Countries involved
Croatia, Slovenia, United Kingdom and Italy

Overall objective
Preventing violent radicalization and promoting democratic values, fundamental rights, intercultural understanding and active citizenship.

Purpose of project

Since radicalization most often happens in a context of deprivation (weather economic or psychological), within search for meaning and identity, but is also fueled by personal issues and/or need for revenge, the project “Start the Change” focuses on developing and nurturing the opposite values and capacities: psychological thriving, emotional development and self-regulation, civic competences, connectedness, positive attitudes towards differences as well as multi-perspective and deeper understanding of the world. Special contents and activities were therefore developed aimed at creating cooperation opportunities between various groups (disadvantaged, majority, minority, community), and enriching this contact with innovative ideas for volunteering, mutual aid, understanding, and creativity.

Theoretical grounds were also used, such as non-violent communication, peacebuilding, mediation, conflict transformation, authentic relationships, self-determination and needs satisfaction, with topics added from human rights, awareness raising on prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, and most of all: empathy with others and different. Since another important social factor for radicalization is perceived social injustice, the content is also enriched with topics of civic education and supporting youth activism within the democratic frame of society.

Collaboration among partners from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and United Kingdom will lead to project results such as established cooperation between 40 schools and local CSOs in implementing the intercultural and peacebuilding projects reaching out to over 2000 young people. It is a large scale coordinated action that motivates children and young people to be active, critical and brave in stating their opinion and fighting for what they believe in. It motivates their teachers and mentors to start up projects on their own aimed at developing sensitivity towards the „different“ and „others“; and engaging young people in socially aware and peace-building projects.


Expected results

  • 40 schools in four countries selected for the participation on basis of their motivation to implement peacebuilding projects in their schools and local communities (ethno cultural diversity present in school)
  • Getting better insight on young people’s vision on different issues they cope with and possible solutions (through focus groups)
  • Teacher training program “Start the Change – Volunteering, Dialogue and Active Citizenship Program” adapted according to the qualitative data on young people’s visions and feedback of youth work experts from all partner countries
  • Start the Change Training Program implemented – a group of 110 teachers and volunteers in four countries educated, trained and supported in conflict transformation, peace building and active citizenship
  • Pupils of 40 schools  with the help of 110 teachers and volunteers start and join the peace building projects and tolerance creative contest “Colour the World”
  • Children, parents and other stakeholders in local community informed and aware of importance of pro-social project promoting tolerance, freedom and non-discrimination
  • City, regional and national authorities (in the field of education) as well as general and expert public informed about the benefits and achievements of young peoples’ peace building projects

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