The lack of educational programs for young people about forming harmonious and lasting families where problems are analyzed and solved in a non-violent manner has determined the ‘La Strada’ specialists to elaborate a curriculum for the optional subject ‘Harmonious family relationships’ for students in the X-XII grades.
During the school year 2016-2017, the course was implemented by 22 educational institutions from the Republic of Moldova. And during the period 2016-2020 the course was taught in over 40 lyceums in the country.
From the over 20 teachers who taught the ‘Harmonious family relationships’ course and their students we found out that it is one of the most popular optional courses in their school. The teachers also mentioned that they would prefer to talk to children about harmonious relationships and emphatic communication in the children’s early adolescence.
Through the agreement that we signed with UN Women Moldova today, we take on the responsibility to extend the age spectrum when the children can learn about harmonious family relationships, appropriate to their age and understanding from resources and contents adapted to the needs and particularities of their age.
A study of the impact the subject had after the first year of its implementation shows that some of the learnings the lyceum students picked up were put into practice in their personal relationships: I learned not to be a slave to the feeling of love, to be honest with my partner; it teaches us how to build a strong, lasting relationship, how to communicate, and how to solve the problems instead of avoiding them, because avoiding leads to worse things; these lessons gives us the chance to express our opinions. It doesn’t matter if they are right or not, it is important to say what we think and then compare our opinion with the opinion of the others. The course determined beneficial changes in the students’ relationships with their parents as well – I got closer to my mother after talking to her about the subjects discussed in class.
Daniela Misail-Nichitin, Executive Director of the IC ‘La Strada’: ‘The subject is very relevant especially at the gymnasium level, because it responds perfectly to the needs of children aged 14-15. We are grateful that UN Woman became a donor and a loyal partner open to support the investment into education. We appreciate the willingness of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, because although the school curriculum is already very full, they offer the students, teachers and parents the possibility to find out more about the ways of building and maintaining harmonious and healthy family relationships within the optional course’.
‘Gender stereotypes and social norms are at the base of the continuity of gender inequality. Roles attributed to women and men, girls and boys in the family and society create unequal power relationships and lead to gender-based discrimination and violence. Through the educational system, we must work with teenagers, both girls and boys, in order to contest the existing stereotypes and promote positive social norms based on equality and mutual respect. We firmly believe that through this partnership with La Strada and the launch of the harmonious relationships programs, we make a big step in the right direction.’ - Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Moldova country representative.
The optional subject ‘Harmonious family relationships’ is a source of information for teenagers, but also a subject for meditation, a lab in which they build new skills of assertive communication and forming of lasting, healthy relationships in their future families. Adapting the course ‘Harmonious family relationships’ to the students in grades VIII-IX is a continuation of La Strada’s efforts in preventing gender-based violence and reducing violence against women by educating young people all over the country.