Teaching Civic Education In and Outside of School
Teaching Civic Education In and Outside of School
The classroom provides a very intimate setting for the cultivation of democratic ideas among youth. Within the school curriculum, the history, principles, and practice of democracy may be treated as a distinct course of study or integrated into a number of other disciplines, such as history or politics.
Outside of classroom settings, informal, community-based programs often provide democracy education to many members of the population, especially adults. Adults are of particular importance for countries in the process of democratization, as they are pivotal in bringing authoritarian or totalitarian rule to an end. Outside school, adults must rely on other means-continuing education courses, employment-related programs, workshops, seminars, radio and television, newspapers, brochures, and trade union activities-to acquaint themselves with democratic theories and practices. Many groups around the world have developed civic education programs for both in-school and out-of-school settings.
Council for a Community of Democracies - Global
Contact: Robert LaGamma, Executive Director, Bob@ccd21.org
The Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD), a nongovernmental organization that was formed to support a global movement of governments committed to pursuing a common set of democratic principles, has undertaken develop a global strategic plan to advance democracy education. Civic education was the subject of a conference held on June 8-10, 2003, that brought together 35 educators, representatives of civil society and government from 13 countries (India, Indonesia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Latvia and the U.S.), as well as representatives of the World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP and the Organization of American States. The conference was organized with the American Forum for Global Education. Participants produced a strategic plan that was mandated by the Conference of the Community of Democracies in Seoul, South Korea, in November 2002. For a summary of the major recommendations of the plan, please see the Pocantico Summary Statement.
Facing History and Ourselves - Global
Facing History and Ourselves is an international, nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to promote democratic citizenship by providing curriculum and strategies for teachers, students and communities. By illuminating common themes of justice, law and morality in past and present, Facing History teaches a framework and a vocabulary for examining the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship, whether in a school, community or the wider society. The program offers a dynamic, long term intervention in schools that encompasses rigorous examination of the historical development and lessons of genocide and collective violence. The program engages middle school and high school teachers in helping their students learn that what happened in the past, and may happen in the future, is not inevitable but rather is shaped by choices made by individuals and groups. The curriculum and methodology also allow teachers to engage their students in exploring issues of identity, membership in a group, labeling, peer pressure, judgment and, lastly, the importance of participation. It also offers participating teachers access to a wealth of resources including study guides, resource books, speakers, videotapes and online modules. In addition, Facing History and Ourselves will host its first online workshop in fall 2003, as well as an online discussion entitled "Engaging the Future: Religion, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution from October 15th - 31st.
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation - Global
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) aims to assist developing countries in their efforts to achieve lasting improvements in political, economic and social conditions for the entire population. NORAD supports a number of civic education initiatives, both in school and out. Specifically, NORAD works with the Norwegian NGO, Redd Barna, in Uganda to set up a program that adjusts education to local needs. NORAD also supports UNICEF in a number of countries, including Guatemala and Angola, where the education sector has been severely damaged due to internal struggles.
African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies - The Gambia
The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is a regional nongovernmental organization that promotes, in cooperation with other African and international institutions, the observance of human rights and democratic principles throughout Africa. Previously, the Centre was commissioned to design and publish training manuals on human rights and peace education for the education sector in Liberia by UNESCO. Currently, the ACDHRS is in the process of developing a civic education training manual for teaching human rights in primary and secondary schools. It is the hope of the ACDHRS that after the validation workshop on the manual, various African countries will adapt its contents for use in their educational systems.
Campaign Against Violent Events - Sierra Leone
The Campaign Against Violent Events (CAVE) works towards the promotion of peace, the rule of law, and human rights in Sierra Leone. To teach the youth of Sierra Leone about democracy, CAVE maintains a program of civic education through theatre troupes, radio programs and roundtable discussions. In addition, CAVE provides human rights training for activists on issues of conflict resolution, good governance, human rights monitoring, and documentation.
