Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Postępu Demokracji ERWIN w Ostrowcu Św. / Association for Development of Democracy ERWIN in Ostrowiec Sw.
Our challenge - to the give in Poland the opportunity to everybody to learn distantly the ABCs of democracy:
- the player draws on the virtual board 1 of 100 thematic quads (ex: Discrimination and tolerance etc.) where are statements about that concept, and chooses the correct ones: the app allows to continue the game;
- if the player makes 3 wrong choices, the app (animated character of a professor) gives the right answers and shows the sources of the knowledge).
South of Poland, especially in the post-metallurgical region of Ostrowiec Sw.
The project implementation area is a post-metallurgical region and is characterized by a low level of education and small quantity of NGOs operating in the field of human rights, democracy, etc. In addition, the region is one of the least developed in Poland, which results in a large number of people traveling to other regions for work. It also causes depopulation and aging of the entire area. As the consequence the region is facing a demographic disaster - the population has been decreasing in the region for years. People who went abroad in search of a better life, no longer intend to return for both economic and social reasons (democratic values, civil rights, etc.). In 15 years there will be twice as many retirees in Świętokrzyskie than people under 30 years old.
To enhance citizens’ engagement and participation we must at first educate them. Since the middle of 10s of the 21st century, Polish governments have rapidly reduced subsidies for educational projects in the field of democracy and human rights, especially for small, locally operating NGOs. They began to think that society is already oriented in the meanders of human rights, that it is no longer necessary to work on it. In addition, governments’ programs on democracy are so confusing, distorted and detached from the gray reality of a region like ours that it is better to stay away from them. We therefore needn’t formal education shaped by governments, but education based on a bottom-up idea, even somewhat fun, as a game, pleasure.
Due to our e-app, anyone can become direct participant of the project.
The most important beneficiaries (the most sensitive social groups) are:
- juniors (they still lack social orientation, practical knowledge and own opinion about the values of democracy: ~800 direct ones from schools);
- seniors (rather poor social group, which, despite their extensive knowledge and life experience, is practically excluded from social activity: ~300 direct ones).
Juniors are the foundation for the future society, and shaky foundations won’t guarantee the functioning of a democratic state, but the democratization may collapse. Seniors can use their knowledge but due to their detachment from society, also especially because of corona, are excluded & even family ties are broken in many cases.
1. concept design: it has already been developed in cooperation with juniors and seniors,
2. when the initial (test) version is created, it will be tested in senior and junior groups: this action will be preceded by an additional instructional meetings on how to use the app,
3. test groups comments will be introduced to the app,
4. the app will be made available to beneficiaries free of charge,
5. will be organised an information seminar with teaching staff (group or individual meetings) about the a) app as a game and b) additional methodological tips on why this acquired knowledge of democracy is effective (due to the situation in the region),
6. on the FB project fan page there will be an application available and full instructions on how to use it.
Everyone who will "play" democracy with the help of our app (on an open access basis) will gain practical knowledge in the field of civil society. We will have at least the (re)appropriation and development of knowledge which will help them to be more active in social and political life – the knowledge and skills of civic rights and democracy, usually considered to be the monopoly of the experts will become theirs. As believed A. Tocqueville, the more people who participate in a democracy, the more democratic it becomes. In after-pandemic reality, the internet enables new methods of peer-to-peer involvement among citizens who share political views and want to be active and our app will give them the conscious point of view, practical knowledge and not governmental slogans.
It is simple: our application will be available on FB, i.e. not only in Europe, but all over the world. Appropriate IT mechanisms will allow to promote / make it available for every Polish-speaking user. However, we also anticipate application binding in other languages.
The development and rooting of democracy is the MISSION of our Association and each of its members. What if not democracy? What if not the respect of human rights?
Our experience, knowledge and cooperation with the local communities seem to be sufficient argument to state that we are the right institution for responding to this challenge.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
- Office expenses (office rent, operation, calls tel. office supplies, etc.): 1950 EUR
- Travel and accommodation cost : 3000 EUR
- Public relations: 2000 EUR
- Application promotion: 1000 EUR
- Personel costs (+ developing the application, running meetings with youth & teachers): 20000 EUR
- External specialists (programmers, graphic designers, IT specialists): 15000 EUR
- Purchase of a laptop for remote and field work: 1800 EUR
- The cost of evaluation and monitoring: 1000 EUR
Is it an attractive idea?