Inclusive societies and development

Youth Inclusion Project - Daniel Cojocari


“I have been very lucky to find a job that I like!”


Daniel Cojocari, 23, from a village 40km from Chisinau, Moldova

My name is Daniel. My mother is a housewife and lives in a village near Chisinau. My father works in the construction industry in France, and I have one brother. I am an undergraduate student in information technology and kinetics and I also have a job. I am enrolled in special academic programme which allows me to have a job in parallel. Many friends around me follow these types of programmes, which are cheaper than traditional ones. I think having a degree is a real advantage to find a job, but practical knowledge is even more important than studying. That's why I would like to get an internship in the IT sector. But without a network, it is very hard to get even an unpaid internship in Moldova.

Before studying, I worked in construction for one year and a half in France. My mother didn't want me to go abroad, especially in this industry, but I didn't really have a choice. I needed the money. It was difficult, I didn't have any connections, nor a place to live and the job was very hard. During that time, I realised that earning money was not enough. I was not growing as a person nor achieving my full potential. I wanted a better life, beyond earning money, so I decided to go back to Moldova.
Instead of going far away like many of my friends, I started to volunteer for the National Youth Council (NYC) here. My parents were not happy that I was working for no pay. I enjoyed working for NYC, organising conferences and conducting various projects and studies on education, employment, but also health. For example, young people don't know anything about sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Talking about SRH is taboo in Moldova. Young people are not aware of youth-friendly health centres. Even me, I only learned about them when I left my village and did a study on the topic.

The labour market in Moldova is very difficult for young people. NYC eventually offered me a part-time, then a full-time job, as I could no longer continue as a volunteer. The education system provides degrees but not necessarily the right skills or knowledge. It is sad to say but it seems adults will always be preferred to young people when filling vacancies in Moldova. I feel lucky to have found a job that I like.

Learn more about the work of the Youth Inclusion Project in Moldova

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