The School of Freedom

An initiative aiming to contribute to the development and empowerment of young people in becoming active and socially responsible adults and the training of teachers to support them in the process.


Who is behind this?

Oana Marchis

Voci pentru Democratie si Justitie


Who is joining forces?

Ratiu Democracy Centre


Ministry of Education and Research


Local Student Coucils


Local schools and teachers from communities we want to approach.


Idea pitch

The project is a series of practical workshops aiming to empower young people to become active and responsible citizens. Follow-up to our legal education project, this project's purpose is to educate young people in freedom of speech, rights and responsibilities, active citizenship, inclusion and human rights topics, so they can multiply the knowledge and impact in their communities. To support this, teachers will also be trained and online materials provided and disseminated.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project is based in Cluj county; participants come from urban and rural communities in Romania.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

As a young democracy, Romania needs its youth to be aware of their rights and responsibilities, civically engaged and socially responsible. The Romanian educational system is highly focused on academic performance, yet less focused on developing civic and legal knowledge and enhance democratic attitudes. Our project aims to challenge the mindset and beliefs of both teachers and students in borh urban and rural communities in Romania, creating awareness and empowering them to multiply the effect in their own communities and schools. They will therefore understand that we are all active actors in shaping attitudes, both by learning and by doing. As mindsets and beliefs take time to be shaped, the butterfly effect will show its results in time, with involvement from all relevant stakeholders.

Who are you doing it for?

The direct target groups are highschool students from Romania, as well as their teachers. the indirect beneficiaries are the communities and schools from where students and teachers come from. the whole point of the project is to encourage and support freedom of speech and civic engagement, so students and teachers will be encouraged to express their opinions and than negotiate, as well as agree to disagree respectfully towards others. they will not only learn the content of each workshop, but also be involved in the process, so that they can further replicate it. The Romanian educational system is also an indirect beneficiary of initiatives coming from the civil society aiming to compensate for officially unapproached topics.

How do you plan to get there?

Workshops for 30 students:
1. (March/April 2021) approaches the topics of Freedom of expression and internet freedom; International justice and combating impunity; Human rights defenders.
2. (August/September 2021) approaches the topics of Freedom of religion and belief, on Equal rights for women and girls, and on Equal rights for LGBTI.
Most of the non-formal games and simulation used in these workshops are taken from one of the European institutions dealing with human rights protection and promotion of democracy and rule of law, Council of Europe.
20 teachers will pre trained in a separate workshop.
Sustainability online tools - a set of brochures, resources and useful activities and exercises, videos will become available on an online platform.

What are the expected results?

The expected changes that will show us that we have achieved the projects’ objectives will be the following:
• 30 high school students will be trained to understand and develop a larger perspective on the topics, developing an inclusive approach to diversity. They will acquire and improve practical skills and civic attitudes. By developing functional behaviors, students will gradually change their mindset in regards to themselves as well as others, which will lead to developing functional attitudes in complicated social situations and improved problem solving skills.
• Sustainability online tools - a set of brochures, resources and useful activities and exercises, videos will become available on an online platform.
● 20 teachers will gain and use kowledge on content and delivery.

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

People are sensitive to 2 different types of reward - immediate rewards (appreciation, benefits, etc.) and postponed rewards, such as a sense of meaning. We want to create a system of incentives to encourage young people not only to understand and act responsibly for themselves, but also to make a change in their own community. Through a series of practical workshops, young people will be actively involved in creating and disseminated tools that enable freedom of speech, human rights, active citizenship and social inclusion. With a close guidance from trained mentors (teachers), they will thereafter create their own initiatives in their communities, following the democratic principles and orientation towards sustainable action and civic engagement.

Why is this idea important to you?

Our organisation associates its mission and work with the folloswing values: democracy and civic attitude, freedom and ethics, when it comes to people and the society, respect for law, justice and safety, responsibility, transparency and integrity when it comes to the justice systems and public institutions.
Our credibility is given by the coherent and impactful initiatives and projects we have developed at an individual, community and society level on legal education and its importance for the educational system in Romania. This idea enables us to broaden our purpose and make a change in the life of young people.

€ 45700,-

Total budget

€ 45700,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Human Resources salaries - 30000 Eur
Transportation for speakers and participants - 4500 Eur
Communication, prints, tools, advertising - 7200 Eur
Meals and coffee breaks for the participants - 2000 Eur
Other costs - 2000 Eur

*the contribution includes the accommodation at Casa Ratiu in Turda for the workshops

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive feedback on how relevant they believe our idea is, as well as suggestions and recommendations for its implementation and sustainability.


Oana Marchis


Idea created on May 27, 2020

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