Civil Liberties Organisation - Nigeria
www.clo.org.ng/ (site under construction)
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) trains democracy monitors in observing the national and state governments. These democracy monitors publish their findings in periodic Democracy Perception Reports and serve as coordinators of state "democracy committees" that are comprised of at least five activists from each of Nigeria's 36 states. As coordinators of state "democracy committees," their mission is to expand democratic monitoring and to carry out civic and voter education. Its civic education programs, which include town hall meetings, publications, leaflets, and radio and television, aim to mobilize citizens to be active participants in elections.
Committee for the Protection of People's Dignity - Nigeria
The Committee for the Protection of People's Dignity (COPPED), a youth and student-led nongovernmental organization, has developed innovative programs, including a human rights school, targeted at Nigeria's youth. The school has trained youth on democracy-related issues such as good governance, justice and the rule of law, conflict management, and gender issues, as well as Internet use and organizational skills. COPPED is also launching a youth democracy camp, which provides an informal social environment for young people to come together from various parts of the country to share their experiences and discuss democratic solutions to problems in Nigeria. The youth are educated about critical issues regarding Nigerian democracy and human rights and are then asked to apply the lessons to the "Youth Parliament," in which the participants discuss their common problems and devise solutions for them. The outcome of the Youth Parliament is published in a booklet that is distributed to the participants and other groups, including policy makers and the government, in order to draw attention to the concerns of Nigerian youth.
Eastern Youths Democratic Forum - Nigeria
The Eastern Youths Democratic Forum (EYDF) is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan organization that promotes democracy in Eastern Nigeria. The EYDF provides civic education materials through each of its five offices and offers training to young people on the use of computers and the Internet to stimulate their educational development and awareness about democratic principles. The EYDF also conducts quarterly meetings on issues and problems which are particular to the youth of Nigeria's five South-Eastern states, and devises strategies to further the objectives of EYDF in promoting human rights and democracy.
Ethiopian Human Rights Council - Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) is an NGO that is committed to the cause of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. EHRCO is expanding its civic education program to the towns of Gambella, Nekemt, Neghele, Borena, Desse, Goba, Gonder and Kebridehare. The program consists of bi-monthly seminars for the general public and EHRCO staff members, the commissioning and production of educational pamphlets and posters, newspaper columns, radio and television programs, production and distribution of EHRCO's newsletter, and the use of audio-visual teaching aids on human rights issues.
Women Information Network - Nigeria
The Women Information Network (WINET) is a media focused independent, non governmental, non profit organization working to empower Nigerians, especially women and youths. WINET, under the Transition Monitoring Group, is carrying out a voter education campaign for women in six communities in Enugu state. The campaign focuses on the need to vote in elections, the rights and responsibilities of a voter, electoral offences, understanding democracy and governance, and participating in the electoral process. WINET also has a radio talk show that focuses on the same issues. In addition, WINET organizes conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings on democracy-related issues concerning women and youth.
The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa - Southern Africa Region
The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) is a non-profit organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa, working to strengthen electoral processes, good governance, human rights and democratic values through capacity building, advocacy and research. EISA is currently working on two programs dealing with civic education: "Celebrating Difference" and "One in a Million." The "Celebrating Difference" program assists primary schools in developing environments in which children from diverse backgrounds with a wide range of abilities can flourish and participate democratically in South Africa. The program supports change at individual and institutional levels by focusing on inclusion and human rights. EISA is hoping to expand this work in to include the community in a broader context. "One in a Million" actively encourages first-time voters and young people to participate in political life.
Acción para el Desarrollo - Venezuela
The Venezuelan organization Acción para el Desarrollo conducts informal civic education workshops for leaders of neighborhood associations in underdeveloped neighborhoods in and around Caracas. Acción para el Desarrollo holds 30 workshops on democratic values and conflict resolution to train presidents of neighborhood associations in seven "barrios populares." The workshops focus on the themes of democratic values, the role of civil society and community organizations in democracy, how to negotiate and mediate local conflicts, the Bolivarian Constitution and the rights of Venezuelans, and how to address the violation of human rights. At the end of each workshop, participants develop a plan to promote development and democratic dialogue within their communities.
