The project „We all have a story – pro-inclusion and pro-diversity program in kindergartens” is a project founded by the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 in Romania.
For further official informations about the EEA and Norway Grants please acces: www.eeagrants.org.
We all have a story – pro-inclusion and pro-diversity program in kindergartens
Why the project “We all have a story”?
Because we wanted to support kindergartens open to all children, regardless of their status, the existence of a disability, ethnicity, nationality, skin color, etc. Moreover, we wanted to support kindergartens in which messages that children receive about themselves, about others and about the world are positive messages that allow them to grow, to make friends, feel safe, feel valued, and feel important and loved.
Because in Romania kindergartens still not receive or marginalize children with a disability, Roma children, those who are diagnosed with various health problems, who lack material resources etc. For vulnerable children, emphasized social distance can mean isolation, marginalization and abuse, inhibiting the healthy development of their skills and capabilities and thus violating their fundamental rights.
Because stereotypes and prejudices occur very early in children’s lives, being transmitted through multiple channels, often very strong, that remain uncontested by authentic information, solidifying through time.
Because children are often in a small extent or not at all exposed to diversity, and thus lost the chance to make friends, learn new things, develop new ways to solve problems.
– We organized five training sessions of three days each, in order to raise awareness and remove stereotypes in the areas of gender, ethnicity and disability. These training sessions were attended by 105 teachers from 37 kindergartens.
– We organized training sessions for teachers and educators in three working methods on pro-diversity and pro-inclusion: Persona Dolls, Life Stories and Playing with Sand.
- 6 training sessions of 1 day for 81 teachers in the Persona Dolls method, that promotes diversity and acceptance, developing at the same time, social skills and emotional needs of children, their ability to manage various problems, to cooperate with others and to recognize and control their feelings in a positive and healthy way.
- 4 training sessions of 1 day for 78 teachers in the Life Stories method that promotes the ability of educators to understand the deep ways in which stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination can impact a person’s destiny, opportunities, self-esteem and expectations from themselves and from others.
- 5 training sessions of 1 day for 57 teachers in the Playing with Sand method that allows the child to tell his own story in a well-defined space, with the possibility to use symbols (figures and characters from plastic), to explore new ways of action for the future and express their fears and fantasies. The child also acquires understanding of their own power, can alter the crate sand, act differently and make decisions.
We supported 25 projects and kindergartens to carry out practical activities on diversity, organizing demonstration workshops and support the Persona Dolls method, but also visits with special guests, resource persons in the project; 156 teachers from 25 kindergartens participated in practical work sessions and 728 children from 25 kindergartens participated in Persona Dolls activities concerning applied working method and special working sessions with resource persons.
We organized visits to the Roma Culture Museum for 471 children and 42 teachers form 9 kindergartens, where children participated in workshops held by Roma craftsmen (silver, music, floral decorations) and listened to their stories about how they learned the specific craft.
We organized visits to social bakery MamaPan, a small business that aims to help mothers raise their children alone, or mothers who have more than 2 children who have difficulty finding and keeping a job. These visits were attended by 607 children and 65 teachers from 18 kindergartens.
We organized Sensorial Theatre sessions, attended by 184 children and 19 teachers from seven kindergartens, children experiencing the world as a blind person does, being led into this adventure by very skilled blind guides, who helped them discover the surrounding space without seeing it, exploring it by smell, taste, sound and touch.
We supported six kindergartens to carry out practical activities concerning diversity, 119 parents and 121 children participated in workshops, during which they learned to communicate, work and play together.
We organized the Diversity Festival, a 2 days event, attended by 200 parents and children between 3 and 7 years that included: projection of thematic films, drawing, painting and modeling, exhibition of drawings and paintings, space play, exhibition and sale of products made by social economy business, Sensorial Theatre and thematic workshops (Who are our friends the dolls, Play with your family, Being the parent of a child with disabilities, How do I support the child to trust himself and have many friends, How can I turn my stories into learning experiences for my child, How can we grow children without limitations).
We realized publications and resources designed to provide further information on the project for all educators, parents and children:
– My rights and your rights are equal. How to encourage friendship, diversity and respect since kindergarten, a handbook for educators that contains information, resources, ideas and examples of practical activities useful in working with children.
– About diversity and friendship at the higher group and the middle group – a brochure presenting the resource persons network, designed to provide possible kindergartens and guests invited to talk with children and their parents by removing stereotypes and prejudices.
We also conducted a series of advocacy activities for inclusion in educational curricula of prospects for diversity, inclusion and respect for human rights.
Project developed in the period May 2014 – April 2016
The project is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014