Starting the change with policy recommendations!
The ‘Start the Change – Embracing differences through intercultural education and volunteering’ is a European project carried out in 2017 and 2018 by the Forum for Freedom in Education from Croatia, together with partners: Think Global from United Kingdom, the Youth Centre of Dravinja Valley from Slovenia and the Centre for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci” from Italy. The organization Network of Education Policy Centres was an associate partner on the project.
The aim of the project was preventing radicalisation of young people in the society and promoting democratic values, fundamental rights, intercultural understanding and active citizenship in four European countries. The above aim was implemented by empowering teachers, young people and their parents to better understand and recognise complex challenges of contemporary society by strengthening their personal, social and civic competences.
Key project activities included:
- research on youth attitudes (interests, needs, problems, solutions) through focus groups with young people in the four countries
- program of professional development for teachers and experts for youth in the area of personal growth and development, active citizenship and volunteering
- creating a set of publications on intercultural education and good practice in schools
- supporting the schools involved in launching projects promoting dialogue, respect for diversity, personal growth, and youth development
- creative contest Paint the World with Diversity in all four countries – allowing young people to express creatively their ideas about promoting understanding and the value of embracing differences
- an online ‘library’ – with useful materials in four languages which can be applied while working with young people.
All the above activities and experience of working directly with teachers, youth workers and young people, provided the partner organizations with knowledge and insights in creating recommendations for policy makers in their respective countries in the area of preventing radicalisation among young people in education by building their social and civic competences and strengthening their agency as active citizens in their school and local communities.