Asociación Nacional Cívica Femenina - Mexico
The Asociación Nacional Cívica Femenina (ANCIFEM) is a national nongovernmental association located in Mexico that works to promote civic awareness and government accountability. ANCIFEM observes and reports on the policy making of elected Mexican officials and distributes its analyses to the public through two regular ANCIFEM publications. By promoting civic awareness, ANCIFEM develops its grassroots civic activist groups, or Brigadas Cívicas, by providing communities with civic education, linkages to their elected officials, and forums for discussion of local and national issues. In addition, ANCIFEM organizes a Civic Leadership Training Program designed to empower women to be effective leaders of civil society and nongovernmental networks.
Congress to Campus Program - United States
The Congress to Campus Program is managed by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress in partnership with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship and the Stennis Center for Public Service. The program is designed to address several aspects of the civic education and engagement deficit among college-age young people in the U.S. by fusing traditional educational content with a strong message about public service. The program sends pairs of former Members of Congress - one Democrat and one Republican - to visit college, university, and community college campuses across the country. Over the course of two-and-a-half days, the Members conduct classes, hold community forums, meet informally with students and faculty, visit high schools and civic organizations, and do interviews and talk show appearances with local press and media.
First Amendment Schools - United States
First Amendment Schools: Educating for Freedom and Responsibility, co-sponsored by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and the First Amendment Center, is a national reform initiative designed to transform how schools model and teach the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in the U.S. To achieve this goal, the First Amendment Schools (FAS) project serves as a national resource for all schools interested in affirming First Amendment principles and putting them into action in their school communities. The FAS project is designed to help schools create the types of environments that allow all members of the community to understand what it means to be an active, civically engaged citizen. The FAS project produces a publication that provides guidance on a broad range of First Amendment topics; hosts a Web site connecting school communities to model schools policies, First Amendment lesson plans, First Amendment research tools, and Supreme Court files; and conducts professional development workshops to help local school communities in the U.S. understand and apply principles throughout their communities and classrooms.
Instituto de Defensa Legal - Peru
The Institito de Defensa Legal (Legal Defense Institute- IDL) is a non-governmental organization devoted to the defense and promotion of human rights. Founded in 1983, the IDL works to consolidate its democratic institutions and promote democratic values through civic education. In addition to working on legal defense, the IDL conducts training workshops on civic education to empower citizens. In these workshops, local leaders and members of civil society groups are trained to participate at the national level and work to improve democracy for marginalized people, such as youth, women, and indigenous populations. The IDL has a weekly radio program to broadcast information on human rights work and civic participation.
Kids Voting USA (KVUSA) - United States
Kids Voting USA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national organization that works with schools and communities to enhance civic education. Kids Voting USA fosters an informed, participating electorate by educating and actively engaging young people and their families in voting and other elements of effective civic engagement. KVUSA provides students with an authentic voting process that mirrors the official voting process of the United States through programs such as Civics Alive! for K-12 students and Destination Democracy for high school students.
Mexican Federal Electoral Institute - Mexico
The Mexican Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), in partnership with the Center for Civic Education, conducts civic education programs and conferences. IFE is an autonomous agency of the Mexican federal government responsible for organizing federal elections as well as promoting civic education. The collaboration between the IFE and the Center was crucial for the creation of Project Citizen, a civic education curriculum for middle school students. IFE and the Center engage in a series of planning sessions and trainings for the translation, adaptation and implementation of Project Citizen in Mexico. More recently, IFE and the Center have formed the Mexico Center for Civic Education Partnership as part of Civitas Latin America: A Civic Education Exchange Program. As a result of this partnership, IFE and the Center are collaborating on the development of Civic Exchange: U.S.-Mexico., a civic education exchange project between schools in the United States and Mexico utilizing the Project Citizen curricular material.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) - United States
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) promotes research on the civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of 15 and 25. CIRCLE conducts and funds research on projects involving youth civic engagement and civic education, hoping to have a positive impact on young people's future engagement in politics and civic life. CIRCLE sponsors a consensus report on best practices of civic education for grades k-12. The report, which can be found at http://civicmissionofschools.org, summarizes the evidence in favor of civic education in schools; analyzes trends in political and civic engagement; identifies promising approaches to civic education; and offers recommendations to educators, policymakers, funders, researchers, and others.
