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3b16ccbc3178fbffcf04ea92fc978690454c7a64f498a3f1914e7fca3f1c9511To start the programme, two workshops have been done with 5th graders at the National School of Music and Arts “Prof.. Vesselin Stoyanov “.

The main objective of the programme is to broaden the participation of children in achieving their rights and fulfilled their responsibilities within the communities in which they live (family, school and neighborhood). Understanding the balance between rights and responsibilities provides students with a formula for dealing with bullying, exploitation and abuse in the contexts of their daily lives.

Social participation encourages children and young people to be involved in the decision-making processes that impact on their lives and to take and appropriate level of responsibility. It helps them to conceive and execute projects and initiatives through which to express their opinion and to influence the policies and practices relating to them. Of course, this does not happen automatically, and children need support and encouragement to be able to participate in a meaningful way that is appropriate for them. EQ has been working for over a decade to raise awareness of and respect for children’s rights and this has encouraged us to continually develop the way we work with members of the younger generation.

Our approach is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but it is unconventional, informal and interactive with little didactic content. The format provides the children with the resources and tools to allow the children to explore issues for themselves, to think critically and creatively and to interact in a highly collaborative way. Big issues – diversity, tolerance, personal identity, self-esteem – are explored in ways that imbed the issues into their everyday lives – in the coffee shop, at home, in class or while performing together on stage.

Work is about to start in two further schools and we expect that the programme will expand into all parts of the city.