The event took place on 2 November in Chisinau and brought together mayors from localities hosting refugees, representatives of public authorities such as Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Bureau for Migration and Asylum, People’s Advocate Office.
The aim of the forum was to generalize the practices of working with refugees, highlight positive experiences in their socio-economic inclusion, positive fundraising experiences, which would contribute to local development.
The participants of the event were welcomed in the opening session by the Executive Director of CDA, Oleg Palii, the President of CALM, Tatiana Badan, the Senior Emergency Coordinator for UNHCR in Moldova, Bertrand Blanc, and the State Secretary of MIA, Jana Costachi.
At the forum was discussed the experience of Moldovan mayors in managing the refugee crisis at the local level and the problems they have faced.
The mayor of the Causeni town, Anatol Donțu, spoke about the problem of staff shortage and the solutions identified in the distribution of humanitarian aid.
The mayor of the village of Volintiri, Stefan Voda, Igor Hincu, talked about the solutions identified for hosting refugees in local communities, including in the current energy crisis. The mayor of the village of Gura Bîcului, Lilia Brehova, also spoke about the accommodation of refugees, as well as about the assistance provided to refugees with disabilities and many children, and to Roma people.
The Mayor of Cupcin, Ludmila Magu, shared with the audience the experience of involving members of the local community in welcoming, transporting and accommodating refugees, providing them with food, hygiene products and clothing.
At the same time, the cooperation of local authorities and NGOs in managing the refugee crisis was mirrored in the presentation of the deputy mayor of Edinet, Rodelia Vasilcov. On the other hand, the CDA’s legal advisor, Diana Covalenco-Norosian, talked about the experience of collaboration between CDA and local authorities in Causeni and Stefan Voda. The communications during the second session of the Forum of Mayors were on the socio-economic inclusion of refugees, challenges and opportunities arising in this process. The deputy mayor of Cahul municipality, Stela Badin, spoke about the practice of Cahul local public authorities in solving problems related to the integration of refugees at the local level. The integration of elderly and disabled people into the local community was the topic addressed by the mayor of Greblești village, Straseni, Aliona Chircu.
The mayor of the Anenii Noi town, Alexandru Mațarin, spoke about the access of refugees to general education and kindergartens, and the mayor of the village of Hârbovăț, Rodica Croitor, informed the audience about the organization of summer rest for Ukrainian children with those from the locality.
Ukrainian language teacher at the school “V. Suhomlinschi” from Edinet, Ana Crîjanovschi, told the participants about the organization of Romanian language courses for refugees, which creates more opportunities for their social integration.
At the forum were also presented examples of positive experiences at European level of social inclusion of refugees, information summarized by the lawyer, protection and monitoring officer CDA, Tatiana Chebac.