“Arci and the Forest Council” is available as an audiobook

September 15, 2023

The audio version of the first election-themed children's book, “Arci and the Forest Council”, was released today, 15 September 2023, on the International Day of Democracy. The author Ionela Hadârcă is also the narrator, and the characters are voiced by professional actors. The audio show is recorded and edited by the Public Broadcasting Institution “Teleradio-Moldova” Company.

The book, both the printed and audio versions, was edited/produced at the initiative of the Center for Continuous Electoral Training (CCET), with the support of UNDP and USAID Moldova, within the project “Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent Elections”, implemented by UNDP Moldova.

The audio format of the book allows children with visual impairments to access the content, and the language used is simple and easy to understand.

The production promotes the idea that in a democratic society everyone's opinion and vote counts, telling children about the essence of free and fair elections through Arci the hedgehog and his friends.

According to Ionela Hadârcă, “Arci and the Forest Council” is not only about elections in their civic sense. It is about choices in friends, overcoming fears, indifference, prejudices and pride, about unity and community spirit: “We can't talk to kids about political choices if we don’t help them learn how to make good choices every day. Arci mobilizes the forest creatures to participate in the voting process, but also, along the way, he helps some of them save themselves and understand that sometimes you need support in order to make important changes. It was a book written with love and joy, and its content was adapted for a radio show so that the story could be ‘watched’ without pictures. As a narrator, I had fun and learned from the art of audio theater”.

“We are coming up with a new educational product that features Arci and his friends in the center of the story. We hope that this radio show will offer moments of joy and learning for the little ones, and that it will also be appreciated by adults. Parents and teachers can use it to have discussions about everyone's role in the community about good and bad, about diversity of opinion and involvement - all in a fun and informative way,” said Doina Bordeianu, CCET Director.

“Arci and the Forest Council” received the 2022 Award of the Writers' Union from the Republic of Moldova, at the category books for children and youth. 

Starting from 15 September, students from 48 high schools, vocational schools and colleges from 12 districts who have reached the age of voting will be visited as part of the mobile campaign “Arci's Road to Elections”. The students will learn about the specifics of local elections and what is the voting procedure, and will receive the “Electoral ABC” brochure.

Since 2019, UNDP Moldova has supported the creation of several educational products for children, including five editions of electoral comics, available in five languages (Romanian, Ukrainian, Romani, Russian and Gagauz), four of which were also released in audio format, as well as in Braille language.