Young people in Europe today are facing multiple barriers and problems. The challenges faced by them are of three dimensions, i.e. individual, relational, and societal. All the time they spend on the web and social media sites, takes their time away from face-to-face communication and in-person activities, which affects their social and emotional development. Many in this current generation have had repeated lifetime exposure to violent video games and films, which may be a cause of increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and feelings, and a decrease in empathy and prosocial behaviour across both gender and culture. The inflated expectations of success fueled by social media sites and "reality shows" create a social environment that encourages self-focus and works against slowing down and listening to someone who needs a bit of sympathy. In result, children attending our schools are getting more and more self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic. Growing emphasis on the self is accompanied by a corresponding devaluing of others. Obviously, any statements about an entire generation are not true of every person in that generation. Clearly there are young people today who are deeply empathic and caring. But the general trends and statistics are alarming, and it would place us, teachers, in a position to influence today's youth, to pay attention and be proactive about it while we can. Paying attention to the forces that influence children and young people so that they can grow up to be empathic is not only better for them, but ultimately better for us all. Many European schools have to deal with explicit problems regarding foreign students’ integration, inclusion, communication, wellbeing and success. We need to find ways to minimize the risk of the early school leaving, especially for foreign students coming from minorities with disadvantaged backgrounds and fewer opportunities compared to their peers.
The idea of the project is to involve people into voluntary service to provide social inclusion and equal opportunities for all.
We believe that volunteering can play a big role in social inclusion. Volunteering is open to all people, of all backgrounds and capabilities. Volunteering allows people to give back and feel empowered, while also meeting new people and developing new skills. Volunteering can be a life-changing experience opening new horizons and new ways of communication & relationship.
In this project we aim:
- to develop sensitivity towards the "different" and "others"
-to promote active European citizenship and attitudes of tolerance, opennes and to strengthen the
cooperation between young people from different countries
-to learn about the situation and policies of disadvantaged people in the society such as elderly
people,the orphans, the disabled, migrants in different cultures and integrate them into society and
create an empathic attitude towards them
- to engage in altruistic activities to help the people in need and nature
-to unify people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
-to create social changes by volunteering, improve relationships between different communities
-to integrate intercultural and peacebuilding dimension in the curriculum and regular activities of the
-to increase the learning outcomes of the pupils with low basic skills
-to increase the students' desire for usage of educational sites like Edmodo
-to educate and raise awareness of the local people about cultural, social, environmental, health
-to prevent early school leaving and organize activities to keep the students at schools and make
them love the schools
- to provide a language course to participants given by low -skilled pupils to make them more social
and increase their school achievements
- to explore cultural heritage of our and our partners' regions
-to see cultural diversity as a mutually-enriching opportunity rather than an obstacle.
We want our students to have volunteering spirit during their lives and to share it with others.
The project involves at 114 pupils aged 10-12, and 28 teachers of different subjects. The involved schools are primary schools from: Poland (the coordinator), Spain, Portugal, Finland and Italy. All the planned key actions are based on volunteering and include different activities in environmental, educational, cultural, health, social fields, e.g. peer education, making healthy breakfast, creating a project toy with recycling materials, visiting and helping older people, walking and feeding street animals, creating digital dictionaries and Kahoot quizzes. We want to reach the goals by helping others, giving language courses, seminars, lectures and audio-videos presentations, using group work, workshops, brainstorming, small group discussions, competitions. We will also make use of "Edmodo" which is a new network enabling teachers to share content, distribute quizzes, assignments, and manage communication with students, colleagues, and parents. Parents and wider community members will be involved and will follow the project developments via eTwinning, project's website, project's blog and facebook page.
Work in an International team leads to mutual understanding and increasing interest towards the Other, and this confirms the idea of tolerance between nations with different cultures and different social conditions, enables experimenting with new pedagogical practices that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on students who will be more eager to open their hearts and eyes for the needs of the people around them.
In the long run, we hope the project will reinforce inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, cherished diversity and multilingualism by bringing together young volunteers, the strong and the rich and migrants, refugees, orphans, the poor, the old, the disabled at the co-working, co-learning and communication space provided by our schools.
European Commission Project Dissemination Platform
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