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LEARNING ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP

„Hope for the Future” – A Comenius Project of Romania, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary and Italy, 2012-2014


The Importance of Learning Active Citizenship According to the European Commission, volunteering is a creator of human and social capital, and a key factor for improving social cohesion. It translates the fundamental values of justice, solidarity, inclusion and citizenship into action. Values that are not enough to be read about or taught at school. We can best learn them through real-life experiences, activities we have taken part in. Such experiences help us make one step ahead towards becoming active citizens. The project HOPE FOR THE FUTURE is a partnership of five schools from Romania, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary and Italy. The project focuses on the improvement of students’ education in the field of learning and practising Active European Citizenship. The project aims to define the concept of EU Active Citizenship, to make students sensible of social signals, to promote the awareness of a common future greatly depending on youth involvement in social issues, and to scan the practical impacts Active Citizenship has on people’s lives and to push students into action. In what follows, you can find a brief summary of the materials collected for and presented at our third project meeting in Izmir, Turkey held in October 2013. The brochure highlights how similar and (at the same time) diverse the problems can be that different countries have to face, and how similar the solutions are that students come up with. It gives a nice landscape of how we see and experience the aspects of Active Citizenship, adding up to show a (close to comprehensive) European view.

CONTENT Introduction ..................................................................................... Romania .......................................................................................... Portugal ........................................................................................... Turkey .............................................................................................. Hungary ........................................................................................... Italy .................................................................................................. Conclusion .......................................................................................

2 3 4 5 6 7 8


ROMANIA – Liceul Teoretic “Aurel Lazar”, Oradea

PROBLEMS – WHO CAN WE HELP? Abandoned children, orphans living in foster homes, disabled people, homeless people, old people living alone or at care homes, poor and vulnerable families, environmental organizations

SOLUTION = VOLUNTEERING HOW CAN WE HELP? By visiting foster homes, playing with the children, collecting toys, clothes and food for those in need, listening to old people, organizing outings for them and helping them with their daily chores, working with disabled people and showing them they are important, keeping our environment clean, collecting rubbish.


PORTUGAL – Escola Profissional do Alto Ave, Póvoa de Lanhoso

PROBLEMS – WHO CAN WE HELP? Young people suffering from

bullying or addiction, women who experience gender discrimination at work or suffer from domestic violence, and elder people who face abandonment and isolation.

SOLUTION = VOLUNTEERING HOW CAN WE HELP? By raising awareness of problems caused

by addiction, educating the community, organising campaigns, promoting healthy lifestyles, promoting gender equality, visiting elderly people and doing their household chores (cleaning, shopping), organizing activities for them.

Awareness-Raising Action promoted by the students of EPAVE in combating drug consumption - Portugal

Never be bulied into silence. Never allow yourself to be a victim. Accept no one’s definition. Define yourself. Harvey Fierstein

EPAVE students aganist violence - Portugal


TURKEY - İnönü Anadolu Lisesi, Izmir

PROBLEMS – WHO CAN WE HELP? There are many disadvantaged, abused children, who live on the streets and are exposed to violence. Disabled people are in difficult situation because they do not have equal opportunities in education, everyday life and employment. Some women have to face domestic violence, social and cultural pressure and discrimination in schools and workplaces.

SOLUTION = VOLUNTEERING HOW CAN WE HELP? By organizing volunteer actions, raising awareness, creating sensitivity to these problems, organizing activities with the disabled, working with disadvantaged families and institutions for the disabled, helping women’s organizations.


HUNGARY – Szabad Waldorf Általános Iskola és Gimnázium, Szeged

PROBLEMS – WHO CAN WE HELP? Families living in poor conditions, homeless people, sick children in hospitals, old people living alone or in care homes, underprivileged children, disabled people SOLUTION = VOLUNTEERING HOW CAN WE HELP? By organizing community service for students, joining volunteer centres and foundations, visiting hospitals, homeless shelters and nursing homes and spending time there, collecting food and clothes, working in disadvantaged children’s schools, going on trips or playing with underprivileged children.


ITALY – Istituto Tecnico Commerciale e per Geometri “Enrico Fermi”, Pontedera

PROBLEMS – WHO CAN WE HELP? people with physical disabilities

and mental disorders, who don’t have equal opportunities in everyday life, and sick people who need care. Also, environmental problems should receive more attention.

SOLUTIONS = VOLUNTEERING HOW CAN WE HELP? By organizing activities, for example regular

sports events involving students and this way promoting equality, inclusion and respect, joining volunteer teams that raise awareness to social and environmental problems, learning and teaching to recycle, experiencing disabled people’s lives, providing activities for disadvantaged people, learning first aid.


CONCLUSION What Does Active Citizenship Mean to Us? To be an active citizen means to have a clear notion about problems and bad situations that are present in our country and other countries, as well. If we want to make a difference in society we can do it, but first we must open our eyes and minds. We should be grateful for our lives and help disadvantaged people by trying to understand their situation and feelings. If we look around, we will find a lot of people in trouble. This is the starting point, and if we are motivated, the next step will come by itself. It is important that schools organize volunteer actions so that we, students can take our first steps towards becoming responsible citizens with assistance. Therefore, we do not only learn school materials, but we become socially aware of other people’s problems, and we learn ways to help without money. Small, ordinary things mean a lot more. Later we can join volunteer organisations. For example, we can spend time with disadvantaged people, listen to them, share nice experiences, help them with their daily chores, give out food and clothes. We can visit disabled people, hospitals and old people’s homes and give them some nice moments. We will realise they are interesting and valuable individuals. We can visit the poor parts of our city and try to develop the conditions there. It is our responsibility to deal with problems in our society. To sum up, being an active citizen means to be aware of problems and participate in activities to help. Volunteers are the happiest and richest people in the world, even if their value cannot be represented by money. This brochure was compiled by the Hungarian Team.


Hftf brochure