The initiative engages with rural communities by having schools be the central focus for encounters between adults, youth, and children.
SCHOOLS BECOME MULTIFUNCTIONAL CENTRES
This initiative, in Garliava, aims to engage and mobilise adults, through their children, to actively participate in forming neighbourhood and community programmes. The main idea is to empower rural schools to organise activities as a multifunctional centre, bringing together all generations.
A diverse programme of aCTIVITIES
Activities within the programme include: cleaning and greening of the school’s surroundings; organising tailored events for children and their parents, such as the celebration of the start of the school year and Christmas festivities, as well as a celebration to honour elders, thematic quizzes, a family sports competition, and an end-of-year school concert; organising civic actions that are very much appreciated by the rural community, such as giving your neighbour a national flag or a Christmas card, bringing schoolchildren, their parents, and teachers together to prepare and distribute items; organising tailored practical training for parents on positive parenting and spending more quality time with their children; and, encouraging parents to become proactive members of the school community, through activities, such as building a greenhouse close to the school where their children grow vegetables which are later prepared for school meals.
FORMER SCHOOL STUDENTS CONTINUE TO ATTEND EVENTS
The community’s activities are expanding in number and volume, engaging even the most resistant community members. Rural residents whose children graduated from the school continue participating in the community’s activities. Former school students bring their own children to community events. Six annual events organised by the school are becoming traditional events. The established cooperation between the municipal/district authorities and the school, as well as the opportunity for the school and rural community to bring their concerns to the attention of local authorities, builds trust in governance mechanisms and democratic institutions.