Selection of the most important projects:
AFLATEEN – Social and Financial Education for Engagement, Entrepreneurship and Employment
The general objective of the project is to empower young people and their parents through the development of civic and social competences, to become agents of change for themselves and their communities. The aim is to offer a solution for the lack of financial and entrepreneurship education in Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia, which has been identified as one of the roots of high rates of unemployment among young people in the region.
The specific objective of our project is to create and adapt a curriculum for developing the social and financial competences of young people aged 15-18, to be used by youth workers in their everyday work, and a training material for trainers to train youth workers to use this curriculum, as the correct approach is essential in this field of competence development and by simply downloading the curriculum and using it.
Following the development of the materials, we will train 5 trainers per country who will be the ambassadors of the new approach, as well as the trainers in the following international training of youth workers. We will involve 20 youth workers from 10 NGOs/youth organizations in each country in the pilot training. Involving them in pursuing one common cause will also naturally create multiple networking opportunities for them.
The trainers will reach out to more than 600 young people in the three countries. During this phase of the project, they will receive on-line mentoring and support. After the pilot training and field testing, we plan to spread the experiences of the program to the wider audience of stakeholders on the national level through the round table discussions organized in each country and on the international level at the final conference where participants from all the countries will have the opportunity to present the results of the project. We will also use the Aflatoun network in more than 100 countries to share the created knowledge through newsletters, online platforms, and Facebook. Through digital channels, youth workers and children will be able to connect to a network of peers from 106 countries and exchange knowledge, skills, and ideas. They will also be linked to the Aflateen Digital platform where young people (teenagers) can learn more about activism and joint actions. This will also enrich their experience, broaden their perspectives, and help them understand the benefits of diversity.
At the times of increased need for financial literacy and increased entrepreneurial skills of all citizens, our studies have shown that neither children nor adults (both teachers and parents) have the required skills. Most existing initiatives for assisting educational institutions and civil society to help young people gain financial and entrepreneurial skills needed for better employability and inclusion into the labour market and society are concentrating narrowly on project and business plan development and project management, without giving the broader skills for saving, investing, or any other financial aspect. Also, there is a lack of active parental involvement in the development of social and financial skills of their children.
TOY FOR INCLUSION – Toys to Share, Play to Care
The general objective of the project is to engage the ‘hard to reach’ young children and families from migrant and ethnic minority backgrounds in quality inclusive non-formal community-based Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) initiatives in order to facilitate a smooth transition into primary education and improve their educational experience and performance in the long term.
The specific objective of this project is to scale up and embed in policy the TOY for Inclusion approach to combating segregation and from migrant and ethnic minority backgrounds and ethnic minority backgrounds to quality and inclusive ECEC.
The families, who come to ECEC Play Hubs centers for non-formal ECEC managed by the Local Action Teams, do not only spend time with their children but also meet new families from different backgrounds. The new relationships and bonds forged in the ECEC Play Hubs are extending to other areas. The proven success of the ECEC Play Hubs in some countries is attracting sponsors from the private sector and support from local authorities.
The project will develop the proven good practices from TOY for Inclusion on a wider scale to include migrant and marginalized children in general and not just Roma. They will also be implemented in additional communities in the 7 countries where TOY for Inclusion is already being implemented, as well as in one new country, EU candidate country Turkey. Priority will be given to the provision of training and mentoring to practitioners from education, health and social care, and community development as well as to local authorities to support them in dealing with diversity and promoting inclusion. Experienced practitioners and local policymakers in the TOY for Inclusion approach will act as role models for those who are new to the approach.
The project focuses on the very young children between 0 and 6 years old, who are not yet in the age of compulsory schooling or who are in the first year of primary school. It proposes to expand, readapt, transfer and upscale the already piloted TOY for Inclusion approach, which developed a participatory community-based methodology to the design and implementation of non-formal ECEC services focused on social inclusion within a ‘progressive universalism approach’, with specific attention to the inclusion of Roma children and families. ‘Toys to Share, Play to care’ will extend the reach of the TOY for Inclusion approach to include migrant, minority, and ‘harder to reach’ children more in general by creating new non-formal ECEC initiatives in 8 EU countries as well as by building the capacities of local authorities to embed this approach at systemic and policy level.
The project involves organizations that are already implementing the TOY for Inclusion approach and organizations and countries that are new to it. Through the project, the first group will ensure continuity, scaling-up, and sustainability to the existing ECEC initiatives. Each country will develop contextualized approaches based on local needs, within a common framework: some countries will create new ECEC initiatives in one new locality; others will invest in creating a network of local organizations that will implement approaches and activities focused on social inclusion and inclusive ECEC. The second group – new partners – will receive training and support on how to invest in social inclusion from the more experienced partners and will implement non-formal ECEC initiatives in one locality in their country. In total, 14 ECEC initiatives will be implemented in 7 EU countries.
