DEMOCRACY STARTS WITH YOU! IMPROVING CIVIC PARTICIPATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE FROM MINORITY AND RURAL AREAS IN THE SOUTH CAUCASUS REGION
The EU co-financed project “Democracy Starts with You!” was launched by German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V., Dutch Eduardo Frei Foundation, Yerevan School of Political Studies, Tbilisi School of Political Studies and Baku School of Political Studies on the 1st of November 2009.
Our guiding principle: Democracy has to be experienced; it cannot be learned from books only!
“Democracy Starts with You!” improves civic participation of young people from minority and rural areas in the South Caucasus. In order to reach this goal, we first train teachers on how to teach democracy to pupils with up-to-date methodologies of civic education. Afterward the teachers are given the opportunity to implement the acquired knowledge in a 3-stage-simulation game for their pupils. Young politicians are integrated into the simulation game as peer-group role models.
How are things going to work in detail...
180 teachers from 60 different schools (20 per each participating country) are trained on modern methodology and high standard contents on civic education for school pupils. The participating teachers receive special training for passing on knowledge about civic representation and participation to pupils by involving them into a three-stage-simulation game.
Teachers are important multiplicators for democratic civic socialization. The participating teachers are therefore encouraged to establish a regional Teachers Association. Yearly joint workshops and frequent exchange through the website should provide all participating teachers with a means of direct contact throughout the South Caucasus region. By creating a knowledge base for materials on civic education and a transnational network for knowledge exchange on teaching civic education in the region, the practical cooperation between teachers of the South Caucasus region is strengthened.
5.400 secondary school-pupils of the 11th-grade from these 60 schools are instructed in a three-stage-simulation (local/regional/EU-level) on peacefully balancing of group interests in processes of political participation and representation.
Taking part in a simulation game, each participating class elects one delegate to a “South Caucasus Youth Parliament” (SCYP) and provides the delegate with a political agenda. Being member of the SCYP, the delegate is contributing to a joint declaration of the SCYP which is presented to high-ranking officials of the European Union in the third stage of the simulation game.
225 youth wing activists of political parties receive a special training in order to be included as peer role-models for civic participation into the training process of the school pupils. Per country and year 25 youth wing activists of political parties are trained on party democracy standards and how to act in political life according to these standards.
For more information, please visit project website: www.dswy.eu