The association Reflective Learning Bulgaria started working on the project “Stories about the Power of Difference” with the financial support of Sofia Municipality under Europe 2022 Programme, in partnership with 97 Sofia School “Brothers Miladinov” and 145 Sofia School “Simeon Radev”, and with the participation of 31 Sofia School “Ivan Vazov”.
The project “Narratives for the Power of Difference” aims to open spaces in three schools in Sofia where young people can speak freely in their own language about difficult but relevant topics, topics that are of vital importance but are considered taboo. Discussing and analysing important topics for young people related to gender-based violence and other types of violence is a way to overcome prejudice and stereotypical thinking and behaviour.
The project plans the active involvement of students from grades 5 to 7 from the three schools in Sofia, located in three different districts of the capital and diverse in a variety of ways. In the framework of the project they will learn debating skills and conveying messages through storytelling to create and enrich both the physical spaces in the schools and an online space where these topics can be freely and argumentatively discussed. In this process they will be supported by NBU lecturers, teachers and youth mentors trained in debate and storytelling methods.
The clubs will be led by teachers from the schools and youth mentors from New Bulgarian University and Sofia University in the first three months of the new school year. Students will be able to practise their presentation skills by participating in podcasts organised by the youth mentors. And at the end of the project they will have a common event where they can show their achievements in the short period of study, and so that they, as children who are carriers of multiple differences, can exchange skills, perspectives, dreams and share experiences.
The overall aim of the project is to initiate and/or support activities in the three Sofia schools by involving children and youth activists to address gender-based violence and other types of violence, including hate speech.
The specific objectives of the project are: