The year 2018 will not only be remembered as the 25th anniversary of the Slovenian study circles, but above all by the richness of events, books and journals prepared by the institutions that carry out and offer these forms of non-formal learning. Recently, the MOCIS AEC in Slovenj Gradec and the Anbot Society in Piran celebrated the 15th anniversary of the study circle activity.
The Anbot Piran Society is extremely active and recognisable since it has transformed the town into a true learning local community. On the date of their anniversary they published a journal titled Everything is possible (in Slovenian), in which they illustrate their creative work in the coastal area in a colourful way.
Activities of the Anbot Piran Society of aficionados of cultural and natural heritage are aimed at preserving the cultural heritage. Their activities include individuals who are aware of the importance of lifelong learning, intergenerational connections and the expansion of voluntary work. The society is recognisable for the organisation of fairs of antiques, home crafts and gifts of nature in Piran, the conducting of study circles such as the Restoration, Istrian Wicker Baskets, Mosaic, Calligraphy, Street Decorations, themed exhibitions, special events on the days of European cultural heritage in Piran and various activities for children and adolescents as well as adults.
Natalija Planinc, the president of the society, not only strengthened the understanding of the heritage, but also transformed it from nostalgic perceptions into everyday efforts, which involve Piran professional and educational public and private institutions, the parish, citizens, the media and local politics. She has achieved that the events are aimed at both the locals and the visitors of Piran, while presenting cultural heritage not only as a tradition but as a part of a living culture. She always emphasises the value of voluntary and entertainment work inextricably linked to lifelong learning. As a mentor of study circles, she specially promotes collaborative learning and encourages residents of the municipality to work for the common good.
At the MOCIS AEC in Slovenj Gradec they commemorated the anniversary with the publication of the journal which combines short presentations of individual study circles that were organised into five themed “bouquets”. Many study circles have hitherto been intended for personal growth and artistic creation. All these activities are described in the journal. Especially interesting is the section Ecology, Cuisine and a Healthy Way of Life that connects nature and our everyday life. The participants most often choose the topics by themselves.
MOCIS conducts its study circles in nature by arranging displays, taking care of facilities and green surfaces in the town. They visit the elderly and the sick and cheer them up, for example, with beautiful thoughts written in calligraphic script. They prepared numerous brochures: Sacral Architectural Heritage of the Municipality of Slovenj Gradec (2014), a poster Flourishing Meadows of Slovenj Gradec Suburbs and Štrekna – an Iron Road Once, a Cycling Trail Today (2018). Part of circles dealt with nature and herbs, while some of them dealt with the preservation of cultural heritage. MOCIS realises their motto: “Let learning run through your life” through their work.
Both institutions work at an intergenerational level and ensure that the knowledge is transferred between generations. This way they achieve that values are passed down to younger generations.
The SIAE is proud of the year-long successful collaboration, therefore we sincerely congratulate everyone mentioned as well as others who were not mentioned by name and we hope that their work up to the present date is only a starting point of the work to be done in the future.
Dr Nevenka Bogataj (email@example.com), SIAE