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Formare formatori(oare) CECE II
Date / Period: Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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Date / Period: Thursday, 29 August 2019
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Instruirea CECE II
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Portalul CIVIC.MD: Activitati ONG, anunturi, granturi, job-uri, voluntariat, evenimente

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News and Events
Ambassadors of the electoral education contribute to creating a more active society
Date: 03.01.2019   

School pupils, journalists, librarians and young people involved in  non-government organisations or youth organisations of various political parties of Moldova have become ambassadors of electoral and civic education. How was this made possible and what did that mean was discussed at the Open Talks CICDE, organised by the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training (CICDE).

CICDE was created in 2011 to function by the Central Election Commission (CEC) and since then contributes towards increasing the level of electoral and civic education of Moldova’s citizens. Over the past seven years, the team of the centre organised several activities in various locations of Moldova and this is the second year when Open Talks are being held. Conclusions of achievements over the last year were made.

“What is, in fact, Open Talks CICDE? It is an open debate among colleagues. We wanted it to be a conclusion-drawing event on the civic education activities developed during the last year. But we also want to look into the future, what should we do next and where should we focus out efforts”, mentioned Mr Pavel Cabacenco, Director of CICDE.

The event represents a transition from the civic and electoral education to voters information, which will take place during these campaign weeks. Our motto is :”Democracy can be taught”. It’s up to our speakers now, who were part of our programs: Electoral CUC, Electoral School, the E-Hub and other many other events, to tell us “How, Wen, Where and What” they have done to contribute towards democracy learning”, added Mr Cabacenco.

During 2018 several civic education and electoral information activities were organised within the campaign “Democracy can be taught!”, organised by CICDE and the campaign “Democracy matters”, organised by the CEC and supported financially by UNDP Moldova, through the project “Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections”.

Seven of the beneficiaries of these events spoke at the Open Talks CICDE and shared their experience with the factual and online audience. Constantin Curca started the debate. He is a civil society member for over 10 years. Part of many volunteering activities, Constantin represented the Resource Centre for Ecological Education and Sustainable Development, which was part of the Small Grants Program, initiated by the CEC. This program also gathered 11 other NGOs from all over the country, thus contributing to informing citizens on the electoral processes.

Constantin and his NGO colleagues organised simulations of the voting process among youngsters in several schools of Balti city. As a result, Heads of Pupils Councils of these schools were elected.

“In seven education institutions we had 22 young people who applied for the position of Head of Pupils Council. We had almost two weeks of electoral campaign in each school. In the E-day, the rooms allocated for the voting process were equipped accordingly, similar to the polling stations.

The lists of pupils were similar to voters lists created for elections. We have done all this so that the entire process follows the same procedures required in the country voting system. Thus, we had 105 young people involved in the election monitoring process in the seven schools concerned and 2118 young people who participated at the simulations organised. They gathered their voting experience and it was the first of the kind for most of them.”

Laura-Andreea Schimbator is a 12th grade school pupil at Aristotel Republican High Scool and one of the hundrends of pupils who attended the intellectual game on elections “What? Where? When?” (CUC). Pupils for various locations of the country represented ten high schools at this game. Each school had a team of six children for the great final of the game. Besides their attendance, the 60 finalists of the electoral CUC were invited to an adventure camp, organised by the CICDE team.

“At the beginning we were split in a few random groups to enable us to get out of our comfort zone and our group of friends, to make us meet the other participants from other teams from other cities of Moldova.

During the workshops we have been informed about the evolution of elections, we have thoroughly studied the mixed electoral system, its advantages and disadvantages. We had the opportunity to see in which district each of us would vote. So, finally, we understood that even we would have different ballot papers, each of us is of the same importance to the system and sometimes the winner can be decided at a one vote difference.”

Laura and her other five team mates won the first place at the electoral CUC and besides a unique experience and the useful electoral knowledge gathered, the winners received a trophy and sets of books. Same as Laura, Ion Rapcea, the third speaker at above mentioned event, was one of the participants to the electoral game “What? Where? When?”. Hence, at Open Talks CICDE, Ion spoke about another experience he had during the electoral events attended, such as the “Electoral Month”, organised at the Criuleni High School Boris Dinga premises, where he is enrolled as a student. During this “Electoral Month” event, pupils from 26 schools elected their Pupils Councils members, thus imitating the parliamentary elections within the mixed electoral system.