Visible Congress - Visible Candidates - Colombia
Visible Congress - Visible Candidates of the Department of Political Science at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia is working on a project called "Visible School Governments" to foster change in the civic behavior of youth, improve the quality of student representation, and generate awareness about the importance of permanent communication between the people and its representatives. The students of the schools involved are invited to form groups to gather information related to the proposals and curriculum vitae of the Student Council and the "Personero," which are student groups in charge of the fulfillment of students' rights and duties and management of its initiatives in the development of scholarly life. The aim of project is to disclose the information gathered and make it visible among the student body, thus working towards an informed and systematic vote. The student groups then follow-up with periodical reports of the performance of the Student Council and the "Personero." The Visible School Governments project will lay the foundation for youth to repeat a similar form of political process with their local representatives in their own communities. Through this civic education project, Visible Congress - Visible Candidates hopes to foster a certain sense of belonging and civic participation that can strengthen the democratic culture of Colombia.
American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation - Burma
The American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation (AFT) has enlarged its program of civic education for Burmese teachers in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border. The program, which aims at reversing the disenfranchisement created by 40 years of Burmese authoritarian militarism, emphasizes democratic principles and empowers teachers by establishing civic education as a core component of their curriculum. In civic education workshops, participants are introduced to the pillars of democracy, the basics of human rights, the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy, the purpose of a constitution, and concepts of power in a democracy. Throughout the workshops a variety of interactive teaching methodologies are employed, and participants are given an opportunity to practice these techniques and discuss ways in which they might be used in their classrooms. The AFT targets Karen and Karenni ethnic populations, which together represent over 120,000 refugees, and more than 250,000 internally displaced persons. Additionally, the AFT publishes a resource book containing essential democracy and human rights documents that can be used in training workshops and classrooms.
Center for Civic Education Indonesia - Indonesia
The Center for Civic Education Indonesia (CCEI), in cooperation with the Indonesian National Ministry of Education, coordinates a program to make civic education a successful and sustainable part of Indonesian education reform. CCEI has engaged the services of 36 provincial coordinators from all twelve Indonesian provinces. These coordinators are trained as trainers in Kami Bangsa, Indonesia to instruct teachers and principals from middle schools throughout Indonesia, affecting more than 32,760 students and student teachers since the original training of the trainers. The program in Kami Bangasa focuses on the role of local and provincial governments. The curriculum involves a series of structured, cooperative learning activities guided by teachers and adult volunteers. Working in cooperative teams, the class learns to interact with their government through a process that includes identifying a public policy problem in their community; gathering and evaluating information on the problem; examining and evaluating solutions; selecting or developing a proposed public policy; and developing an action plan. The format provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how public policy is formulated while providing teachers with an excellent means of assessing performance.
Education Foundation - Pakistan
The Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to working for the oppressed laborers and marginalized people of Pakistan. The Foundation conducts a project called Democratic Development Pakistan that provides education and training for the promotion and expansion of democratic ideas in Pakistan, in addition to its Campaign for a Peaceful Pakistan, a project for establishing peace. The Foundation also provides education and training to students, youth, lawyers, journalists and civil society organizations, and works to increase awareness about the rights of working women in Pakistan.
