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“I really like to work with young people. There is no need to impose my authority – I like to inspire them” – Milena Morari.

14 August 2020

Milena Morari is 18 years old and has been working as a youth specialist at the Glodeni Youth Center for seven months. Despite the fact that many of the Center’s volunteers are her schoolmates, Milena conveys to them the idea that they are friends and together they can make changes in communities. Currently, Milena is dreaming of resuming offline activities and the environmental project that they launched at the Center before the pandemic started.

Milena Morari discovered the Glodeni Youth Center in the summer of 2019. She became a volunteer, then attended a summer school, and when she realized that she was actively involved in all the activities of the Center, she received a job offer:

“At the summer school I attended, together with a youth specialist at the Center, I drew up a project that included 26 youth activities. I carried out activities from September to November 2019. I have always been engaged in activities at the Center. Since January 2020, I agreed to work in the youth field because I felt that I wanted to make a difference, to be with other young people to do something and get results”.

     

The people around her reacted differently when they learned that at the age of 18 Milena would work in her city, in the field that she likes. Colleagues asked her about her salary, teachers drew her attention about her academic performance, while her family supported her in everything:

“Some asked me how I would manage everything, others were amazed. I’ve proven that I can. I even participated in school activities. After classes, I would run to work. I didn’t get tired at work because it was interesting, useful, and if you have motivated, committed and active young people, it’s not difficult to work as a young specialist. After work, I would go home and do my homework, and the next day I would start over”.  

Milena says a lot has changed over the past seven months while working with the youth. She became more responsible and more attentive to all details. The pandemic was a challenge, so the Glodeni Youth Center adapted its plans so that they stand by the beneficiaries:

“I organize training for young people and other activities that interest them. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have quizzes every Tuesday and board games on Thursday. All activities were held over Zoom. Although young people were sometimes bored with online communication, they liked the general culture quizzes about movies, books, and music. We also had a local hashtag – #IStayActiveAtHome. Young people cooked, read, and wrote posts using this support hashtag.”

In the spring of 2020, young people from Glodeni, under the supervision of Milena, initiated an environmental project. Now everyone is waiting to resume offline activities and get back to usual hustle and bustle at the Youth Center:

“In March, we have launched a volunteer campaign. We wanted to distribute fabric bags and educate people about the importance of using them. The project impressed me. This refers to a Global Goal that we have chosen together. We will continue as soon as there are no more restrictions”.

The experience Milena gained at the Glodeni Youth Center made her reconsider her future plans. Thus, the youth career guidance project gave not only the beneficiaries but also the young specialist pause for thought. She says she will give up her desire to become a lawyer and opt for a faculty that will keep her closer to working with young people:

“In 2019, we carried out 20 career guidance and economic empowerment activities. We would go to schools in villages and schools in Glodeni, then we would invite young people to visit our place. We would talk about different skills that students have, and I think that laid a foundation for them. In the future, when they think about their profession, it will be easier for them to choose”.

Milena’s maturity and responsibility motivate young people – which was also confirmed by the director of the Youth Center Nicoleta Lucian: “Milena is a leader who comes up with ideas, she isn’t afraid of difficulties and she loves to be in front of a large audience. Besides, the young lady never stops learning and developing.”

“If you want to be a good youth specialist, you have to be empathic, because young people are very different and each has his/her own vision. At the same time, a youth specialist must be punctual and correct, because he/she is a role model for young people. When working with volunteers, I am not trying to impose my authority. I really like what I’m doing and I think that working with young people is the most interesting thing”, Milena Morari added.

More than 20 young people from Glodeni district, volunteers of the Youth Center, won’t be bored this fall either. Milena assures us that there is a plan of action and it’s also her who encourages young people from other districts to seek activities and engage in them:

“I’m sure that every Youth Center in the country carries out useful and productive activities for young people. Why not get involved? If there is an opportunity to participate, we must participate, because we are the ones who are going to change the future.”

There are 44 Youth Centers in the Republic of Moldova. They represent safe and friendly places for young people, providing age-appropriate services for young people, information about development opportunities, space for interaction and communication; support in the development of local initiatives.

 

The Youth Centers are supported within the Joint Fund for the development of Youth Centers and strengthening participation and civic engagement among young people in the Republic of Moldova of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the United Nations Population Fund.

Photo: personal archive of Milena Morari; “Millennium M” Training and Development Institute.