Education and research, Social inclusion

Center for shared learning “I’m, therefore we’re”

Establishing a safe and diversity appreciating space where children are supported to discover and develop their potential, talents and strengths and feel socially included and valued.


Who is behind this?

Mariya Philipova

Education community - Varna


Who is joining forces?

Parent Academy


We plan to partner with local organisations, public bodies and experts in field of Education and Children inclusion and one centre for inclusive education in Sofia.


Idea pitch

Children and young people in Varna who do not feel well-accepted in educational institutions find it hard to appreciate their own individuality, significance and to develop their potential and talents due to lack of adaptability of the education system to their personal needs. We are creating a space for them and their families that values individuality and responds to diversity through opportunities for self-directed learning and demonstration of competence, autonomy and belonging.

Where will your project idea take place?

Varna region, Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Children who do not attend educational institutions have no places for socialization while learning, those with physical disabilities have no alternatives for leisure time in our city.
Children are not given the opportunity to express their position on topics related to their education and personal development.
In Varna there is no place where children with different developmental abilities and different ages gather together to learn from their diversity.
In the local schools:
- The individuality of each child is rarely valued so that they can realize their importance and develop their opportunities and interests.
- Differences, rather than being a cause of mutual enrichment, are the cause of discrimination, intolerance, aggression, mental and physical harassment.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target group are children who are excluded from the standard educational system or are part of it but experience educational difficulties and do not find the relevant support to realize and develop their talents, strengths and personal skills. According to data from the local municipality around 450 of them are children at risk, around 600 “gifted” children, around 180 children - with chronic diseases, around 1350 children - with special educational needs.
We aim at supporting:
- 200 children with self-directed and project-based learning and individual consultations;
- 50 adults (parents, teachers and other child specialists) with inclusive ideas and practices and consultations;
- 3 local schools in the inclusion process;
- over 2000 people with webinars, materials on inclusion.

How do you plan to get there?

Phase 1: Planning and Preparation
Compliance - familiarity with the law and regulations
Hiring the team and allocating tasks and responsibilities - sociocracy as a method
Exploring the needs of people and organizations that work with children, what we can support them with, and attitudes in society - interviews, surveys, public and personal discussions.
Preparation of documentation for work in the center
Establishment of a code of ethics and approach to work of the center
Promoting and reaching out to our target groups - contacting local educational and education-supporting structures
Finding space - sourcing equipment, furniture and educational materials and consumables; Creation of tools and models for evaluation of the activity - internally within the team and feedback from users of the services
Sustainability planning: products and services to cover our costs, people's engagement, satisfaction.
Phase 2: Opening the center and ongoing activities: Planning a programme for activities and projects for children and services for adults
Attracting children and families to adapt the program to their needs and to receive feedback Promotion of the center - media partners
Fund-raising activities - sponsorships, charity events, crowd-funding campaigns,
Phase 3: Evaluation and future development
Evaluation of the activity and feedback;
Development of the center.

What are the expected results?

Children who are not included in or are outside educational institutions receive an environment that values their individuality, and they contribute to the development of others.
These children realize their own significance, discover and develop their strengths and talents.
Through activities and real projects, job-shadowing children will become familiar in practice with different professions.
Change attitudes towards inclusion and awareness of its personal contribution to the school communities we work with.
Promotion of the child as valuable to society with its position, individuality and integrity among society.
Building a team practice for common work between institutions, children's specialists, parents and children to support every child in the center and share it with society.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

We are working to make education a socially relevant topic and to seek the opinion of all people in society.
Children and their families in our center will contribute to its creation and direction of development with ideas and resources.
Engaging external participants in the projects of the children in order to contribute to their experience, knowledge and skills, as well as to develop new ones.
Exchange of resources, ideas and know-how and common initiatives with other organizations and specialists working with children.
With public discussions and events on the challenges of education and socializing children, we enable citizens to participate in finding solutions.
We educate the society where to find additional support.

Why is this idea important to you?

Child Inclusion and development is a topic close to our hearts because of all children we interact with as pedagogues, parents and volunteers. Living in Varna we observe and face the challenge of children to be valued for who they are and the impossibility of meeting their personal needs in educational institutions. Our cause is to set an example and share how the learning environment and the process of personal development can be created in partnership with children and adults. We gathered our experience and skills of working with children with different abilities, coaching, career counseling, leadership, volunteering, community building, nonviolent communication, partnership, project management, attracting like-minded people and resources and decided to act!!!

€ 36000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Popularisation and Advertising (Promotion) - 1 900 EUR
Personnel costs - 14 000 EUR
Consultations - 500 EUR
Operating Expenses (Rent, Furnishing, Educational materials) - 19 600 EUR
Total: 36 000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We will be thankful for any feedback and comments on all of the sections of the project. This will help us develop our concept and make it better.
We are open to share experience with other potential partners working in the field of education and application of good practices for project management


Education Community Varna


Idea created on April 26, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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