The 6th edition of the CHALLENGER Debate School program aimed to initiate its participants in developing strategies for the development of Scoreni village in Straseni district - a town with a high touristic and economic potential and with actively involved residents.
At the beginning of March 2019, the participants of the program surveyed approximately 300 residents of Scoreni. Following the survey, the main local issues faced by the residents were identified, as well as the fact that 9 out of 10 residents consider that they live in a beautiful village, 8 out of 10 are ready to help if an event is organized in village and 6 out of 10 are aware that not only the town hall is responsible for the appearance of the village.
Subsequently, the participants, divided into teams, worked on researching and identifying solutions to make Scoreni more attractive to villagers, authorities, tourists and investors.
After a long period of researching and developing strategies, the participants ventured into the debate competition - the stage in which young people learn in record time to eloquently present their position, argue it and fight the strategies of opponents. During six rounds of debates, the young people improved their presentation and debate skills. Following the competition, four winning strategies were selected.
What solutions did the young people propose?
The biggest barrel in the world
The team formed by Cătălin Caldari and Mihaela Oleacu proposed the construction of the largest barrel in the world. The tourist attraction is representative of the inhabitants, as some of the village craftsmen are carpenters. At the same time, the barrel is a key element of the Scoreni village emblem.
The young people opted for the construction of a barrel measuring 10 meters high and 8 meters long, which will cost around 80,000 lei. The money would be collected from villagers, the diaspora, the town hall and donors.
The team stated that this tourist attraction would become the main attraction of the village, would serve as a location for future events and attract tourists.
Scoreni tourist route
Ana Maria Beldiga and Vadim Tulbu proposed the creation of a tourist route to Scoreni, which would be between 50 and 70 km long. This route would include the Scoreni-Căpriana landscape reservation; Căpriana monastery; „Troița” - the traditional wooden monument from Scoreni; the carpentry workshop of the craftsman Gheorghe Miron; the improvised museum in the rural house of Margareta Șendrea and the oak of Ștefan cel Mare.
From $3,000 to $60,000 was estimated to be needed to achieve this idea, and the Challenger team would be responsible for implementation, with the support of the mayor's office and the locals.
The young people thought that the implementation of such a project would capitalize not only on the current resources of the village, but would also contribute to the development of new tourist attractions; multiplying trade points and supporting small producers.
Alina Tîrnovețchi and Vasile Leorda believed that a barrel festival, with traditional dishes, campfire and wine, could be the most attractive festival in Moldova. During such an event, the villagers would showcase the main “treasures” from their homes: barrels, handicrafts, delicious traditional dishes and, last but not least, house wine.
The old stadium, in the opinion of the young people, was the right spot to organize the event on, the estimated cost being 25,000 lei. The residents of Scoreni themselves would be involved in organizing the event, being open to such events - 8 out of 10 respondents were ready to not only to participate in the event, but also to contribute to its organization.
The young people believed that due to BootFest the village of Scoreni would become a well-known locality and a tourist destination.
Being a village with 1386 households, where crafts are intensely practiced, Scoreni is a destination of interest for people keen on rural tourism. Therefore, Valentina Malenchi and Denis Bradu proposed the implementation of the “Rural House” project, which would offer accommodation and meals for tourists in local households at a convenient price.
The young people believed that the "Rural House" would be a getaway from the daily routine of townspeople. They would have the opportunity to spend time in a quiet area, to practice fishing and to discover the national culture, staying at beekeepers, farmers, wine producers, etc.
At the same time, the "Rural House" would be an important source of increasing the income of the residents of Scoreni. According to young people's estimates, the potential gain was 76,800 lei if 4 tourists stayed in a house for a year; 307,200 lei if it included meals. The approximate cost of this strategy was 20,300 MDL.
What project did the residents of Scoreni choose?
At the final event on April 14, 2019, eight of the best participants of CHALLENGER 6 presented the four concepts for local development in the public debate "The potential of Scoreni must be capitalized." The event took place inside the Scoreni community center and brought together 125 guests, who had the opportunity to express themselves and vote for the project they liked. The event was attended by local councilors, the mayor of Scoreni village Mrs. Svetlana Tabacari, representatives of international organizations, as well as Challenger alumni.
Following the voting procedure, the people of Scoreni voted for the strategy: The biggest barrel in the world.