Citizenship Forum - Morocco
The Citizenship Forum (CF) is dedicated to promoting and institutionalizing democracy in Morocco. The Forum's education on citizenship program involves the strengthening of 25 civic clubs inside schools throughout Morocco, promotes the importance of teachers who serve as project coordinators, and seeks to create three new civic clubs at the university level. The Citizenship Forum also publishes two editions of an Arabic newsletter called "Citizenship," an educational publication that is widely distributed among CF's network, which also serves to foster greater interest in the Forum's educational programs.
Generation for the Integrity of Lebanon - Lebanon
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The Generation for the Integrity of Lebanon (GIL), a nonprofit youth organization, works to promote human rights, pluralism, democracy and youth participation in civic activities. GIL believes that the most likely avenue for genuine civic participation that transcends sectarian affiliations is among the youth. Thus, GIL conducts youth training workshops at the grassroots level that includes lectures, discussions, debates, educational games, role playing and multi-media materials. As a result of the project, GIL publishes a book that includes the training materials, discussions, and names of participants, and that serves as a permanent reference on the issue. GIL publicizes and distributes the book to the wider community (parliamentarians, journalists, NGOs, decision makers in political parties, university professors, etc.), and uses it as a reference in the design of future civic education activities.
Israel Democracy Institute - Israel
The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) is an independent, non-partisan research institute whose objective is to play an important role in placing democracy and civic studies higher up on the agenda of the education system. Currently the IDI is spearheading a constitutional initiative entitled "Constitution by Consensus," in order to tackle the problem of the lack of both formal and informal education for citizenship in Israel. In addition to seminars for supervisors, instructors, school principals, and teachers, IDI also runs pilot programs throughout Israel that aim to deepen and expand the education for democracy. The IDI also produces three booklets, including a multi-stage educational curriculum on democratic principles and a guide for civics teachers to equip them with background materials relevant to civic education as well as the "Constitution by Consensus" project.
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute - Israel
The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (VLJI) is an intellectual center for interdisciplinary study and discussion of issues related to society, culture and education in Israel. The Center for Tolerance Education at The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (VLJI) has initiated four projects in this area. The VLJI will start its third year running a continuing education program in East Jerusalem, providing 25 Palestinian teachers with the skills and tools to introduce a democratic framework to social education through active learning methods. Recently the VLJI set up a research group to examine whether a stable civil society can exist in Israel and, if so, under what conditions and limitations. The academics, who have studied this issue in various disciplines, work with educators and members of institutions and organizations active in civic education and tolerance education to clarify the connection between shared values and civil society. The VLJI published a guide for organizations promoting tolerance education in Israel, which will allow schools to find the educational project suitable for their needs and will help the organizations find out more about each other and create a closer community. Additionally, the VLJI is currently running a coexistence curriculum as a pilot in several Israeli Arab and Jewish schools. This curriculum will enable Jewish and Arab students to develop a more complete understanding of the role that land, religion, and culture have played in the formation of each other's identity, and how a person relates to their fellow-citizens.
Center for Human Rights Poland-Belarus - NIS
The Center for Human Rights Poland-Belarus is an independent, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that consists of a network of human rights offices. It regularly publishes reports on the status of human rights and trains local activists to run the branch offices. The Centre for Human Rights Poland-Belarus conducts civic education activitites such as providing citizens with legal representation and counseling.
Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives - Russia
The Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives, which grew out of youth activities organized by the Perm branch of the All-Russian Memorial Society, carries out a wide variety of projects relating to democratic curriculum development and teacher training. The Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives believes that for a genuine democratic transformation in Russia, schools must educate students about democratic philosophies and practices, and the Perm-based Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives thus offers training in human rights education to teachers throughout the Perm oblast, develops and tests human rights curricula in local schools, and publishes teacher training guides and textbooks.
