For ten days in July 2012, 80 young people from both banks of the Dniester/Nistru river took part in an OSCE-supported summer school at Saharna, a beach resort on the river. With financial support from the Finnish embassy in Bucharest and the National Endownment for Democracy, and together with the non-governmental organization ECO-Tiras, the OSCE has offered training, workshops, and discussions on the environment, confidence building, sustainable development and civil society issues – as well as the opportunity to meet other young people and have fun.
“When you see all these young people from both sides of the river enjoying life, talking, making friends, you really understand that ‘confidence-building measures’ is so much more than a diplomatic phrase. The young people here have made friends; they have learned to understand each other’s position. ‘Fun’ is a key word here. Confidence and trust are built through personal contacts and friendship, and the smiling faces of the young people here attest that this is being established here,” said Maurice Dunand, the acting head of the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Programme of the Mission to Moldova.
The summer school also included a football game with the local residents of Rezina and Saharna, as well as two concerts as part of the river festival in Cioburciu, Slobozia District in Transdneistria, which, with an attendance of some 1,000 people from both banks including local officials, is one of the largest and most popular summer events in the area.