Our ideas and goals for the project participants are to use mediation methods in the school with their classmates, teachers, parents, and friends. Conflicts at school can cause bullying. Through the project, we will train pupils and teachers on mediation’s methods who will try to resolve conflicts with arguments for mutual understanding. The target groups are pupils and teachers of all educational stages in the school.
The town of Kardzhali, south Bulgaria
The specific in this social challenge is the preparation for social cohesion through mediation, which is social competence and civic activity. Through it, we will oppose discrimination, social inequality, prejudice, and stereotypes. The challenge to introduce and apply informed mediation to young people at school is for the first time in our region. The model of social cohesion starts at an early age with the ability to resolve conflicts in a voluntary way to prevent social exclusion. The project is addressed to young people who work and study in the largest school in southern Bulgaria and live with their families in the largest neighborhood, with 20,000 inhabitants, in the town of Kardzhali. This knowledge and skills will be applied in the school, family, and neighborhood environment.
The key target groups are pupils (20) from the secondary and upper stages ages 12-18 and 10 teachers teaching in these levels. The choice is justified by the prevailing controversial cases in this age. Some of the teachers are teaching pupils at all levels. The aim is to cover all pupils because cases of aggression and bullying arise from an early age and continue until the end of school. The key figure - the school psychologist is familiar with conflict situations and through training and practice with mediation's methods, we will aim to prevent their recurrence and find a form of a voluntary collaborative process where pupils who have a conflict with one another identify issues and try to find options for mutual understanding.
The project action plan is as follows.
1. Conducting a study of negative cases at school and analysis of the causes for them
2. Selection of teachers and students to participate in the mediation seminar
3. Conducting seminars for steps of mediation
4. Conducting meetings with class teachers to get acquainted with mediation and give guidance on how to deal with conflicts between students,
5. Organizing class time in order to get acquainted with the mediation techniques
6. Establishment of a mediator's club by trained teachers and pupils
7. Presenting the mediator's club to the school management and adopting a plan for its activities and future activities.
8. Publication of “School Mediator’s Manual'' into Bulgarian and English
9. Conducting demonstration-simulation lessons by participants in the mediator's club in front of pupils from the school
10. Presentation of the role of mediation and demonstration of controversial cases to pupils and teachers from neighboring high schools in the municipalities of Ardino, Kirkovo, and Krumovgrad in the district of Kardzhali.
11. Presentation of the method of mediation at parent meetings
12. Publications of articles and participation in local radio about the role and purpose of the project
13. Presentation of the “School Mediator’s Manual'' to other schools and educational institutions in the town of Kardzhali.
The use of mediation in school is for first time in our region. At the end of the project, we expect the following results: reduction of cases of aggression and bullying; trained pupils and teachers to use mediation; creating a mediator's club; cooperation with parents; using the mediation experience of pupils and teachers for the local community; printing of a mediator's manual; presentation of the experience with mediation in other schools in the district; public presentation of the project results in the local newspapers; demonstration of mediation through simulation games; presentation of the mediation in schools in other municipalities of Kardzhali district; present the mediation’s methods to parents during the parent meetings.
Our idea strengthens active citizenship by:
• begin of a method for voluntary resolution of interpersonal and social problems,
• start at school then in the neighborhood, in the town and last to the district level. Mediation is unknown in the region, it is difficult to start with adults and that is why we start with pupils who will transfer the acquired knowledge and skills to their families and the community,
The quality of life will improve, by overcoming contradictions, discrimination, prejudices, and stereotypes, through mediation. The project gives decision-making rights not through coercion, but through persuasion. Mediation is part of civic education, its core is dialogue, and it is a skill for civic inclusion in public life.
The members of our team are active citizens, professionals, and with long project experience.
• Penka Wood - project coordinator, chairman of the Association with experience in the non-governmental sector since 1999 participating in national and international seminars and projects. She speaks English
• Neshka Shopova - project organizer, pedagogical advisor at the school, leader of youth projects, conducts public events in the neighborhood and the city. He speaks German and English.
• Dobrina Stoichena - psychologist - consultant, a psychologist at the school, graduated "Psychology" and "Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy". Works with students with problem behavior conducts research, consults parents, teachers, and citizens.
• Stefka Pechilkova – project’s accountant
Funding requested from Civic Europe
I. Personnel - project team - 11580,00
II. Conducting seminars
1. Conducting a two-day seminar of the module N1 "Negotiating" - 2275 euro
2. Conducting a two-day seminar of the module N 2 ''Conflict resolution'' - 2275 euro
3. Conducting a three-day seminar of the module N 3 “Mediation’’ - 4120,00
III. Transport and food for meetings- 1740,00
IV. Printing of a Mediator's manual - 3750,00
V. Consummatives - 800,00
VI. Equipment - 1400,00
TOTAL PRICE – 27940,00
We want to receive advice on how to promote the idea of school mediation, comments of the various stages to make decisions and to receive feedback for our results, and exchange ideas and recommendations. Our ultimate goal is to establish mediation in other schools in the district of Kardzhali.