club and a Sport Club, and issued an edition of a village newspaper. Some projects were specifically in the field of ecology - organizing cleanups, planting trees and bushes. The quality and complexity of the projects was really impressive, especially considering how young the participants were.
And more important is that a strong communities of alumni is now formed. In total, 24 participants graduated from the program as full alumni. Together with their friends, they continue to act after the end of the program and are going to be a support for the next editions of Harap Alb, and a factor of change for their villages and themselves.
Harap Alb - 2017
In 2017, Harap Alb program is taking place in three localities: villages Todirești, Pârlița and Grăseni from Ungheni district of Moldova.
Some impressions from Harap Alb - 2016:
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