AFLATOT – The Baseline for Social Inclusion
The project focused on developing competences of preschool children, especially their social and civic competences, by implementing the Aflatot program in the participating countries. The social and financial education curriculum of this program is built on the belief that every person´s personal, social and economic lives are interconnected and these skills should be taught in a holistic manner to enable children to pursue their goals.
The main aim of the project was to support the partnership initiative aimed at promoting innovation in the education of young children, their parents and preschool teachers, and the exchange of experience among the participating partners. The general objective of this project was to empower children and their parents through civic and social competences development to become agents of change for themselves and for their communities.
The specific objective was to enrich the educational curricula for the target groups with the methods of Aflatot. Reaching this target enabled the participating countries to improve the preschool education also on the system level, spread this program in all the countries, and work systematically on the competences with the chosen target groups. The project also increased the competences of teachers working with the target group. We involved parents in direct work with young children because parents are the most important people in children´s lives and they can greatly influence their attitudes and positive approach to the world.
Kit@ – Media Competency Training for Professionals in Day-Care Centers and Comparable Institutions in Rural Areas of Europe
The aim of the project was to create innovative solutions for the development of media pedagogical competences with the use of ICT and the acquisition of digital skills of the professionals in child daycare centers and comparable institutions, especially in rural regions.
We wanted to apply innovative pedagogical methods and educate children on the use of digital media. Substantial synergies have been achieved through international cooperation. Different levels, approaches, and solutions have been transferred to the partner countries. This was possible because the IT platforms are essentially the same in all the countries, which enabled us to create cross-national sustainable innovations.
Rural areas are disadvantaged as educational locations, especially in the ICT sector, due to lack of equipment and missing specialists. ICT plays an important part in the quality of life in rural areas; the disengagement of rural regions and the exclusion of certain social groups are threatening. All rural European regions face similar problems.
Good Start for All: Development of Inclusive Education Methods for Pre-School Children from Socially Disadvantaged or Culturally Different Environments
This project went into detail on the possibilities of cooperation between informal education settings and the pre-schools aiming to support the inclusion of children from socially disadvantaged or culturally different environments. Informal education settings include foundations, NGOs, daycare centers, and children centers. During the course of the previous project, weak cooperation was found between pre-schools and informal educators especially in reaching out to parents and children to overcome the cultural, social, and emotional barriers when entering and sustaining in the formal educational settings.
The goal of the GSA project was to draw out innovative recommendations based on the best practices in partner countries on how they work with families and children from socioeconomically disadvantaged or culturally different environments such as migrant and Roma families, in order to prepare children to enter formal education and sustain in it. Accordingly, the project was intended to prevent early school leaving (ESL) by engaging with socially and economically disadvantaged children at an early stage. Partner organizations identified the main activities, methods, programs, and strategies that are currently used to support pre-school children and their families at risk. The identification and exchange of best practices equipped organizations and professionals with new methodologies and a larger toolbox to tackle issues surrounding socially disadvantaged children. Strengthened cooperation and coordination among stakeholders such as families, pre-schools, and informal educators is paramount to achieve a higher quality ECEC and to identify and support vulnerable children at an early stage.
The main activities of the project included the elaboration of a report on the national policies of inclusive ECEC in partner countries, description of inclusive strategies, methods, and practices applied in informal pre-school settings in partner countries, preparation of a training program and organization of three Joint Staff Trainings and development of Good Practice Guide to Inclusive ECEC based also on evaluations gathered during piloting phase in non-formal settings.
Social and Financial Education for Engagement, Entrepreneurship and Employment
The main aim of this project was to support the partnership initiative aimed at promoting innovation in the education of school children, their parents, and teachers and the exchange of experience among participating partners.
The general objective of the project was to empower children and their parents through civic and social competences’ development to become agents of change for themselves and their communities. The specific objective was to develop the program for social and financial education for target groups, test it and prepare its implementation on a large scale, to develop competences of school children, especially the social and entrepreneurial ones.
- Raised competences of involved teachers in working with elementary school children from 6 to 15 years of age, especially those from the marginalized ethnic minority groups and communities;
- Parents involved in direct work with target groups in school facilities and at home;
- Children and parents empowered for the role of agents of change through active social and financial entrepreneurship and increased employability;
- Creation of a network of schools using the integrated social and financial education program on the international level.
