Two national grant programs to support local development initiatives of hometown associations are launched
UNDP Moldova and the Government of Switzerland are launching the “Incubator” and “Accelerator 1+1” grant programs to support during 2021 community development initiatives of hometown associations in partnership with local authorities.
These two programs help supporting the development of Moldovan communities affected by migration by improving local public services and stimulating income-generating economic activities. In addition, they encourage the social and economic involvement of the diaspora in the revitalization of their native communities.
For the “Incubator” grant program, newly created hometown associations or initiative groups that intend to set up an efficient association are eligible to apply. The selected initiatives will receive up to US$1,000 funding.
For the “Accelerator 1+1” grant program registered hometown associations, with demonstrated experience in implementing a local project, are eligible. The associations will benefit from a co-financing grant of up to $10,000 based on a 1+1 formula (the grant value offered by UNDP and the Government of Switzerland to the hometown association has to be equal with the contributions collected from the diaspora, both online and offline).
“Cooperation with the local public authority and involvement of the local community in their hometown development are prerequisites for being accepted to participate in the “Accelerator 1+1” program. Also, the proposed idea should be selected in consultation with the locals and diaspora. At the same time, the local administration, community and diaspora need to provide co-financing,” said Victoria Ivancioglo, Institutional Development Officer for UNDP “Migration and Local Development” project.
During 2020, the “Incubator” and “Accelerator 1+1” programs supported hometown associations that cooperated with the mayoralties of 27 communities to implement infrastructure and public services improvement projects. In total, UNDP and the Government of Switzerland offered grants amounting to $77,960. At the same time, $121,939 were collected and raised by the local community.
Thus, the migrants who returned temporarily to their native communities, but also those who had to stay abroad because of the pandemic-related restrictions, reconnected with the local development course, participated in local priority setting online meetings, and helped improve the living conditions of the local communities. As a result, about 200 thousand people in 27 communities benefit from improved lighting, water and sewerage services, roads and sidewalks, arranged leisure facilities, etc.
“In 2020 we benefited from the ‘Incubator’ grant program, which offered us $1,000, and we collected contributions of $18,000 through a crowdfunding platform, which was ten times higher than the initial target. These funds were used to renovate and furbish seven public transport stops in Ghidighici village, which we did in partnership with the mayoralty of Ghidighici. This way, the hometown association helped improve the appearance of the community in general and the inhabitants’ comfort in particular,” said Doina Hodobas, president of Ghidighici hometown association.
“Incubator” and “Accelerator 1+1” grant programs will be launched annually at national level until 2022.