The IJC Launches “Inclusion Starts with Me” Campaign

“Inclusion starts with me.” This is the message of the information campaign launched by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on March 1, 2023. The campaign aims to contribute to diminishing the existing stereotypes regarding socially vulnerable and marginalized groups and improving society’s attitude towards these persons. In addition, the campaign is intended for raising citizens’ awareness of the notion of inclusion, thus improving the chances for creating a more inclusive society.

The campaign will be divided into three stages which include various activities. During the first stage, the IJC will highlight five male and female protagonists who can currently be regarded as examples to follow due to their experience and activity. They will speak about their stories in video reports. Besides, the IJC will prepare a series of explanatory materials aimed at explaining the concept of inclusion in a manner comprehensible to everyone.

Various aspects related to inclusion and the media’s eventual contribution to a more inclusive society will be discussed during the “Media Azi” show produced by the IJC, and also in a number of analytical materials published on the Mediacritica platform. Journalists, media experts, and human rights defenders will provide more details on the aspects related to inclusion and other issues accompanied by the recommendations valuable for the media community.

During its activity, the IJC has implemented several projects focused on raising awareness of human rights via the media. “We would like to ensure the continuity of these initiatives, to encourage the media to highlight the representatives of vulnerable groups in a professional manner, which would contribute to their better visibility and eventually encourage them to be more active, to overcome some of their fears, and to let their voices be heard. According to the studies, we still live in a society where discrimination is noticeable, and it is no coincidence that we have chosen such a title for our campaign, because inclusion starts with every one of us, through our actions and decisions in specific situations and in connection with persons we interact with,” Nadine Gogu, the IJC Director, specifies.

“We welcome the IJC’s initiative to launch an awareness campaign on the importance of recognizing and valuing the potential, experiences, and opinions of persons from vulnerable groups faced with marginalization and the risk of poverty. Excluding large social groups, such as persons with disabilities, elderly people, or the Romani, violates human rights, causes economic expenses, and has its impact on everyone. We need the institutions’ commitment to take specific steps to provide accessibility of information, infrastructure, healthcare services, education, and employment possibilities. Social inclusion is essential to all the programs in the Republic of Moldova supported by Switzerland, because it contributes to the country’s democratization, economic development, and resilience in the face of internal and external challenges,” Natalia Cernat, Project Coordinator of the Swiss Cooperation Office, says.

Galina Climov, Executive Director of the Alliance of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities from the Republic of Moldova, affirms that “there is a place for everyone in the society we live in,” and “diseases, disability, poverty, addictions, or other vulnerabilities should not be a barrier or a reason for sentencing a person to isolation.”

“The legislation of the Republic of Moldova guarantees the rights of vulnerable groups. Still, each of us is aware of the everyday reality. Stereotypes, myths, and distorted messages spreading in society contribute to discrimination of persons from underrepresented groups. This campaign has a chance to fill some gaps, to develop empathy, and to build some bridges to rational judgments. Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their disability. Being different is absolutely normal. In this context, I would like to make an appeal to you to join your efforts, to be a force, and to create some values in order to finally make the Republic of Moldova home to all its citizens. Inclusion is in everyone’s power, and this power manifests itself through our ability to accept and to love our neighbors,” Galina Climov remarks.

The duration of the campaign is 16 months. The information about the campaign activities will be regularly published on the IJC page and on the social networks managed by the IJC.

“Inclusion Starts with Me” is a campaign organized within the project “Building cohesion in Moldova through promoting social inclusion and diminishing discrimination” carried out by the Independent Journalism Center within the program “Joint Initiative for Equal Opportunities – Phase II”, implemented from the resources provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


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