The IRI model of involving children from rural areas in extra-curricular activities got the interest of a group of social development practitioners from Switzerland: Mrs. Beatrice Käufeler and Mr. Gallus Tannheimer.
The representatives of the OST mission, a charitable organization from Switzerland, visited the Democracy school founded in 2004 by IRI in Zirnesti village, Cahul. Guests attended an interactive workshop session that brought together children with different backgrounds to discuss the topic ‘Mapping Your Future’.
The workshop was moderated by Elvira Drangoi, an alumna of the Democracy school herself. She was so much enthusiastic about this model of work with children that decided to become a trainer herself after graduation from this program. Guests listened carefully to the students’ presentations and appreciated children’s openness and maturity.
Nicoale Beju, the mayor of Zirnesti village, and Nadejda Dobinda, the headmaster of the Gymnasium Zirnesti, welcomed the guests and invited them to an informal discussion with the entire teaching staff on the similarities and differences of the education system between Switzerland and the Republic of Moldova.
The democracy school represents an alternative model designed to involve children with a minority background from rural areas of Moldova in extracurricular activities. The model has also been successfully tested in other six rural communities from Moldova.
At the moment, the implementation of the democracy school is possible thanks to the generous support of the Liechtenstein Development Service Foundation – LED Moldova.