50 children from Moldova are spending ten days of vacation at the ENERGEL Summer Camp learning how to use renewable energy and discovering the secret of smart energy consumption. The children were selected following a public competition launched by the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Irina Constantinova, 12, is studying at a school in Comrat. Together with a group of local enthusiasts, she invented a motorcycle powered from solar energy. It earned her ticket to the ENERGEL Summer Camp. “For three years I have come daily to the Comrat Association for Wind Energy Promotion, and together with the team we learnt to make the best of solar energy. We have already built four motorcycles using clean solar energy, which does not pollute the atmosphere“, says Irina, and tells about her next dream project: a solar car.
From 6 to 17 of June, the fourth edition of the ENERGEL Summer Camp is taking place in the village of Raculesti, Criuleni district. The first edition was in 2012.
„Energy security and a sustainable energy future are among the key priorities on the agenda of the European Union, with a secure and safe environment being crucial for the well-being of the population and for the future of our children. I would like to congratulate the children who were selected for this year’s edition of Energel Camp and to wish them an interesting learning process“, Pirkka Tapiola, the Ambassador of the European Union in the Republic of Moldova declared during today’s visit to the Summer Camp.
The Camp is part of an educational initiative for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency, which was initiated by the EU-UNDP “Moldova Energy and Biomass” Project in the same communities where it also installed a number of biomass boilers. “The Ministry of Economy supports the initiative successfully launched by the Energy and Biomass Project for studying the renewable energy and energy efficiency in schools. Its results are striking and demonstrate that young people are those who bring change in their communities and their families by example and thanks to their own belief”, Valeriu Triboi, Deputy Minister of Economy, says.
In 2011 the Energy and Biomass Project launched its first renewable energy and energy efficiency competition. The competition engaged schools from the communities whose public institutions had benefitted from biomass heating systems thanks to the project’s European funds. In 2013 the Ministry of Education supported the initiative and introduced teaching about “Renewable Energy Sources” as an optional course in all schools in Moldova. From 2011 to 2014 over 350 schools in the country joined this initiative, with 19,000 students learning about renewable energy and energy efficiency. The best student, selected with a public competition, received an invitation to the ENERGEL Summer Camp.
“Children can play an instrumental role in the quest for sustainability”, said Dafina Gercheva, UNDP Moldova Resident Representative. “Together with the EU and the Government of Moldova, we are working to raise awareness about the benefits of renewable energy sources. This is critical if we want to change consumption and production patterns. Our generation should not deprive our children from living in a green and pollution-free world, so we need to find innovative solutions to the complex development challenges we see in front of us”.
The present educational initiative on renewable energy and energy efficiency is carried out in partnership with the Continuing Education Institute, the Children and Youth Center “Gutta-Club” and the Energy Efficiency Agency.
The Energy and Biomass Project is now in its second phase, which will last for three-years (2015-2017). The project received a funding of EUR 9.41 million from the European Union and is implemented by the UNDP.