The Alliance of Hometown Associations has been established with the support of UNDP and the Government of Switzerland
September 16, 2022
On 16 September 2022, the Alliance of Hometown Associations was established, a platform that aims to enhance cooperation for local development between hometown associations, local public authorities, diaspora, and residents.
The establishment of the Alliance of Hometown Associations is a natural step in the consolidation of the 160 registered Hometown Associations and initiative groups that have been active since 2015 with the support of the UNDP project “Migration and local development”, funded by the Government of Switzerland. Since then, hometown associations have proven that they are entities capable of significantly contributing to local development.
The founding event gathered over 80 participants: local and central public authorities, members of hometown associations and development partners.
“Once officialised, the Alliance of Hometown Associations will assist its members to better respond to local needs and emerging priorities, bringing more innovation, sustainability, and resilience to the local presence, and help to building sustainable partnerships”, said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
“When people unite forces to create more for the Republic of Moldova, change comes not only from the government, but from the whole society. Our country needs strong communities and the initiative that is being launched today will make an essential contribution to this process,” said Dumitru Udrea, Secretary General of the Government of the Republic of Moldova.
“The creation of the Alliance of Hometown Associations is an important milestone in their evolution. It is an indicator of institutional maturity and a path towards the sustainability of this model of local participation and development. We are pleased that more than half of the hometown associations existing today were created without the support of the project, which demonstrates the popularity of this model among local public authorities. We will follow with interest the activities of the Alliance and hope that they will live up to the expectations of those who are behind its creation,” said Radu Danii, Program Coordinator at the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova.
Thus, on 16 September the Alliance's founding documents were adopted and the Board and Secretariat were elected. Anastasia Rusu, Executive Director of the Cimișlia Hometown Association, was appointed as Chairperson in charge of domestic relations, and Victoria Dunford, founder of MAD-Aid CSO, was elected as Chairperson responsible for relations with the diaspora.
With support of UNDP and Switzerland, Moldova has turned migration into a driving force for local development. Through the network of Hometown Associations, diaspora members and locals have contributed to approx. 200 local initiatives and projects in their communities, benefiting over 500,000 people: pedestrian infrastructure, waste management, water supply and sanitation, social and cultural development, tourism services etc.