Young people in almost all European countries face difficulties to live a satisfying and happy life because of lack of skills or because they are not prepared to understand political decisions in the EU while they meet different challenges.
Students often lack motivation for school and they fail to see why they should learn academic subjects and this leads to poor achievement or even dropping out of school. Moreover dissapointment and frustration in many European countries nowadays badly affects students and for those from a lower economical background this can easily lead to social exclusion.
School has a key role to offer a stable , supporting and secure environment where students from any background will be treated equally and even more will be encouraged to be active members of the school community and develop skills as future active citizens.This project aims to work on these priorities in a well designed and effective way and meet the goals set at the beginning.
The innovative part is that a lot of already existing activities at our (five partner) schools are finally brought together into the one overall concept of „happiness”. There are „regular” school activities like the work of tutors that is put into broader perspective by this project, as well as all kinds of special activities already carried out, that together will prove their worth when put together.
The project will make the students aware of the fact that they can organize their school life together in a way that they feel content and satisfied helping them to overcome unhappy moments. There will be training programmes and workshops especially catering for the needs of students who feel left behind. They will increase skills that are particularly important when dealing with their peer groups at home and also in the partner countries. The cooperation between the schools and other organisations with their experts will lead to better results of the project.
The innovative part can best be described by pointing at the fact that the concept of happiness and school achievements are brought together in the first place, but that they are at the same time placed in an extracurricular context, that happiness and school achievements do effect their social wellbeing as well, their confidence, their look at society, their citizenship. We will try to achieve these crossovers by working from practice (workshops, voulntary work, visits, talking with people) to results, and these results themselves have to be usefull to everybody that is interested. We hope to achieve a link between happiness and school achievements to active citizenship in our international world.
In what way is the project innovative and/or complementary to other projects already carried out?
There will also be a connection between formal and informal education , particularly when students are involved in issues of active citizenship. The Romanian school has partnerships with companies where their students do different work experiences or institutions where they are involved in helping others like the Centrul Maternal Lorena (place for young mothers with new born babies), the Asociata Stea (an non-governmental association against the exploitation of children) or the Asociata Langdon Down Satu Mare (a place for children with intellectual disabilities ). So the students will benefit from the experiences of their Romanian peers.
Other institutions like the old people’s home in Plüderhausen, a camp for asylum seekers in Melilla, an institute for child protection in Kayseri (Turkey) or one for disabled people in Silvolde will give the students a chance to be involved in a school project where they can do voluntary work and derive happiness from that.
The Turkish school is cooperating with the Public Education Centre (PEC) which provides skills for older people who never entered formal education or dropped out of school after a few years which is a typical problem of disadvantaged areas in central Turkey. So these different experiences will make the project also unique for the students.For the Dutch school there is also the innovation in a sense that thay are developping into an international school with a strong accent on active European citizenship.
All these aspects show that the project is in a sense innovative compared to preceding projects. In this way the project is innovative becaused schools, cooperating partners and stakeholders from five European countries will work together to carry out to achieve its objectives. The topic will be addressed from diferent cultural perspectives so that its intercultural significance will become apparent.