Organization: Sol Mentis Association
Location: Romania

Please explain how you have implemented the Learning to Live Together Programme, including the adaptation of its conceptual framework, approach, learning process, methodologies and activities. (600 words)

I started to implement LTLT program since 2014, first in one school in Bucharest, where I developed an optional program of personal development for children with age between 12-14 years. In the next years until now I work with Laura Molnar on the systematic implementation of the LTLT ethic education program in formal education in school from Bucharest and other parts of the country, for children with ages between 7-18 years old. I work with teachers from different grades (primary, secondary and high school) and offer my knowledge and experiences to help them to implement the program during an entire school year at their classroom. For this I go to each school involved in the implementation once a month for facilitating a session at their class and discus with teachers the session they will facilitate next. I facilitate more than 50 LTLT sessions in Bucharest only this year. To offer more support for teachers me and Laura elaborated some set of LTLT sessions, adequate for different ages (0-1 grade, 2-4 grade, secondary and high-school) starting from the LTLT manual. For every session developed we took in consideration the specific of the LTLT learning process, the methodology, key concept and values. We adapted the sessions so each of it will have a real impact on the children; for smaller children we use more activity which were based on drawing, cooperative games, role playing, storytelling and for the eldest we design session that include debates, experience sharing, joint initiatives, problem solving and all present earlier. For every class I choose the sessions regarding the learning needs of the children, the issues that I want to address (to consolidate the group cohesion and developing positive relationships- between them, as group and between them others colleagues, diminutions of the discriminative and aggressive behaviors, for accepting human diversity and for finding effective solutions in conflicts resolution, etc.).

Explain how the implemented program has been sensitive to the local context. (400 words)

Our context of living here is, fortunately, without major conflicts, tensions or issues at the national levels. So, before implementation I had discussions with teachers from each school to find out more about their particular context (the school culture, the problems that affect the children, social, cultural or economic differences between them and how these reflect on their interaction, types of problem in classroom or between classrooms). Starting from those informations, I established the needs of the participants and developed one year program for each class by choosing the sessions which could brought the changes that were important for their community. One important condition was to create and maintain a safe learning environment, so we (me, children and teachers) could built knowledge together and gave the opportunity to every participant to felt valued and recognized by the others. Also was important to use different techniques so different learning styles of the participants could be respected the. The children had the opportunity to acknowledge their own identities, to learn to respect the identities of others and to understand the interconnectedness between them. We explored, discussed, found out, reflected and acted on the different issues so we could brought the changes that we have wanted. During the learning process there were provided opportunities to achieve common goals, built on their individual strengths, appreciated the diversity around them, all of that led to development of critical thinking, imagination, critical consciousness.

How has the implemented program fostered interfaith and/or intercultural learning among participating children and young people? (400 words)

By creating opportunities to learn more about themselves and the others, we could make them aware about the commune values promoted by our program which are identical for all the community around the world: respect, empathy, responsibility and reconciliation. We provided them the opportunity to act collectively and encourage intercultural and interfaith learning by creating the safe learning environment and using participatory and collaborative learning. During the school year were organized field trips to different religious institution to find more about the different confessions want is similar and common. Also we have organized different interfaith and intercultural events where children from different schools met and present to the others one culture they have chosen using different methods (music and dances, food, clothes or traditions and customs, PPT presentation, etc.) all of that for capture the common in us all as human. Some examples of events for the children developed are: “Us in the world diversity”, “World Day of Prayer and Action for children”.

How has the Learning to Live Together Programme influenced a positive transformation in you, in a personal and professional level. (400 words)

Even since I attend the Basic Training Workshop of the LTLT, I felt that I discover for me as a professional a very good and structured resource to use in my work with children and teachers. It came for me as the most useful tool to develop and strengthen the sense of community of the children in schools (by sense of community I mean- to develop and transfer strong values, which will help them to build positive relationships, live in harmony, by respecting himself/herself and others, and accept diversity of cultures, opinions and believes). All my activity from this program helped me to develop new perspectives, gain information and skills and connect more with people from different cultures and religions. During my formation on LTLT I attend the on-line courses which brought me closer to many dear persons. From all these interactions that I had with all the trainers and colleagues during those courses, I took valuable information and skills, which help me a lot in my current experiences in offering support for the implementation of this program. All this, widen my understanding on how to apply better the Intercultural and Interfaith Program for Ethics Education –LTLT in schools. I became more motivated on achieving goals; I am more interested to make changes to appear in community and I act more for that.

Please explain how you exemplify a strong role-model of the principles of Learning to Live Together. (400 words)

If I may put my way of being in one sentence, I will use the quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This describes my beliefs, behavior and action as person and as professionals. I have this attitude in my life since I remember, because it was the way I was raise for my parents (who were and are a model for me). So LTLT program of ethic education came like a glove for me. From the start I see the learning process having two directions; we are constantly learned from each other – us (adults) and children/youth. In my work I encourage the horizontal dialogue, and encourage the children to express their opinions, feelings, sharing experiences, I also share from my experiences with them. It is important for me to make the children think and quest all the information they receive, to let them to choose, to think at solutions, only like this we can create critical thinking which it will be a useful tool in their life. I think I am responsible for my choices and life, and for these I reflect each day on my decision (how affect me, how affect the others, how affect my relationships) and for trying to be the best of me I the world. I am an empathic person, who acts with respect for everyone and everything around me.

Please provide further information on how you initiated, implemented and sustained the programs based on the LTLT, and how you have mobilized necessary support from stakeholders. (600 words)

In 2014 I started the implementation of program based on LTLT in the private school where I worked that time, as a personal development program aim to consolidate the group cohesion and diminishing conflicts. After I saw the feed-back and the good result on the group, I want to extend in other school, for create better environment for learning. From 2015 and collaborate closely with Laura Molnar and from then we extend the program in more school from Bucharest and in different parts from the country, and so I start to facilitate more sessions in different schools and develop with her a mentoring program and a community of practice, where teachers could see the other colleagues experiences and achievements in LTLT implementation, the children/youth work and feed-backs. We implement the LTLT program in a systematic way in formal education, because here the curricula have a lack of discipline which can provide a space for children to reflect upon them and the others. We manage to grow due to our results obtain with every school/class community, and now we work with more than 100 teachers. In every school we have the institutional support, we discus with directors about the advantages the community can get if more teachers are involved.
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