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Summer schools – 2015: “I am interested, I care and I want to make a difference!”

Summer schools – 2015: “I am interested, I care and I want to make a difference!”

The Institute for Rural Initiatives for the 9th year in a row has organized a series of interactive Civic Education Summer Schools for children and young people coming from disadvantaged Moldovan communities.

The summer schools took place June 8-14, 2015 in three communities in the north, center and south of the country (Gribova village, Drochia rayon, Mingir village, Hînceşti rayon and Zirnesti Village, Cahul rayon) and involved about 60 children, mostly coming from communities densely populated by citizens of Roma origin.

The overall objectives of the summer schools were to improve young people’s abilities in the field of friendly interethnic communication and civic responsibility, as well as to cultivate their leadership abilities, promote teamwork, develop critical thinking and other capacities that will contribute to their adaptability, flexibility and self-confidence, thus educating them in the spirit of integrity.

The motto of the summer schools in 2015 was: “I am interested, I care and I want to make a difference!”. One of the most popular activity among children was: “What can I do today to make my own community a better place?”. During this activity children have been asked to meditate on the topic: what kind of changes should be done in their communities to make them a better place to live in. Young and very enthusiastic participants came up with the most creative ideas and visions, they shared them with peers and expressed the hope and belief they will get to implement them one day.

These kind of educational and entertaining activities have proven one more time that children through participation and interaction with each other overcome stereotypes and regardless of their ethnic origin can spend time together in a team being partners and friends at the same time.

These activities were organized by the Institute for Rural Initiatives within the Social Inclusion Program with the generous support from the Global Fund for Children, USA, Washington, D.C. and Foundation of the Liechtenstein Development Service (LED) in Moldova, being also helped by IRI volunteers Gabriela Chirila and community mediators from Gribova village, Drochia, and Mingir village, Hincesti (Angela Radita and Valeriu Caldararu).