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Go green, grow inclusion!
Start date: Sep 28, 2015, End date: Sep 27, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the region of Stara Zagora, 628 children and pupils with special educational needs receive inclusive education in mainstream schools and kindergartens. Many of them, due to various constraints arising from the disabilities and many social prejudices, cannot find their realization in society and are condemned to social isolation and low social status after they finish their education. The key to avoiding social exclusion is in the development and sustainable implementation of practical and important life skills. Currently the school environment does not provide activities where the emphasis is socially important skills to deal with life. Participation of children and pupils with special educational needs in extracurricular activities is difficult at this stage. Organic farming as a form of extra-curricular activity assists these children and young people to realize new perspective and horizon for their future. The main objective of the project "Go green, grow inclusion!" is to create opportunities for inclusion of young people with special educational needs and EVS volunteers in activities to support their future realization by encouraging educational and social activities in the local community of Stara Zagora through the promotion of organic farming, and to provide capacity building for practicing organic farming and the formation of positive attitudes and skills for practicing organic farming by young people with and without special educational needs in Stara Zagora. The main topics of this project are inclusion and equal opportunities for education, formation of ecological culture and development of intercultural dialogue with EVS volunteers as a main tool to ensure sustainable development models not only in the local community, but also within the European area. Within the project, activities in the school environment and practical activities for students in organic farming will be carried out, combined with joint public initiatives in the local community. For the purposes of the project, our organization will host four volunteers from Programme countries - young people between 18 and 30 years old with attitudes for working with pupils with special educational needs, regardless of their gender, religion and ethnicity. We plan to host a volunteer with special needs - learning difficulties and / or visual and / or other disability. The project will be implemented by the National association of resource teachers / NART /, which works closely with the Resource Center- Stara Zagora and several schools in town, where there is integration of children and young people with various disabilities. Volunteers will be involved in all project activities in a long-term voluntary service. The project activities are devoted to the development of the potential of the children and young people involved in the project and their future training for independent life and realization: 1) implementation of non-formal education and training in support of children with special educational needs in the school environment 2) promotion of organic farming as a form of extra-curricular activity, which assists these children and young people to realize new perspective and horizon for their future, 3) intercultural dialogue and exchange of good practices, 4) creating an interactive blog and informational materials for biological agriculture and environmental culture. The main methods of the project are: non-formal education, interactive activities for children and youth, field work, group work, presentations, public discussions and personal intercultural interactions. The different methods of work are based on transnational dialogue between participants with different backgrounds and from different social environments. The expected results are children and young people with special educational needs (12-18 yrs old) from Stara Zagora to acquire professional skills for farming and to develop their own educational agricultural production. The effect of this activity will allow on one hand to increase the social inclusion of these young people, and on the other will promote organic farming and its benefits not only to the schoolchildren but also to the local community. The project will support the prevention and the fight against prejudices and attitudes leading to social exclusion, while developing tolerance and understanding of diversity. Organic farming gives employment outlook and formation of valuable practical and professional skills to these young people, which is one of the objectives of social inclusion. NART's capacity building in the field of organic farming will boost many future initiatives, especially for a sustainable solution for the personal development of young people with various disabilities, which is an aim in many of the activities of the organization.
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