Educated and Confident Roma Children – The Baseline for Community Development
The overall goal of this project was to prepare and pilot a comprehensive, innovative, and well-functioning model of education for children aged 0-8; and to share a positive, successful experience with public administration and the municipalities.
Activities for achieving this overall goal were the following:
- Creating a functioning model of stakeholder collaboration in involved municipalities;
- Romani parents as competent first educators;
- Activities for pre-school children and their teachers;
- Activities for elementary school children and their teachers – the all-day education system.
Main results – intellectual outputs:
- Manual for Stakeholder cooperation;
- Community Action Plans;
- Training manual – Romani parents as competent first educators;
- Training manual – Community based education;
- Workbook for the all-day education system;
- Policy recommendations for municipal, regional, and national stakeholders.
TOY FOR INCLUSION
The overall goal was to combat the segregation of young Romani children and their families and enhance social cohesion through community-based inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. The project also aimed to improve the transition experience of Romani children to schools. The main activity was the establishment of Toy libraries that represent a successful approach to overcoming segregation, provide access to quality non-formal ECEC services that improve the transition to formal education, and build the capacity of parents. The project offered intergenerational activities for different age groups, including young children and senior adults, learning together and learning from each other.
The study objective was to provide a detailed picture of policies and framework arrangements for early care and pre-school education, identify barriers and opportunities to improve Roma children’s access to appropriate and quality early childhood education and care, as well as to ensure that information and data on the exclusion of Roma children from early childhood care and pre-primary education are made available to decision-makers and other key stakeholders, to make recommendations for a comprehensive childcare system and to provide information and arguments for advocacy in early childhood.
KHETAUN (TOGETHER): With Key Steps to Inclusion of Romani Children into Quality Early Childhood Programmes
Our project aimed to develop a comprehensive model that includes the work with children, parents, and the local community and help raise awareness among educators of their implicit theories, which are often an obstacle to the successful implementation of innovations.
The target groups in this project were administrators and professionals in preschools (preschool teachers, counselors, etc.), Romani parents and children, representatives of the Romani community, representatives of local organizations, and other members of the local community.
The project activities were based on the implementation of four different courses, which covered four key pillars necessary for the successful integration of Romani children in preschools and the development of linguistic, cultural, and developmentally appropriate multilingual materials for children.
ROMED2 – ROMACT Initiative of the Council of Europe
The administrative contract was supported to carry out activities focusing on intercultural mediation, the establishment of community action groups, 16 national and regional training courses in areas such as access to EU funds, project management, intercultural policies and practices, governance in multicultural environments, etc.
An essential part of this initiative was to define needs in communities with the presence of marginalized Roma communities, creating community action plans on education, employment, health, housing, and human rights, community organizing, and capacity building of local governments.
ROMA CONFIDENT PARENTS PROJECT
The project intended to support the necessary assessment and evidence gathering to ensure the longer-term sustainability and upscaling of of the program across Slovakia, by municipal and regional authorities and national government, with strategic funds from the EU and support form partners with experience in national-level advocacy and leveraging funds for Roma.
- Building on the existing partnerships with local municipalities;
- Training and mentoring of participants – pedagogues, ECD; practitioners, parents, health field assistants, family workers, and community workers to support and guide the workers in the continuing PARENTING WITH CONFIDENCE methodology program in the municipalities;
- Producing a “field guide” for health professionals;
- Continuing the support for mothers and fathers through a follow-up workshop assessing the improvement in their confidence and competences in daily parenting, the increase of their in-depth knowledge regarding early childhood development, and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for effective parenting.
Supporting Social and Emotional Competences of Pre-School Children from Disadvantaged or Culturally Different Environments
The partnership project aimed to develop and disseminate ECEC methodologies/curricula providing inclusive activities for children and parents from disadvantaged environments.
- During the first stage, data was collected by all the partners on ECEC strategies at the national and local levels in their respective countries. The data on best practices regarding inclusive activities were also collected. The research focused on the national agenda of pre-school education and care; the children enrolled in formal pre-school education institutions; the number, academic background, and experience of the teachers and other pre-school staff. The survey focused on the main difficulties and obstacles faced by the ECEC staff;
- Based on the outcomes of the previous phase, the data from the survey, and the collected best practices, the methodology of inclusive ECEC activities for pre-school children (3 to 6 years of age) was developed. The methodology is based on activities to meet the individual needs of children, parents, and teachers;
- The training course on the inclusive activities of the new methodology was developed;
- The training course was piloted in the partner countries and selected activities and programs were implemented in the pre-school institutions.