About the project

The problem

This project was born from a shared observation: there is more and more violence among young people and children. This violence emerges especially in schools, where youngsters spend time together and must therefore confront their differences, whether cultural, personal or physical. This is violence has consequences. It causes harm to the well-being and health of young people; it lowers their chances at academic success; it decreases the very quality of the education the school is able to provide.

One possible solution

We believe one answer can be combining two approaches: non-formal education and peer education. Non-formal education has a great power for youth education – it’s well-known that young people best assimilate knowledge through methodologies that involve learning by doing. As for peer education, the group can play a very important role in personal, social and psychological issues.

This project’s aim is to offer an innovative answer to several interconnected problems: juvenile and child violence; lack of opportunities for youngsters to exercise their active citizenship in volunteer programs in their own communities; the lack of credibility that non-formal education still has in some context.

What do we propose?

To share and spread this new concept, we created a strategic partnership involving four European countries  (Portugal, Germany, Italy, and Macedonia) and delineated several goals.

First, we want to encourage the active participation of the youth in the life of their community, both for the sake of the community and the youngsters empowerment.

Second, we want to find innovative ways to prevent and combat juvenile and child violence and intolerance, especially in schools.

And third, we want to train youth workers and their organizations by sharing experiences and ideas.

More specifically

Our central activity was to create a methodology for running volunteer initiatives, with young volunteers promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence in school contexts.

To accompany this methodology, we prepared a set of educational games that can be used by the volunteers in a class or playground context (within our methodology or not).

Last but not least, we created a self-assessment mobile app for youngsters who are interested in becoming volunteers. It will help them to learn more about themselves and their motivations.

The creators

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CooLabora, an NGO from Portugal, was the one that challenged us to carry out this project. It’s her role to coordinate the project and to organize the final meeting.

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Arci Strauss, an NGO from Italy, is responsible for the dissemination plan of the project.

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PEL, a Macedonian NGO, is responsible for coordinating the collection of group activities and their organization.

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Universidade da Beira Interior is an university from Portugal and is responsible for the assessment plan of the project and the creation of an app: “Self-Assessment for Volunteers”.

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Roter Baum Berlin is an NGO from Germany and is responsible for building the Chance to Change toolbox, the main output of the project.