Eco-TIRAS holds the thirteenth annual educational environmental summer school "Dniester 2020" for youth (July 17-29th, 2020). This year, COVID-19 interfered with the plans to hold it traditionally on the banks of the Dniester and it had to go online. The organizers pondered for a long time whether they would be able to convey important information to the youngsters, fully share knowledge and experience, acquaint and make friends with each other. It was important to involve the youth in the process, to keep their attention and interest, so in the end they decided to do so and it is worth it.
“The experts were divided into two camps - pessimists and optimists. The optimists have won. The school is surprisingly effective, bright, friendly and fun. Youth from Moldova (from the two banks of the Dniester) and Ukraine are participating. We counted on the age of 15 to 20 years, but unexpectedly many students, teachers, NGO representatives and journalists asked to participate as well. And we accepted them into our school, because it means that people are interested in what we do and what we teach. The more ecologically educated people around, the better we will save our region and the environment. In total, about 40 young people participate, but about 30 more people (teachers, journalists, NGOs) joined us in the group on FB and discuss the events with us,” said Tatiana Siniaeva from the network of Moldovan NGOs of river keepers Eco-TIRAS.
The school has several modules:
1. Educational module
Experts talk about the challenges in the Dniester basin, about transboundary management of water and other natural resources, about the preservation of flora and fauna, about water quality and related public health. Lot of attention is paid to international agreements in the field of the environment, in particular, the Aarhus Convention and European environmental legislation.
The organizers also conduct trainings on leadership, explain why and how NGOs are created and how individuals can get involved in the public life of the country, become leaders or just useful members of an NGO, or active volunteers.
For lectures, conversations, trainings, the summer school has attracted famous scientists from its region and beyond. They also paid attention not only to the history of our region, but also to the principles of building a democratic peace in the whole world, without wars and with tolerance.
2. Creative module
New FB group was opened, where the life is in full swing. Participants work a lot independently in teams, participate in competitions, intellectual games, and create their own groups on social networks, where they post useful and relevant information for their friends, colleagues and relatives.
3. Leisure module
Participants watch films of past summer schools, videos of good and useful events, and also attend excursions to interesting places in Moldova.
The school is held with the assistance of the organizations with which we cooperate – the Confidence Building Program of the United Nations Development in Moldova with the support of the European Union, the GEF Dniester Project, the Czech NGO ARNIKA Project, supported by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German NGO UfU with the support of the German Environment Agency.