This project will partner with specialists in the fields of education, psychology, gaming and political sciences. We will bring on board the local administration and the schools in the target area.
Children are the future creators of this world, it is our responsibility to shape their values and principles so their decisions and actions may generate positive effects. Our aim is to contribute to the way children internalize concepts of democracy. They are active members of society, the way their behavior is influenced will ripple in their adulthood. We propose a game-like program built through non-formal education and gaming techniques that allows kids aged 6-10 to approach democracy.
The target area are 2 municipalities, Turda and Câmpia Turzii, located in North-Western Romania.
The two municipalities are both former worker-towns that have been influenced by the fall of the industrial factories of the communist regime. Once these unprofitable industrial mammoths have been taken apart the towns needed to reinvent themselves. Turda has taken the touristic development road while Câmpia Turzii is struggling to revive the industrial area. In a context of job shortage and lack of opportunities much of the active population has gone to work in other EU countries. We are addressing this area because there is a shortage of projects, kids here do not have the same exposure and opportunities as those in bigger cities. Children are also members of society and we think they have to be involved in civic life but for that they need to understand the value of community life.
Children are tomorrow`s voters and community members. We wish to contribute to good citizenship within the target area. We are convinced that children are open and willing to contribute to their community life and accept the challenge of a new game. They have power to influence their peers, their play friends, neighbors and relatives. They have strong opinions and will state them if asked the right question. They might even influence local decision makers of issues that concern them directly like schools, parks, leisure or cultural activities.
Our target group is made of 150 children that should complete the program and participate to camp. We plan to bring on board teachers, school staff and local administration representatives to create a constructive dialogue about the community challenges and opportunities. We are considering to extend the project into an on-line platform where the program modules will be integrated and to create a Sandbox Democracy game where kids can play, test and create diverse entities.
The first step is to create the project context and address the stakeholders. It is imperious we understand what type of barriers we are facing in the pandemic context. Secondly, we will bring the specialist on board and starting to build the program and at the same time locate the space (off or on-line) for testing and implementing the program, with help from schools and administration. Implementation of program and improvement of modules and techniques will be a third phase. The 3-day camp for each batch of children that complete the program will represent also a good opportunity to receive feed-back. After the project has ended we will consider making the program available for 20 teachers in the target area so they continue to build on the initial result.
The image of success would be a well-received program and a group of children that will manifest their enthusiasm regarding this new game called Sandbox Democracy. Success would also mean teachers and after-schools willing to implement the program and contribute to children’s role in society. In terms of impact on the local community success would mean more involved citizens and development in time of a better society. Also a part of these kids will become citizens of EU either through their studies or work and the good build in values we hope will ripple through their lifetime.
Our project aims to contribute to shaping the values and principles of young generations who will be tomorrow`s European citizens. It is important to involve kids as early as possible in matters of civil society and citizenships. The way they will act and react as adults to political games and changes is our responsibility as adults. Democracy in Europe is a long debated aspect mostly in the Central and Eastern European countries. There are still voices that speak against the effects of joining the EU.
All team members are parents and share a genuine concern when it comes to children`s exposure to media messages. The best and most efficient tool is to provide children the necessary techniques to be able to analyze and take decisions. Also setting a clear and strong set of values and principles when it comes to people`s roles within a community is imperative if we wish small communities to thrive. We need to help them recognize and act against all types of corruption.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Office expenses 4500 EUR
Travel and accommodation 4000 EUR
Communication and PR: 5000 EUR
Accounting & Juridic Services: 2000 EUR
HR & Specialists:13500 EUR
Program development & Implementation:17500 EUR
Camp organization & event management:13000 EUR
Website and social media channels (copy-writing, video and photo services): 4000 EUR
Reporting and project auditing services:1500 EUR
Advice from own experience regarding best practices in implementing children programs in their area of impact.