Moldova - Transnistria
People in Need has been active in Moldova since 2003. Our main focus is on human rights and democracy projects on the both sides of the River Dniester (called the River Nistru in Moldova).
After 2009, People in Need’s Relief and Development Department started implementing development projects on the right bank of the river. People in Need’s Centre for Human Rights and Democracy has continued to address human rights projects on the left bank, being one of the first international organizations directly working with civil society in Transnistria.
Support for civil society
Our focus in Transnistria is capacity building for local activists and organizations. In recent years, we have assisted in establishing and institutionally supported a network of Information and Legal Centres and the #19 Citizens’ Clubs in three towns – Tiraspol, Dubossary and Rybnitsa run by three organisations, “A priori”, “Akkolada” and “Vialex” respectively. The Information and Legal Centres provide free legal aid and informational support for individuals, as well as initiative groups and other organizations. The #19 Citizens’ Clubs regularly organise educational, cultural and informational events, - such as film and documentary screenings, exhibitions, discussions and debates – aimed at raising the level of civic education and engagement in the society.
Additionally, we have been actively supporting small local initiatives and helping them build up their capacities, mostly in remote areas, to make it easier for them to act on a local level, protect public interests and strengthen the role of civil society in decision-making processes.
Furthermore, we have been consistently raising awareness of Transnistrian civil society on an international level. Our goal is to encourage the donor community, as well as international counterparts, to begin dialogue with Transnistrian organisations and include them as an equal partner in discussion about the region and its problems and needs.
Transnistria is an internationally unrecognised region that has declared itself independent under the name of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Transnistria remains de jure part of the Republic of Moldova, although the government has no control over the region. Hence the area remains an island of Russian influence in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the EU, and is a kind of time bubble reminiscent of the Soviet era, which is evident primarily in the mentality of the people.
People in Need also operates outside Transnistria, implementing development projects mainly focusing on assistance for rural areas.