“I have first heard about the electoral processes in September, when a group of CICDE trainers visited our school. Twenty young people attended it at that time and they learnt how elections are organised, about the secret vote, political parties and independent candidates. We were one of the first schools in the country to have used the mixed electoral system in election our Pupils Councils members. Each grade, from the 5th to the 12th elected their pupils, the grade was representing an electoral district. Also, the trips we took to the Parliament and the CEC showed us how the system works from the inside, how elections are being coordinated and organised.”

Lilia Dubasari, Head of Taxobeni Public Library in Falesti district was invited to speak to the audience at the Open Talks CICDE about how the libraries in the country get transformed in real community centres were citizens come not only for reading or borrowing books, but also to get informed about the democratic processes.

“Given that democracy starts to be taught in the family, school, community, we thought why not in the library as well? Libraries have become a comfortable, spacious and bright community spaces now. Secondly, libraries are visited by all the community members interested in new things. They can attend informal trainings here. In each locality we have a trustworthy librarian who teaches voting rights and changes to the electoral system to everyone interested. Libraries offer open and free access to the information resources granted by the CICDE. In the libraries all the myths about unfair elections are dissipated through debates and examples.”

Another event organised with CICDE’s assistance last year was the National Youth Forum attended by over 150 representatives of political parties. One of these young people was Vadim Jora, assistent at the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Vadim touched upon the topic of young people as an electoral factor: how do they vote, how much do they get involved in the political life and why, in his opinion, their participation is rather low.

“We need to get involved, to be bold, and this is probably the word reflecting the state of facts. We lack the boldness. I have attended many schools, forums, but I believe this one was the most successful one and all the youngsters I spoke to were thrilled. We decided to learn from everything we saw at the National Youth Forum and to repeat the same in our local organisations.”

The role to inform voters during the electoral campaign on the importance of their vote is not only up to the electoral bodies, but also the media. CEC and CICDE have organised a few press clubs during 2018 and also an electoral school for journalists, so that they better understand the peculiarities of the new electoral system. One of the media representatives who attended this seminar on electoral topics is Natalia Ixari, editor coordinator at Radio Moldova, News Department.

“Each of us needs to be an ambassador of the electoral and civic education, because if each of us does it, regardless of the age and status, we would have more positive change in this country. During ten years I have drawn public attention on several electoral campaigns and all of them were different one from the other due to legal changes. The media has a very important role, namely to inform citizens and to remind them how important is their voting presence. All this activity is done through shows, reports, interviews but also by attending various CEC and CICDE’s information campaigns. In these latest years we speak more and more often about the change of the electoral system, namely the passage to the mixed one. For us, the journalists, it is a new thing and we also need trainings and seminars”, pointed out Natalia.

The Small Grants Programme, organised by the CEC was also attended by the INFONET Alliance, focused mainly on working with the disabled, informed them on the electoral processes and organised several voting simulation sessions. The executive director of the organisation, Mr Victor Koroli, was the last  speaker at the Open Talks CICDE event. He has listed the achievements accomplished together with the CEC in facilitating information and voting access without barriers for the disabled in Moldova.

“The example of the Republic of Moldova is a very good one for this region. In the last decade, more and more innovation techniques and instruments have been implemented here, for which the Republic of Moldova is applauded by both, its external partners and the ones from the region. In this context, I will mention the implementation of the envelope providing Braille alphabet, but also the audio version for the vision-disabled, usage of the closed-circuit TV in the polling stations, usage of reading magnifiers in all polling stations, sign language translations provided in CEC premises and in some polling stations, publication of materials in a format easy to read and understand, etc.”

“During the planning process of this information and civic education campaign, we decided that we needed our own ambassadors, because this is how you represent your best advantages and we are glad that you, who attend this event today, are among our list of civic education ambassadors. The speakers at this event have not only gathered new knowledge of electoral processes in the Republic of Moldova; this information can be transferred further or will be communicated to other categories of stakeholders, such as members of our families, friends, neighbours or work colleagues, underlined the Head of the CEC, Mrs Alina Russu.

Open Talks CICDE was organised as part of the information and civic education campaign “Democracy can be taught: get involved!”, held within the project “Strengthening democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections” of UNDP Moldova with the financial support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Embassy of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Chisinau through the Good Governance Fund and the Embassy of the Netherlands through MATRA Programme.

Source: www.medium.com


News and Events

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