USAID LEADER assembly: The LAG in creation “Calea Dropiei” and its potential

169

If you didn’t know yet, the LEADER approach is one of those ambitious elements in the rural development process – as a programme, it encourages the villages to study their historic, cultural and production abilities in order to value them. In the framework of the USAID LEADER activities, there are 6 LAGs in treation, and initiation and facilitation visits from Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova team are very welcome.

The visits in the existent and in creation LAGs are as a breath of fresh air in the daily routine – you finally get to be far from computers’ screens and to step into a “territory visit” that helps you to get to know your country much better, to see how the Moldovan village grows and to get acquainted with new people from different parts of your homeland. Thus, we got to Baroncea commune from Drochia district, inhabited by almost 1,4 thousand people. The high school from the Baroncea village hosted the meeting of the future LAG “Calea Dropiei” (NA – dropie, in English bustard – a type of bird living in dry grassland areas and on the steppes) – 33 persons and representatives of local businesses, local public authorities and public associations from Baroncea, Gribova, Mindic, Maramonovca, Chetrosu, Suri and Drochia villages, gathered together to share their thoughts on the community that will be created and on its elements that should be valued.

After the activities held during the meeting, the working groups have established many goals and development objectives of the villages that will be the part of the new LAG. The development of the villages’ cultural life through creation of resting areas and rehabilitation of the Houses of Culture, the development of public services, the modernization of agricultural sub-sectors, the creation and promotion of the local brand “Calea Dropiei” through the produced items in the future LAG are just a few of the discussed proposals.

We had the opportunity to get to know a local family that produces and promotes dairy products that actually are already known in Chisinau. Some people want to develop the beekeeping sector as a family business or wish to open a crafts workshop.

We also have tasted “Baba Neagra” cake – a northern dessert of Ukrainian origins that can easily become symbolic treat for the region. Any dish has a great potential when promoting local goods, hasn’t it?

“I want to mention that each member of the future LAG has his or her personal motivation to be a part of the project”, says Ana Cerneva, local facilitator and coach. “Certain participants want to implement the ideas that belong to the local public authorities, other persons wish to start a family bussines, while others – to continue developing businesses that already exists in the local area”, adds Ana.

Vitalie Jereghi, a local expert, emphasizes that the regional public sector has a great potential. “In my opinion, it is important to put all the efforts for its development and the support of each members of the community counts”, sums up Vitalie.

The idea development session was an important moment. Right now, the “project ideas bank” contains more than 60 proposals from the representatives of those 7 villages involved. The facilitators found time to guide individuals and groups in finding out more information about the realization process of the projects.

Project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) within the LEADER/CLLD rural initiatives at local level and co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish development cooperation program – Polish aid, implemented by Solidarity Fund PL in Moldova.