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Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices project
01.09.2016 – 31.08.2018
The main objectives of this project is:
Introducing/Promoting the phenomenon of volunteering and community work into school environment and, eventually, making it a formal part of curriculum; and, through these, eliciting /creating a better sense of community in (primarily) high school pupils, but also their parents, siblings and peers (hereinafter referred to as “significant others”) and, last, but not least, in the teachers of all partner educational institutions.
We believe that today, volunteering and active involvement in everyday life of the immediate community of everyone of us is immensely important. They belong to a crucial set of skills that a European citizen needs to do well in life and to be a good, active and responsible citizen, who is able to take initiatiative and actually make a difference.
Indeed, it is indifference and unawareness that seem to be one of the most burning issues of todays community life and society as a whole. Computerization, smartphones and social networking websites brought a lot of improvement to our life, however, paradoxically, they often make people more individualist and lonelier; inevitably, they “steal” and consume time people could spend together.
We think that volunteering is a phenomenon that, in most countries, is still rather underdeveloped, especially in the countries applying for this project. For example, according to the recent studies, in the Czech republic 29% of the population have taken part in some sort of voluntary activity (so called formal volunteers, those non formal are hard to include in any kind of statistics)
In Estonia 31 % of population were involved in some sort of voluntary activity. http://www.vabatahtlikud.ee/
These numbers do not seem bad, still, there is a lot of potential in this area, which needs to be more developed and introduced to youth to raise awareness and commitment to development of local communities and social cohesion. Therefore, it is very desirable, almost an obligation and a mission to introduce this topic at this level (high schools) and encourage significant others to join and try various forms of activities find out which ones work the best for the particular school.
Today’s Romania faces some serious social problems like poverty and unemployment, which fully applies to the area of our Romanian partner school, so the issues of community and volunteering are very relevant and fundamental.
The Italian school is located in a coastal area and they have recently witnessed a tragedy concerning the emerging migration phenomenon – this is directly connected with the topic of our project.
The Spanish school already has some experience with volunteering, which could be helpful for the other partners.
Thus, another motivation of our Erasmus+ project is to bring a collective awareness to the pupils and school communities that are part of the project to recognize themselves as European citizens with their unique, specific culture, language and customs, but also linked together geographically, culturally and socio-politically.
In conclusion, all of the issues to be addressed by this project will gain a collective and intercultural dimension, being treated as a multidisciplinary matter in collaboration with other European countries. At the same time, it will promote to the students the importance and values of social and educational relationship and increase their motivation to learn a different language as well. Moreover, this project is necessary for our students to acquire a common sentiment on the importance of successful communication among each other, and more importantly, communication with their surrounding community – young children, the middle aged, the elderly, people from NGOs and those in charge of voluntary and charitable activities.
We are all highly motivated and well prepared to start this project and bring a theme to the understanding of each school community of our European partners, but mostly to the people in training, our pupils/students.