My name is Victor Corja and I am a 17-year-old currently living in Virginia, USA and a winner in the 2017 Teens Dream video competition with on fighting corruption in Moldova. I was born in Moldova, a small country in Europe with a quarter the size and half the population of Virginia and my dream is to end the corruption that permeates every aspect of life in my home country. Half of my extended family continues to live in Moldova, and through them, I constantly hear more and more news about the horrible injustice, political instability, and corruption that exist in every single transaction, opportunity, and event. The most significant example of this is the 2014 theft of a billion dollars from the main banks of Moldova – by the Prime Minister and his helpers. To put this into perspective, a billion dollars is equal to one-eighth of Moldova’s GDP, and the loss of this money affects hundreds of thousands of people that lost their life savings in a single moment. While the Prime Minister was jailed, the money was never recovered, and the culprits that aided him were never caught – and sadly, this was not a crime that is seen rarely in Moldova.

My dream is to reform the institutions of Moldova through the people, providing more transparency and accountability of government officials currently stealing from their own people, and increasing the security of the money and rights currently being denied to Moldovan citizens. While this dream is immense in scope, I believe it is achievable through the right legislation combined with educational and governmental reform aimed at educating the people on the dangers of and protection against corruption. With a nation-wide effort to resist the corruption of government officials, tax inspectors, police officers, and any other person with any measure of authority, I believe that Moldova can become a country where knowing or paying someone with authority is not a requirement for having basic rights.

Teens Dream is a wonderful organization that let me share my dream with the world, and connected me with a wonderful and knowledgeable mentor, Hurriyet Ok who recently retired from the World Bank.  Hurriyet helped me understand the various ways in which my dream can begin to be achieved and inspired me to pursue my dream through ways that I hadn’t thought of previously. Teens Dream also connected me with other teens from around the world.  Seeing their dreams and their journeys to achieving them also helped me believe my dream could actually be achieved.

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