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A narrative and story approach to empower cooperation, cohesion and change in communities through non-formal education.

Raising Strong and Resilient Communities

Raising Strong and Resilient Communities

Background and current setting

Economic and social times are changing, globally and in Europe. Communities are in transition, and not only through migration. Citizens are obliged to become more self-sufficient. These are changes and challenges not easily accepted and dealt with.

Successful initiatives depend on factors such as trust, sharing emotions, recognising and accepting differences. If cohesion and progress are the objectives, then storytelling delivers the tools and also creates engagement and compassion. Stories of shared values, shared plans and more equality provide the best examples for all that. The most successful narrative expressing this is democracy where everyone has a voice and a choice.

 

Objectives

With the project ‘Raising Strong and Resilient Communities’ the consortium wants to develop a set of educational tools that can be used in adult education (with a focus on non-formal adult education) focussing on active citizenship and participation. These tools are based on existing and the further expansion of developed approaches, theories and methods of storytelling.

These tools are a teacher/ trainer manual, structured courses for adult educators, and a collection of videos/ audio recordings to showcase best practices and function as instruction videos.

The tools will be developed around the development of competences of cooperation and communication in differing communities, between various ‘divides’, such as intergenerational, intercultural, etc in order for learners to actively engage in local community work.

 

Target groups

The partnership’s primary target group is the non formal educators and educational organisations, who preferably have a local focus and are active in the field of strengthening local communities. These include social workers, volunteer organisations, non-formal trainers, street coaches, NGO’s, etc.

 

The partnership’s secondary target groups are the learners of these people and organisations, the local community citizens that can use these tools in the community work and activity plans (for the present and future) they are, and want to be involved in.

 

Aims

The innovative aspect of this project is that it aims at training and facilitating community educators to work with concrete narrative methods (e.g. Participatory Narrative Inquiry, Participatory Learning in Action, Community & network Mapping), guidelines and courses to help communities coping with present AND imagined and feasible FUTURE situations.

On an individual basis that means changing the attitude, the negative discourse of the individual and the lingering in (dominating) stories of the past.

The project will thus support planning a future for communities with concrete actions taken for future-proofing, inspired and carried by a community story that will lead to participation, collaboration, and in the end to a positive change.

 

The most important aspect of this project will be that during the project the partners will work on concrete cases with nationally selected community workers / educators and their communities, and alongside testing our tools, we will develop effectively 'working' (and thus future-orientated) community stories.

That way the methods used, the manual and the courses will become education tools and starting point for educators, volunteers and (social/street) workers in diverse communities.