Laura, the youth association
Domka, Salesian Youth Association
Civic Council - Sásová: https://or.sasova.sk/domov, Independent Civic Initiative - Our Home Sásová: https://nasdomov.sasova.sk/domov
In the classroom, teenagers are most confronted with social, religious, value differences. Therefore, our project is focused on the class. The aim is to prevent xenophobia, discrimination, intolerance. The project has several levels: Program for classes-Topics relate to tolerance, personal identity, place in society and communication of diverse views; Education of young leaders in groups of participants; Consultation and support of the head teacher; Thematic workshops for participants’ parents.
Slovak Republic, Central Slovakia, Banská Bystrica, Sásová housing estate, youth center- Salezko
We have been working in the largest housing estate Sásová in the field of education and prevention for several years. The activities and premises of our association have become a safe place for the inhabitants of the city and guarantee quality, protection and a positive educational impact. There are several risk groups in our city - students with aggressive behavior, with addictive substances experience, victims of domestic violence or bullying, members of national, ethnic and religious minorities. In Slovakia, preventive activities in schools are carried out mainly by the center of pedagogical-psychological counseling and prevention, but due to its capacity it is not able to meet the needs of individual schools and classes. This is where we see space for our activities.
Through all activities within the project, we increase the awareness and engagement of participants. They themselves become protagonists of change in their microsocial environment. If we manage to educate young leaders, they will later associate their peers. Thanks to the project, we will also involve classroom teachers in increasing social competencies and more intensive work with the team, who will follow up on the three-day course. We see their possibilities above all in opening up value questions aimed at the common good of the class, protecting the weaker and mutual cooperation, in cultivating a dialogue in which all members can express themselves freely. The educational workshops will be led by experts - parents from this community, who have not been significantly involved so far.
The program is designed for class teams 6th-9th grade of primary schools and secondary schools. We currently cooperate with 8 in Banská Bystrica. In one school year, 450 students from 20 classes will take part in the course. The program will also reach 20 classroom teachers. Under our guidance, they will continue after the course with experiential activities with their classes during lectures. We assume that the educational workshops will be attended by 80-100 participants’ parents. Among the course participants, 40 young people will join the leadership program. The project is long-term. The activities of our project are not one-off, they follow each other. We will cover several topics in our program. In each of them, groups with different views will be represented to form a dialogue.
We will implement 20 preventive 3-day courses for classes with experiential program. Preparation of the program always includes a personal meeting with the class teacher. This allows us to identify specific goals for a given class.The program is composed of activities that strengthen cooperation, allow the pupils to experience the common success of the class or to look for a common solution, including weaker or unaccepted students. By targeted feedback and discussions they learn to accept different opinions and seek enrichment in them. After the course, we offer teachers accompaniment and opportunity to use the methodology we have created for teachers. With 10 workshops for parents we want to create community sharing their experiences. We want to support young leaders by accompanying them.
After a year of our project’s activity, we will expand awareness of primary prevention, which is the most effective weapon in the fight against socio-pathological phenomena. A larger number of classes visiting our program will also be a success, thus ensuring a greater impact on children in Sásová. In the course, in addition to acquiring new skills, a more tolerant perspective and improving relationships, children will also learn where to seek help in the event of domestic violence, bullying and mental health problems. Among the students, we will address young leaders, whom we will engage in other activities. Through workshops for parents we will aspire to increase interest in educational topics, support the community life and introduce consultants, to whom they can turn if necessary.
Our project is based on the fact that no class is made up of the same people, and the situations that take place here largely copy the situations that take place in a diverse society at national, european and also global level. In our preventive experiential programs, students in model life situations find that each member of the class contributes to the common good with their uniqueness and that the diversity of characters, abilities and opinions is enriching. In this diversity, they learn to solve issues in discussion based on tolerance, accepting other opinions. This is how they find compromises together. The common experiences of the whole team full of cooperation and solving real problems support students' iniciative approach to other aspects of their social life.
We offer our project to schools for several reasons: Our more than 15-year experience in the education of volunteers; Professional potential and competencies of our volunteers; Great potential of networking with schools, pedagogical-psychological counseling and prevention centers and other entities; Suggestions and educational questions from teachers; The decision to respond to the lack of offers of this type; More specific and intensive support of primary prevention among students, given the insufficient capacity of the center of pedagogical-psychological counseling and prevention; Very good experience with this form of prevention in Germany, the Czech Republic and Bratislava; The schools in Banská Bystrica are interested in this form of prevention and work with the class team.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Salary for the coordinator- 12000€; Meals for course participants- 5000€; Technical equipment- 500€; Lecturers’ professional development - accredited 6 weekend course of experiential pedagogy in the Czech Republic- 2400€; Print of the methodical handbook for class teachers, materials, promotion, jackets- 1800€; Training pedagogical-pschological equipment- 250€; Material for activities- 450€; Office supplies- 300€; Furnishings (30 chairs)- 1500€; Literature- 100€; Outdoor equipment- 700€
Are you interested in this idea? Can you see any weaknesses that we can improve? What do you perceive as our advantages and strengths? Do you agree with the idea of primary prevention as a basic tool for building an engaged society built on principles of tolerance and common help?