Center of Young Leaders - Azerbaijan
The Center of Young Leaders (CYL) functions as an educational institution and a resource and coordinating center for NGOs in Azerbaijan. The CYL works to strengthen the third sector in the western regions of Azerbaijan by increasing the active participation of its citizens, particularly young people, in the building of civil society according to democratic principles. The CYL educates Azerbaijan youth by imparting the values of activism, teamwork and civic responsibility. The Center also conducts a five-month intensive course of study, publishes a monthly newspaper and Web site, and has initiated the formation of a youth movement. The CYL strives to integrate its students into the local NGO and media community, thereby making their work more effective.
Information Centre on Human Rights Education - Belarus
The Information Centre on Human Rights Education in Belarus works on the local, state, and international levels to advance democracy and improve civic participation of the Belarusian people in building a new democratic society. The Information Centre on Human Rights Education is currently developing social activities and academic lesson plans in cooperation with students and teachers from 37 primary and secondary schools. The Centre has created a voluntary school service called "Voice of Ombudsman" for monitoring children's rights violations within schools. In addition, the Centre conducts peer education training programs on children's rights and civic responsibilities for students and civic activists and publishes online materials on school self-government systems in countries in transition. Over the course of the year, the Centre will incorporate human rights education through a variety of theatre performances, elect representatives for the Youth Town Council, and make the voice of students heard in local level decision making processes by teaching students to be active citizens in defending their rights and working towards social changes in society.
Donetsk Human Rights School - Ukraine
The Donetsk Human Rights School (DHRS) aims to assist in the reform of education and the establishment of institutions for civic education in Ukraine. The DHRS develops materials for civic education by providing programs of teacher training and curriculum development for secondary school teachers. In addition, the DHRS organizes a national conference for civic education specialists and a civic education training seminar; prepares a guide to civic education resources for faculty and students of pedagogical institutes; updates its courses on civic education for use in Ukrainian schools; and prepares and releases electronic versions of its teaching aids on CD-ROM.
Regional Information Center for Women - Ukraine
To help combat the lack of information in the rural regions of Ukraine, the Regional Information Center for Women (RICW) is launching a project under the title "E-Government: New Steps in Developing Civil Society in the Kirovohrad Region." This program will build on previous programs by expanding its network of NGOs in the region: three new Civic Education Network (CEN) centers will be established in the small towns of Dolinka, Vishlanka and Petrovo. RICW will conduct 17 training events throughout the year for participants from all ten centers that are already part of the RICW network. The RICW will also maintain an interactive Web site throughout the program, publish two brochures on information technology and government, hold a competition to identify successful civil society initiatives in the region, and present its program at upcoming international conferences on civil society in Kyiv.
Russian Association for Civic Education - Russia
The Russian Association for Civic Education (RACE) provides teachers, students and parents with Russia-specific and international information about civic education. RACE holds an annual National Olympiad in Civic Education to promote a greater understanding of democratic principles and practices. Answers to a series of essay questions are first solicited from students ranging in age from 11 to 17 years through a nationwide campaign and are then judged by an expert panel of educators. The finalists are invited to Moscow where they take part in a second-round competition and various civic education training exercises.
Living Law Legal and Civic Education Center - Russia
The Living Law Program, which is run by the Living Law Legal and Civic Education Center at St. Petersburg Law School, carries out a legal education and citizen participation program for schoolchildren, older students and adults. The Living Law program organizes courses to be taught in schools; clubs and educational organizations; law clinics where students teach schoolchildren; and training workshops and internships for more than 4,000 participants from 50 regions of Russia and 25 foreign countries. In addition to the Living Law Program, the Regions Program is targeted at assisting regional partners of the Center in developing legal and civic education programs. Activities of the Regions Program include consulting regional partners, mailing informational leaflets and books, and conducting workshops for teachers outside St. Petersburg, as well as summer training in Living Law interactive strategies for partners from other regions of Russia.
