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Raising Strong and Resilient Communities
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background and current setting: Economic and social times are changing, globally and in Europe. Communities are in transition, and not only through migration. Citizens are obliged to become more self-sufficient. These are changes and challenges not easily accepted and dealt with. Successful initiatives depend on factors such as trust, sharing emotions, recognising and accepting differences. If cohesion and progress are the objectives, then storytelling delivers the tools and also creates engagement and compassion. Stories of shared values, shared plans and more equality provide the best examples for all that. The most successful story expressing this is democracy. Research by the IMF has shown that collaboration and more equality are favourable to economic growth. A longitudinal research by anthropologist Bruce Gibb revealed the importance of a balance between efficiency and resilience, hierarchy and equality and the sharing of stories for sustainable communities. The project With the project ‘Raising Strong and resilient Communities’ the consortium wants to develop a set of educational tools that can be used in adult education (with a focus on non-formal adult education) focussing on active citizenship and participation. These tools are based on existing and the further expansion of developed approaches, theories and methods of storytelling. These tools are a teacher/ trainer manual, structured courses for adult educators, and a collection of videos/ audio recordings to showcase best practices and function as instruction videos. The tools will be developed around the development of competences of cooperation and communication in differing communities, between various ‘divides’, such as intergenerational, intercultural, etc in order for learners to actively engage in local community work. The innovative aspect of this project is that it aims at training and facilitating community educators to work with concrete narrative methods (e.g. Participatory Narrative Inquiry, Participatory Learning in Action, Community & network Mapping), guidelines and courses to help communities coping with present AND imagined and feasible FUTURE situations. On an individual basis that means changing the attitude, the negative discourse of the individual and the lingering in (dominating) stories of the past. The project will thus support planning a future for communities with concrete actions taken for future-proofing, inspired and carried by a community story that will lead to participation, collaboration, and in the end to a positive change. The partnership SVF has experience with supporting development and education of diverse communities (rural, urban, young adults) and the implementation of storytelling. Storybag has a background in communication, marketing strategy, design, writing and a broad knowledge and experience of all facets of storytelling (research, workshops and training). In Dialogue has a vast experience in developing methods and tools, training and courses, out of theoretical concepts, towards specific target groups in the field of narrative coaching. Ozara has a long experience in training, education and employment support of disabled groups (social inclusion, self-esteem) and a strong analytical background. CzechDesk serves NGOs and volunteer networks (e.g. rural areas who need to connect with the digital age) and is experienced in developing handbooks and training. P6 (Fundacia Centrul Soros) is involved in the support and education / training of communities in remote rural areas with a need for language education and development of tourism. Ceres has a long history of working with community and volunteer groups, a strong affinity with (heritage) storytelling and offers experience and skills in digital media. AccoglieRete) is an enthusiastic organisation concentrating on the education and training of tutors for volunteers working with young migrants to help them integrate. Cluturex) is involved in the support of regional tourism, the creation of heritage awareness and the importance of stories and taking it further with educational and training materials. Impact of this project We will have trained non formal (adult) educators, volunteers and others involved in community collaboration, communication and well-being through a process that enables them to acquire new skills of listening, understanding and support communities in the 'reconstruction' of their past, present and future. They will have learned innovative methods to assess communities, their ‘hidden’ social networks, storytelling spaces, key-storytellers and their true needs, based on mapping and story collecting. They will have learned how to plan and craft new stories of collaboration and cooperation for the future and they will be able to assist communities in the communication and maintenance of these stories. In the course of the project we also hope to inspire related and/or affiliated organizations (or even public entities).
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8 Partners Participants