Community development


Children at the foundation of civic participation


Who is behind this?

Madalina Bouros

All Grow



Idea pitch

“If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years the democracy will be toast” said Yascha Mounk. In order to improve our democracy, we need to repair its’ foundation through civic participation starting with children.
Our solution aims to give students a voice in their communities, using the design thinking methodology we will increase and enhance childrens' (9-13 years) civic participation by building an ecosystem of collaborators formed by teachers, local community, parents & students.

Where will your project idea take place?

Romania counties Suceava, Botosani, Neamt, Iasi, Bacau, Vaslui, Vrancea, Buzau, Galati, Braila.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

According to the World Bank (2018) Romania's economic growth has been driven mainly by big agglomerations and cities excluding rural communities, which are now home to over 75% of the poor population. Rural Romanian communities especially in the North-East region, can be described as poor, decimated by migration and unemployment, lack of infrastructure and basic services and overall offer limited opportunities for growth and development. However, poverty is not the problem, but rather it's symptoms. The problem is lack of (cross-sector) collaboration and low participation in community development and active citizenship. We believe that community members can be catalysts of change in their own communities but lack access to tools, resources and knowledge to do so.

Who are you doing it for?

In 2015 the European Commission estimated that over 46% of Romanian youth are at the risk of poverty and social exclusion, percentage higher than the national average of 37%. Further, the rapid changes in society requires us to move from a repetitive linear educational model to a non-linear one, constantly evolving and capable to follow and anticipate change. Our main target are students and we aim to work with 30 schools, 3 for each county, respectively 900 students and a minimum of 30 teachers.

In each school students will work in teams to address one or more community problems and by doing indirectly the entire community will benefits from their solutions. Over the long term we are building the foundations of empowered communities with empowered citizens ready to take action.

How do you plan to get there?

1. Shortlist and select teachers from the 10 counties
2. Provide training to teachers as well as relevant tools resources
3. Each new teacher is matched with an innovative teacher to receive continuous peer to peer coaching using our existing network of innovative teachers
4. Teachers work with their students to identify a community issue, brainstorm on solution, implement their solutions and reflect on their impact
5. During a community-based event where local community and authorities will be invited, students will present their projects the event will be available online as well.
6. The presentations will include a pitch to be used in the matching process with a mentor
7. Teachers who want and quality become part of the innovative teachers’ network of multipliers

What are the expected results?

Build an ecosystem in which over 900 students will be involved in civic and community development activities, demonstrating the increase of teamwork, creativity, communication and leadership, through experiential learning activities, under the guidance of teacher facilitators, in the school year 2020 - 2021.

Train 30 teachers in innovative methods such as design thinking, to facilitate the involvement of students in community activities in 30 partner schools in rural areas in the 10 counties during school year 2020-2021, 10 of which will be selected to become part of the innovators teachers network who will become champions of our work.

Building a sustainable platform for non-formal education and community development
for at least 3000 people, providing useful tools and resources.

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

A central role in repairing and building the future of democracy is held by young people. Our educational system has stuggled to raise active citizenship and as a result children are currently disillusioned and perceive democracy as an abstract concept rather than a community-centric and vibrant set of behavior and practices they are part of.

We aim to build capacity at the local community level by leveraging teachers position in the community. Our project will enhance the capacities of teachers and enable them to engage the student in highly innovative pedagogies such as Design thinking and Maker Education by participating in project-based learning activities. By doing so children gain 21st century skills but most importantly they gain a voice and a sit at the community table.

Why is this idea important to you?

When I worked in Haiti with children, I saw for the first time what incredible power they have to create change and in this process I could observe how they became confident in their own. My role was truly little, all I was doing was supporting them and giving them relevant tools. Soon after I start thinking of my own experience as a students and how much I would have liked to experience something similar and how our country of Romania would look like if all students could have experienced this transformative process. Later, I decided to give it a try and build a program in which students find their own voice and power to create change this is how All Grow was born, believing that we all grow when we collaborate.

€ 46500,-

Total budget

€ 46500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Innovative teachers compnsation (10) who will coach 30 new teachers paid 150 EUR/month: 18,000 EUR
Teachers training training including accomodation and meals for 3 days for 30 teachers: 5000 EUR
Students materials print and design: 2000 EUR
Project manager (1000EUR/month):12,000 EUR
Schools visits (30) asses the impact and attend the local events includs transportation: 3000 EUR
Certificates and marketing materials:3000 EUR
Website:1500 EUR
Unexpected expenses:2000 EUR
TOTAL = 46,500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Any advice will be welcomed. We would love to hear the perspective of educators and why not children about our proposed idea. We believe in the power of collaboration and idea exchange and any contribution will be valuable to us and our work.



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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