PROJECT: “CRESUJEM JA, CRESUJEŠ TI…” – EMPOWERING CHILDREN IN THE SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 25 (34 in total, together with authors and staff)
AUTHORS AND PROJECT STAFF:
Ana Blažević, Annabel Domović, Tea Juretić, Sandra Maglov, Jasna Maričić, Laura Marković i Tomislav Miljak
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Franjo Toić from association Cres insula activa
Funded by the Youth in Action programme, the “Cresujem ja, cresuješ ti – empowering children from the welfare system” was implemented in the Home for education of Children in island of Cres, on weekends, during the period from 25.1. – 7.4. 2013.
The main purpose and objective of the project was the empowerment and inclusion of children aged from 9 to 14 years through an implementation of a set of educational and creative workshops. Also, a goal was to contribute to the prevention of social exclusion, stigmatization and deviant behavior of children in the Home, as well as to promote the positive contact and socialization among children and youth.
What motivated this project was the fact that children and youth in this Home have far less opportunity to engage in educational, social and cultural programmes due to limited capacity of the Home (especially in winter) and relative isolation of the island.
The project activities included:
– psychosocial workshops dealing with topics relevant to the target population of children and youth with behavioral problems: the formation of identity and self-image, interpersonal relationships, dealing with emotions, rights and duties, prejudices etc.
– creative activities: art, music, drama, film & video, comics, reading and creative writing
– Sports and leisure activities
– Individual counseling for children and youth
Project activities were achieved through psychosocial and creative workshops, sports and individual counseling.
Workshops and leisure activities were carried out within the framework of the daily schedule in the Home.
The activities during one weekend consisted of four parts:
1) Psycho-social workshops (thematic modules)
2) Creative Module (making posters in Photoshop, making a short film)
3) Election workshops (creative workshops associated with thematic modules)
The project was implemented by a group of young people from the association “UPSET” that consists of two graduate psychologists, three social education students, a student of comparative literature, Spanish and a student of product design. The group had drew up a program of activities of the project in line with the needs of the target group.
Their personal motivation for cooperation in this project arose from a desire for new experiences in working with children in correctional institutions. Also, what motivated them is the desire that children and youth discover their own talents and competencies through project activities and thus strengthen – which may affect their continued interest and daily involvement in positive activities, which, according to research the concept of a positive development in a prevention science, creates a positive development path and prevents the appearance of problems.
Children and youth, the beneficiaries of the Home for the education of children of Cres, are among the vulnerable groups at risk of social exclusion for many reasons. Most commonly these children come from poor, dysfunctional, burdened families, often with a single parent, which is characterized by unemployment, psychopathology, parents who are overloaded with existential concerns and educational neglect. Children are generally placed in the Home because of the problems reported in their behavior, which causes are found mostly in poor family circumstances and everything that comes from it, but they are also intellectually capable, lively and curious enough to follow and understand the program offered.
We believe that every child has the potential for success and healthy development and that it is important to discover and support it – and this was presented by this project. Also, this project has served as a complement to formal education, and children and youth could learn and have fun by participating.
The results of the project were presented to the public on April 25, 2013 at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences in Zagreb.
Due to the sensitivity of the group, an exceptional importance was placed on protecting the privacy of children and youth who participated in the project. Of course, the project was successfully implemented, which was confirmed by the Agency for Mobility and EU who was monitoring the implementation of the project.