Under the guidance of 4 EVS volunteers, the students explored, in a creative and interactive way, the issues related to road safety. They became aware of the problems in their own neighbourhood and decided to sensitise the other pupils of the school.
The students’ path towards increased awareness about road safety started with a brainstorming session animated by short videos and readings. Almost all the main issues were identified in this session that set the ground work for in depth discussions and activities on the specific topics. The next step was to underline which are the safe and responsible behaviours that everybody should adopt. This was done through the active involvement of the students who had to put themselves in a pedestrian’s shoes and follow a route drawn on posters, deciding how to behave in critical/dangerous points. The teenagers enjoyed this activity a lot and were proud to show the rest of the class that they knew what to do in the different situations. To underline the contrast between safe and risky behaviours, the students also prepared a small performance (divided in groups) representing a situation they personally experienced in relation to road safety issues. Finally, the topic of safe cars was presented: the main safety systems were introduced and the students discussed their possible developments. In general, the teens reacted positively and showed awareness about road safety as well as a strong wish to bring about positive change. In fact, despite the language difficulties (the volunteers spoke mainly English and little Romanian), they showed enthusiasm and interest that went beyond any obstacle.
The students identified a number of issues in their neighbourhood and school community then started to propose possible activities to improve the situation. It emerged that in Ciocana, one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Chisinau (and the place where the school is located) there are many road hazards and these reflect the general road safety issues in the country. Moreover, the teenagers noticed that schoolchildren often go there unaccompanied and assume unsafe behaviours. To respond effectively to these problems, the class decided to take action in two directions: first, they documented the major road safety problems in their neighbourhood and then they realised an exhibition in the school to raise awareness among their peers. They also decided to make the exhibition more interesting and interactive by organising a guided tour and a quiz for the younger pupils of the school. The exhibition is currently on display in the school hall, for the benefit of all the students.