"Ecological education - education for life" was in 2015 the credo of the Center for European Orientation and Promotion European "Dialog" (COPE "Dialog"), located in Chiscareni village, Singerei district. The project was designed as a combination of training sessions for adults and community mobilization activities to promote environmental education.
The initiative covered the Chiscareni village and five neighbouring communities, located on the river Ciuluc: Marandeni, Taura Veche, Slobozia Chiscareni, Iezarenii Vechi and Ciuciueni that involved about 100 individuals in a variety of activities. COPE "Dialog" has been a very active civil society organization over the past decade and is well-known for its wide variety of issues addressed both in their own community and within Singerei district. After the setting-up in 2011 and running up to nowadays Seniors Club in the village of Chiscareni, for two years the organization has expanded its activities into surrounding settlements. The activity in the region has led the organization towards identifying various learning needs - from the fact that the welfare of the community should not be expected from the authorities but created through joint efforts towards concrete actions that change the appearance and functionality of localities.
The starting point in the project was to initiate a dialogue with inhabitants in each village and identify people motivated to participate in a local initiative group. Afterwards thematic sessions in environmental education followed using methodology of active involvement of adult learners. Largely, the project has involved a wide range of actions of non-formal learning involving a cumulative of several hundred beneficiaries in learning sessions, workshops on producing decorative objects from recycled materials (newspapers, plastic bottles, natural materials, etc.). Throughout the project an open long-term contest on creating visual products on environmental topics was conducted to collect photographs, posters, reports, boards, etc. The project ensured participants’ mobility, facilitating several meetings in various localities. Further on the project included ample cleaning campaigns in their villages; followed by results sharing during Adult Education Days, conducted in Chiscareni. Even wider exchange of experiences and dissemination of achievements took place in national edition of Adult Education Days – Festival of Educational Practices, held in Chisinau on October 31st.
Culmination of learning experiences in this project was a study visit of 55 people from participating villages to Community Resource Centre Răuceşti in Neamt county, Romania to study the experience of colleagues and launch cooperation projects.
Apart from immediate and visible effects, such as cleaning the village, using bins and other aspects of ecological culture, the project has created a platform for other interesting initiatives. Joint actions have convinced beneficiaries that change can be produced with relatively limited financial resources. Much more important is the intention of change and determination to carry out ones’ plans. We like to hope that local initiative groups will develop into civil society organizations, willing and able to implement other projects and will eventually create a network of local organizations and initiative groups interested in improving the quality of their lives.