Eleonora Cercavschi, recipient of the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award will be honored by the Iuliu Maniu Foundation for her work defending children's right to be educated in their own language.
Cercavschi is the principal of Stefan the Great High School (Stefan Cel Mare Si Sfint Lyceum) in Grigoriopol, Moldova. She is a dedicated human rights and democracy activist who has devoted her career to defending children's right to be educated in their own language. During the last 15 years children in Romanian-language schools in Transnistria faced discrimination and persecution. Transnistrian authorities insist that public education for ethnic Moldovans in their mother tongue be done using the Soviet-originated Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet. The separatist regime, supported by Moscow, has restricted the usage of the Latin script (the norm) for the Romanian language to 6 schools, which did not want to comply with this rule. In 2002, under the pressure from Transnistrian authorities, the high school was shut down, and relocated to Dorotcaia, Dubasari district, an area controlled by the central authorities of the Republic of Moldova, some 20 km (approximately 12.5 miles) away.
Click here to view the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture.