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!"
Harap Alb goes through four stages:
First step: Impulse Seminar
At 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 will 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.
Second step: Project Management Seminar
Beginning with the draft project proposals, the second seminar focuses on honing project design and management skills. By the end of the seminar, the participants already know how to create the plan and budget of a project, how to attract partners and volunteers, how to work in a team, and other things that will help them during project implementation. After that, the next stage of the journey begins, when projects become a reality.
Third step: Project Implementation
The participants have about two months to implement the community projects they've planned during the Project Management Seminar. All projects get a small financial support, so that the teenagers learn how to plan, manage and report a grant. Throughout the project implementation period, each team is guided by a mentor.
Fourth step: Reflection Seminar
At the last seminar, the participants are invited to reflect on their experience in the program, 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. Moreover, they are looking out into the future, discussing their opportunities as Harap Alb alumni.
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.
Some impressions from Harap Alb - 2016:
In between Harap Alb 2016 & Harap Alb 2017:
On January 13-15, 2017, Harap Alb alumni and EcoVisio members had an active and joyful meeting in Todiresti. They went around singing winter carols, had fun sledding, played sports and enjoyed good music.
More photos here.
Harap Alb - 2017
In 2017, Harap Alb came to four schools from three localities: villages Todiresti, Pirlita and Graseni from Ungheni district of Moldova. The seminars took place in Ungheni, Todiresti and Pirlita (Ungheni district), vil. Riscova (Criuleni) and Chisinau in February - July 2017.
21 participants made it to the end, implementing 8 community projects: renovation of park, renovation of football field, renovation of volleyball field, village cleanup, renewal of benches at the stadium; charity and entertainment activities for the elderly, etc. The teenagers are proud of their achievements and are happy that as Harap Alb alumni they will continue the positive changes in their communities, will become mentors, make new projects, attract new volunteers and motivate each other.
And meanwhile, alumni of Harap Alb 2016 became mentors for teams from 2017, supporting them in the project implementation process.
Harap Alb 2017 - Impulse Seminar (Pirlita and Ungheni, February 19-26, 2017)
Harap Alb 2017 - Project Management Seminar (Todiresti and Chisinau, March 19-27, 2017)
Harap Alb 2017: project implementation
Harap Alb 2017 - Reflection Seminar & Community Day (Riscova and Todiresti, June 29 - July 2, 2017)
Harap Alb 2017 - Community Day in Todiresti (July 2, 2017)
More photos here.
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