Young Bulgarians still don’t "speak" the language and principles of Europe, especially in the country’s poorest region - the North-West. We aim to motivate students from the region to grasp the EU principles of tolerance, solidarity, civic activism practically – through school mediation trainings and mock school disputes, where students change roles, learn how to tackle bullying, to be tolerant, to communicate and negotiate effectively, to become stronger individuals with civic consciousness.
In schools from the most economically underdeveloped region of the EU – the Bulgarian North-West.
We will be focusing on schools in the economically underdeveloped Bulgarian North-West, specifically in Pleven and the vicinity. There, the annual population decline amounts to roughly 4000 people. The surrounding villages are predominantly populated by members of the Roma minority, who struggle to achieve integration, acceptance, and equal opportunities. Many of these issues stem from the classroom, where students acquire neither key communication, dispute resolution and leadership skills, nor practical understanding of what it requires to be a tolerant and solidary citizen of United Europe.
Empowering young individuals by boosting their communication, negotiation, dispute resolution and leadership skills, by challenging them to walk a mile in the shoes of their peers, by illustrating through games, role-playing and mock school mediation cases the pain inflicted by bullying and intolerance - will all make local student communities become more emphatic, tolerant, united, civically active, hence more European.
For the young people of Pleven and the vicinity – both for the community of all students and specifically for the members of marginalized communities and ethnic groups. The Project shall involve app. 120 students from the local schools. At the same time, the project seeks to equip around 20 teachers from local schools with practical techniques for handling student conflicts in a peaceful manner, through the implementation of peer mediation practices.
We believe that the key to successfully getting the attention of students is through involving them in practical exercises. This is why we plan two main lines of activity: 1. To host practically-oriented workshops on school mediation, negotiation, effective communication, amicable resolution of school disputes, empathy and tolerance; 2. To organize games, role-playing and mock school mediation sessions, where students switch different roles, incl. the role of the aggressor, the victim, the inactive bystander, the mediator.
All of the above shall be based on a unified methodology for implementing amicable dispute resolution processes in the schools, which shall be made freely available on a designated for the purpose website.
Teaching students valuable communication, negotiation and leadership skills, stimulating them to be more emphatic, solidary and civically engaged, will all transform positively the targeted school environments and hence empower the whole local community of Pleven and its vicinity.
It does so by making young individuals experience first-hand what the principles of United Europe are in practice – what being tolerant and emphatic requires on an every-day basis, how to stand up for your peers who are experiencing challenges, how to take the initiative and be the motor of dispute resolution within your school community, along with how to teach others to embrace these principles.
Via Humanica is motivated to implement "THE SCHOOL OF TOMORROW HAPPENS TODAY", since our experts are strongly concerned that 13 years after Bulgaria became a member of the EU many of its young people do not feel a sense of belonging to the Union and its principles, do not develop basic communication, negotiation and leadership skills in school, are giving in to prejudices, discrimination and violence.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
1. Personnel costs (for developing both training materials, cases, etc. and the unified methodology) - 2000 EUR.
2. Personnel costs (for conducting all trainings, role-playing, mock school mediation sessions, etc.) - 2500 EUR.
3. Training conduction costs (printing copies of all training materials and the unified methodology; stationery) - 1000 EUR.
4. Marketing and dissemination (promoting all project activities) - 1500 EUR.
5. Developing, hosting, maintaining a project website - 2000 EUR.
Any advice that may help us achieve the goals of "THE SCHOOL OF TOMORROW HAPPENS TODAY" more efficiently and with a greater impact.