Build European Solidarity Today (BEST) is a project implemented in France, Spain, Poland, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia within the Erasmus+ programme. It was originally designed in 2002 in France by the La ligue de L'ensignement and has since been conducted every year in France as an educational response to growing negative social trends including racism and exclusion. The project emphasizes the importance of coexistence of various ideas, religions, races, status groups etc. through an simple activity of sending messages of solidarity from school students to random people in their communities, resembling the idea of a 'message in a bottle'. Students are trained in critical thinking and photo analyses prior to writing their messages of solidarity. With their teachers they cover topics of discrimination, migration, poverty, volunteering etc. Recipients of the postcards are invited to share their response to the coordinating organizations - La ligue de L'ensignement in France, Centre for Peace Studies in Croatia, Foundacion Cives in Spain, Humanitas in Slovenia, ARCI APS in Italy and Fundacja Szkoła z Klasą in Poland. In school year 2017/2018 approximately 150 000 pupils will participate in the project and send their postcards.
The basic idea – working on global issues with students and sending postcards with messages of solidarity to their local communities.
La Ligue de l’enseignement – France
La Ligue de l'enseignement is one of France’s largest organisations in non-formal education. Founded in 1866, it aims to guarantee access to education for everyone, regardless of their age, social and ethnic backgrounds. It further promotes a secular society, solidarity amongst citizens and active citizenship. The 102 federations of La Ligue de l'enseignement and their 30,000 member organizations carry out activities in the field of culture, education and lifelong learning, culture and media, social work, recreational-educational activities, environment and sustainable development, sports for all, international solidarity.
Fundacion CIVES – Spain
Cives foundation has worked for more than ten years towards the attainment of full citizenship in a Social and Democratic State of Law. Specializing in the promotion of the education in values, Cives Foundation is committed to education as a means to create citizens with solid democratic values based in solidarity, critical thinking, interculturality and tolerance. The fields of action are, on one side, teachers training on education for democratic citizenship and human rights and, on the other side, the promotion of European citizenship through initiatives that aim to bring citizens closer to EU institutions and contribute to the consolidation of a more participatory democracy.
CMS, Center for Peace Studies - Croatia
Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) is non-profit citizen association working on social change based on the principles of non-violence, peace building and respect of human rights, combining education, research, advocacy and activism. CPS is focusing on policy and activism based researches in the field of human rights, peace building and education; also works on promoting and supporting values of non-violence, justice, respect of human rights and acceptance/tolerance of differences.Centre for Peace Studies three main programmes: Fight against xenophobia, racism and ethnic discrimination; Peace education and promotion of non-violence; Promotion of social and economic solidarity and Human security programme.
School with Class Foundation – Poland
The School with Class Foundation is an expert, non-profit organization, based in Warsaw (Poland). Our team is composed of professionals experienced in the field of education and managing innovative projects on the nation-wide scale. The School with Class Foundation was founded in October 2015 and is a spin-off of the biggest and one of the most successful educational programs in Poland run since 2002 by the Center for Citizenship Education and "Gazeta Wyborcza" (nationwide journal) - with over 8.500 schools, 100.000 teachers and a million students.
The purpose of the School with Class Foundation is: to support education tailored to the modern world, schools that are open and engaged in tackling social problems; to foster the development of 21st century skills in Polish schools; to improve the quality of teacher training and professional development; to increase the prestige of the teaching profession, highlight and promote activities of headmasters/ headmistresses, teachers and other persons acting to the benefit of good education in Poland and abroad; to equalize educational opportunities of children and youth; to strengthen the civic mission of the school, to build bonds between schools and local communities.
Humanitas, Centre for global learning - Slovenia
Humanitas is a non-governmental organization founded in 2000. Its main mission is to raise awareness on global problems and to encourage social inclusion and responsibility. Its principal activities are global education, development cooperation projects and fair trade. The NGO leads global education (GE) and intercultural workshops dealing with human rights, prejudices, stereotypes, hate-speech, discrimination and migration in schools (for teachers and children). On the international level, Humanitas is active in the EPTO (European peer training organization) network, which organizes anti-discrimination trainings. Humanitas is also a national representative in CONCORD HUB 4 working group on global citizenship education and public engagement. Humanitas is one of the founders of Slovene NGO platform SLOGA (http://www.sloga-platform.org/sloga/en/) and coordinates its Global Education working group.
Humanitas is part of this project, because it sincerely believes in solidarity and cooperation based on informed action. Thus, Humanitas sees an added value in this project and its aim, which is very much connected with its work in schools.
ARCI A.P.S. - Italy
Associazione Arci is an Italian social promotion organization founded in 1957. It is available all over the Italian territory, with approximately one million members, 17 regional committees, 115 local committees, and 4,400 recreational and cultural clubs. Its main fields of intervention are:- Culture: Arci’s mission is to offer recreational and cultural opportunities (music literature, dance, theatre, film festivals, courses, cultural programs,...). - Educational, training and research: the contents deal both with cultural issues (music, drama activities, literature, video, languages, etc.) and social ones (ad-hoc courses to train specific publics such as social operators, intercultural operators,...). - Immigration, right to asylum and fight against all forms of discriminations and racism: awareness campaigns, empowerment of migrants, support for self-organization of migrants... In the last 5 years, Arci has realised a significant number of educational activities within schools to reinforce young people's social competences. The guiding thread of these activities involving school students consists in educating the new generations to respect diversity and to fight discriminations against people of foreign origin, by deconstructing stereotypes and breaking the beliefs determined by ignorance and fear.