This week's innovation story is about the IDEAL Tolerant World project that strives to promote interreligious dialogue and Global Citizenship Education among the local young people in Bulgaria.
The Youth and Civil Initiatives in the Rose Valley NGO from Bulgaria has been working on the youth empowerment for over 13 years. As time passed, we have realized the power of non-formal education for building active, tolerant and socially responsible young people. With more than 170 international partnership projects and over 40 locally implemented ones, we know that young people can be the leaders and actors of positive change in our society provided that they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to make that change. That is why citizenship education is among the key priorities of our NGO. So far we have provided hundreds of opportunities for the young people of the Rose Valley– opportunities to explore new cultures, make new friends, gain new knowledge, share and exchange ideas of how to make the world we live in a better place for everyone.
In the globalized world we live in today, people from different religions, cultures and traditions have to co-exist and interact. Often due to cultural misunderstandings and differences in beliefs conflicts arise leading to xenophobic manifestations and wars. That is why it is highly important to sensitize young people about the different world religions with their beliefs, rituals and traditions so as to foster tolerance, mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence of all nations. Only thus can we reach the global goal of peace and welfare for all and contribute to the creation of an “IDEAL TOLERANT WORLD”.
Throughout the years of youth work experience, we have also realized that young people are learning most via non-formal interactive educational methods, especially through games, case studies and group missions where they learn by doing and having fun together.
This is what we are going to use again in our project “IDEAL Tolerant World” aiming at promoting interreligious dialogue and global citizenship education among the local young people. With the support of Bridge 47, we will organize an interreligious dialogue training course for 21 young people and 7 teachers with follow-up campaigns in the 7 partnering high schools testing the IRD board games “Holy Memo” and “Life Pilgrimage” teaching the young people about the different world religions in an interactive way.
The specific project objectives are:
- to introduce innovative tools for interreligious dialogue education;
- to foster tolerance, mutual understanding and acceptance of differences;
- to ensure sustainable global citizenship education by equipping teachers with innovative tools for further education;
Our project is innovative in the sense that no one so far has trained local young people and teachers in interreligious dialogue using interesting board games and manuals provoking their critical thinking. We believe our project will bring for a positive change in an educational curriculum with the integration of new educational tools which will raise young people's interest globally.
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