"Moldovan Gay and Lesbian Empowerment" is the largest gay and lesbian project in the post-Soviet territory.
The opening of the project "Moldovan Gay and Lesbian Empowerment" took place on October 18, 2001 in Chisinau, Moldova. It is a twinning project between the Dutch lesbian and gay advocacy organisation COC Netherlands and Center GenderDoc-M (Moldova) and is the first initiative on protection of gay and lesbian rights at such a large scale in the post-Soviet territory. The financial support is given by the Royal Dutch Embassy in Ukraine and Moldova via the Good Governance and Human Rights Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
At the reception were present the First Secretary of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kiev Ms. Meie Kiel, Desk Officer of the Eastern European Division of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rob Dekker, project coordinator on behalf of COC Netherlands Dennis van der Veur, and also representatives of national and international NGO's, embassies, funders, numerous Moldovan and Dutch journalists. In his speech to the guests director of Center "GenderDoc-M" Mr. Alexei Marcicov stated, that "the project, as litmus paper, will reveal the level of tolerance of Moldovan society and the willingness of authorities to continue democratic reforms". Ms. Meie Kiel stated, that she was "happy there are brave people in Moldova, who came forward with the initiative to fight for gay and lesbian rights". As project coordinator from Dutch partner organizations Dennis van der Veur declared, "the Netherlands give to the project not only financial, but both moral and political support".
Today the sexual minorities in Moldova are one of the most discriminated social groups. Violence, blackmailing, constant "visits" to the police stations, verbal abuse, firing from the job, hate propaganda from some of the newspapers, homophobic speeches by some members of the parliament - all these factors led to creation of culture of fear among homosexual community in Moldova. It is enough to recall the words of Moldovan parliamentarian and PACE member within European People's Party group Mr. Vlad Cubreacov, who declared recently in his interview to "Jurnal National": "To be a homosexual doesn't only mean you are no longer father or mother, it means you are no longer a human being. They are people, fallen before the face of God and the entire society". The overwhelming majority of gays and lesbians in Moldova has been and is discriminated against in one way or another. For more concrete information please refer to the report of COC Netherlands/ Dennis van der Veur "Homosexuals in the republic of Moldova: we need cleaner places than public toilets", published in Amsterdam in February 2001.
The three-year project "Moldovan Gay and Lesbian Empowerment" includes four sub-projects: organizational development, awareness raising campaign, legal assistance and safe environment. Legal program provisions juridical consultations in cases of discrimination or violence, monitoring of Moldovan legislation, drafting an anti-discrimination law, seminars on human rights for gay and lesbian community. Safe environment includes psychological assistance and counseling, creation of support groups, individual counseling (implemented in cooperation with Schorer Foundation, Netherlands). Within the awareness raising campaign will continue the issue of gay and lesbian magazine "Mirror", educational seminars for different target groups, publication and distribution of brochures and booklets on gay/lesbian issues. Organizational development will build up the skills and capacities of GenderDoc-M to protect gay and lesbian rights, create functional structure, provide office and equipment. All these under supervision and constant communication / expertise from COC Netherlands.
After completion of the project GenderDoc-M is expected to be a sustainable gay and lesbian advocacy organization. Although realizing the changes cannot happen overnight, and not even in three years, our long term expectations are that the general situation of gays and lesbians will be improved in the country, and a new culture, culture of pride and tolerance, to replace the dominant culture of fear.
For more information please, contact us at phone (3732) 278 792, fax (3732) 567 551, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or write to: C.P. 422, MD 2004, Chisinau, Republica Moldova. Contact person: Maxim Anmeghichean.
To get a copy of the report "Homosexuals in the Republic of Moldova: we need cleaner places than public toilets" by COC/Dennis van der Veur, please send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Postbus 3836, 1001 AP Amsterdam, Netherlands.