12 Media and Information Literacy Super-trainers hold the key to a media literate future for Moldova. Following 7 months of training 12 experienced librarians have graduated from a training-of-trainers programme led by IREX Europe and the Moldovan Association of Librarians (ABRM).  On September 13th, they received their certificates signed by Liliana Nicoalescu – Onofrei, the Minister of Education, Culture and Research of Moldova.

A key challenge in development work is sustainability and institutionalization. In other words, setting up the infrastructure for long-lasting change. IREX Europe over the past five years has trained 145 librarians to be trainers in media literacy, such that they can go on and run training programmes in their communities. As a result, 463 trainings have been held with over 6990 people receiving Media and Information Literacy (MIL) capacity building which is so vital in these days of online information – and misinformation.

Now IREX Europe has worked with the ABRM to train the Super Trainers, and after 7 months they are ready to go on and train more librarians and community leaders, in local communities around Moldova, ensuring that MIL capacity building for the Moldovan population can continue.

The 12 Super Trainers will also have online and hard-copy training tools as a support for their future work, and the future training of their trained trainers, Accreditation of the training programme by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research is in process.

Through the Super Trainers’ work the Moldovan public will learn to understand the influence of and dangers in modern media and information systems. They’ll learn about filtering of information, identifying false information, techniques in media manipulation, propaganda, the online environment with all its traps: trolling, cyber-bullying, grooming, sexting, online addiction, the role of the journalist, professional ethics in the media, the role of the media in a democratic society.

The Super Trainers had all taken part of IREX Europe’s previous Media Literacy training programmes, but with the guidance of Senior Trainer Natalia Grîu – they’ve now taken their skills to a much more advance level, with a far deeper understanding of Media and Information Literacy, and the process of training trainers.

Super Trainer Iulia Spînu, director of the Cimișlia municipal library says: “I have learned many useful things, which will bring more value to my community. I will help them understand where are the fake news and not be manipulated in order to have a better life”.

The Super Trainers will work through the 7 Centers of excellence for vocational training in: Bălți, Cahul, Căușeni, Telenești, Orhei, Ceadîr-Lunga and Chisinau and will train librarians from district centers and villages around the country.

Super Trainer Nadejada Pădure, the director of the rayon public library in Straseni: “It is the longest training course I have attended in my 34 years of activity and – I say it with all confidence and with all my heart – it is the most interesting course”.

Super Trainer Marina Mariana Rusu, scientific researcher at the Scientific Library (Institute) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research: “It was a great pleasure for me to learn and grow with the best ones  and remain with the most beautiful and intense experience of this year. ”

The implemented activities are part of IREX Europe’s Strengthening Independent Media and Media Literacy in Moldova  funded by the US Department of State.