Hedgehog Arci, a well-known character amongst children, who explains the voting procedures in a friendly and easy-to-understand language, starts a new journey to depict what does barrier-free elections mean.

This is the second mobile campaign of Arci, “Arci’s journey to elections”; it has started today, 4 February, on Global Elections Day, and is organised by the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training (CCET), with UNDP and USAID support provided in the framework of the “Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections” project.

As usual, Arci is guided by comics. The latest edition (fourth) “Arci – barrier free elections” covers three stories. One of them is about Braille alphabet, which is easy to read and to understand, and helps people with visual impairments to vote. Another story talks about the direct barriers encountered by people with mobility impairments at the polling stations, while the third one – about how people with hearing disabilities get acquainted with the electoral process, using the sign language. The publication is available in Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz and English.

During this “marathon”, hedgehog Arci aims to reach out to 15,000 pupils from primary school from 100 educational institutions from 10 districts of Moldova. The campaign will be conducted during February – March 2021. Volunteers will distribute to children:

All four-edition electoral education comics will be made available in Braille language. Also, a podcast version will be created. It may be listened by children with visual impairments, and used by parents, educators and teachers at home, kindergartens or schools.

“As we continuously used electoral education comics during learning activities in kindergartens, schools and even at home, we have reached now the fourth edition, which will be shared with children in order to help learn their electoral rights from an early age. In this way, they will get familiar early with the responsibility to vote and engage in participatory democracy. We do hope this edition to be successful again amongst children,” said Doina Bordeianu, CCET Director.

Eva Bounegru, UNDP Project Manager: “We succeeded in reaching out to 14,700 children during the first mobile campaign, having complied with the safety measures imposed by the COVID-19. Nowadays, we aim to reach out to another 15,000 children, bringing them information materials for personal development and moral & spiritual education classes, and for interesting activities during their spare time”.

UNDP Moldova and its partners have supported the enhancement of electoral processes in Moldova for more than ten years. To read more information about the project’s activities go to http://undp.md/electoral-support.

NOTE FOR EDITORS

During the campaign, the CCET volunteers will not go inside the premises of schools; they will disseminate the materials outdoor, in compliance with the rules for school access during the pandemic.

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