in Europe

3480 children from both banks of the Dniester river benefited from psycho-social activities

April 1, 2014, Chisinau, Moldova: In one year, 39 teachers and 3480 children from 20 local communities of both banks of the Dniester river benefited from a variety of activities that led to the improvement of the development of children from rural areas and the prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, by means of the “Building a common approach to children” project.

The project was carried out by the Terre des hommes Delegation in Moldova. Its success was possible thanks to the fruitful collaboration with the Department for Education of Falesti district and “Care and attention to the childhood” Foundation from the Transnistrian region and due to the financial assistance of the “Support to Confidence Building Measures” Programme funded by the European Union, co-funded and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The aim of the project was achieved by introducing new methodologies of working with children in schools, training and building the capacity of professionals, facilitating and encouraging the dialogue among professionals of both banks of the Dniester river, conducting research on the impact of the new methodologies and providing policy recommendations, and raising awareness about abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.

The two methodologies that were welcomed in the local communities are Movement, Games, Sport and Creativity and Ludoteca (game library). The former is based on group psychosocial activities with both physical and creative aspects. The latter is a socio-educational service that provides children with a safe environment for play, communication, relaxation and informal learning. Both methodologies help children overcome situations of vulnerability and contribute to strengthening their resilience.

By training and coaching 39 teachers and creating game libraries and providing equipment, these methodologies were introduced in the schools of 10 communities from Falesti district and 10 communities from the Transnistrian region. As a result, 3480 children from rural areas on both banks of the Dniester river benefited from psychosocial activities which were held in child-friendly conditions.

One important feature of the project was the joint learning and the experience sharing among teachers from the right and left banks of the Dniester river. It was supported by a joint training held in Ukraine, where teachers had the opportunity to improve their level of understanding of child participation, non-violent communication, stereotypes, and positive discipline.

Further, an online community for professionals has been created – “A common approach to children” . The community is an information, learning and communication tool dedicated to child protection professionals from both banks of the Dniester river. In the first 3 months on the community’s life, more than 70 registered members are engaged in sharing useful information and new ideas for psychosocial activities. This online tool will ensure that the communication among the professionals will continue after the project ends.

To help raise awareness about the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, “A common approach to children” community welcomes the general public to learn about the activities and results of the project.

The project will conclude with a complementary joint workshop for animators that will take place on April 5-6, 2014, in Vadul lui Voda. The workshop will bring together the 39 teachers that were directly involved in the project’s activities. The programme of the workshop will include the presentation of the main findings of the “Impact of the psychosocial group activities on child development and behaviour” study and classes that will help teachers to improve their skills in complementary methods of working with children – “Use of recycling materials in activities with children” and “New ludoteca games”. Overall, the workshop will be an excellent opportunity to share experiences from both banks of the Dniester river, based on successes, difficulties and lesson learned during the implementation of group activities with children. (AC)