GONG - Croatia
GONG is a nongovernmental organization based in Zagreb that carries out a civic education program entitled, "I Vote for the First Time." The main objective of the program is to inform high school students who are approaching voting age about their role as citizens in a democracy and the importance of participating in elections. The program consists of workshops addressing topics such as an overview of Croatia's political and electoral system; the basic elements of the country's electoral laws at the national and local level; efforts that are being undertaken to amend and improve these laws; the fundamental rights of the voter; and information on how citizens can get involved in the political process. GONG hopes that by conducting these workshops in high schools throughout Croatia, it will provide a new generation with the necessary tools to participate fully in Croatia's political process and to make informed decisions at election time.
Educational Society of Malopolska - CEE
The Educational Society of Malopolska (MTO) promotes civic education and activism at the grassroots level in nine regions of the Balkans. The MTO organizes five training workshops and site visits in Poland and in the Balkans for local activists from the region. These workshops assist in the creation of 20 new parent-teacher NGOs and support of its network in rural towns in Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia. In addition, the MTO has created a small grants program to encourage local civic education programs, with a focus on inter-ethnic projects.
Foundation for Education for Democracy - CEE/NIS
The Foundation for Education for Democracy (FED), a nonpartisan, independent NGO based in Warsaw, works towards the advancement and dissemination of democratic ideas by helping organizations develop the skills needed to advance their countries' democratic transitions. FED conducts civic education, leadership, and NGO development workshops designed to create core groups of indigenous civic educators so that they may teach their countries' citizens about the rights and responsibilities of living in a democracy. Also, the FED produces four "how to" training brochures to reinforce the workshops in addition to its Web site and newsletter.
Association for Civic Education - Romania
The Association for Civic Education (ASPEC), an independent nongovernmental organization based in Bucharest, is committed to the promotion of civic education and democratic values in Romania. ASPEC is in the process of initiating a nation-wide training program for 300 young civic and political activists. The program will consist of a series of 10 two-day intensive training workshops in 10 cities across Romania (Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara, Craiova, Constanta, Brasov, Arad, Suceava, and Sibiu) on topics focused on developing effective public communication skills and handling the policy decision-making process. This educational program aims to encourage greater cooperation among a new generation of political and civic activists at the grassroots level in Romania.
Community Revitalization through Democratic Action / America's Development Foundation - Serbia
The Community Revitalization through Democratic Action (CRDA) is a civil society program that focuses on community development activities to build trust between different ethnic and religious groups, demonstrate the value of citizen participation, to support grassroots democratic action, and to bring immediate improvement in people's living conditions in communities. The CRDA works with America's Development Foundation (ADF), a U.S. nonprofit private voluntary organization that promotes civic participation to achieve positive social and economic change. The ADF/CRDA Program concentrates on raising awareness within and between communities at a critical level of civic participation, facilitating the creation of mechanisms through which the community can plan and manage local initiatives, and building dialogue with local government authorities and structures and providing support that complements local resources.
Pontis Foundation - Slovakia
The Pontis Foundation, a Slovakia-based civil society organization, works to transform and strengthen democracy in Slovak society. Pontis organizes a citizen education program during national elections to encourage citizen participation in the public policy process. Another program of Pontis is the Institute for Civic Diplomacy (ICD), which provides technical assistance and prepares small projects in several developing countries. The program aims to encourage a civic dimension in Slovak foreign policy and engage the Slovak public in issues of human rights and democracy building around the world.
The Citizenship Project/You the PEOPLE - Russia
www.citizenproject.org; www.youthepeople.com/newsite/ or www.thedemocracyworks.org/dw!/en/
The Citizenship Project and the US-based "You the PEOPLE" program are developing a civic education curriculum for the Russian Public Schools and in the Republic of Karelia. The goal of the "You the PEOPLE" Program in Russia and Karelia is to make democratic skills and attitudes a way of life by using the latest teaching methods in newly democratic states. The program teaches civics and government through a variety of subject areas, from geography to physics. In addition, the "You the PEOPLE" Program involves a "constitutional convention: where parents, administrators, teachers and students design a constitution for their school with a bill of responsibilities as well as a bill of rights. Participating school teachers have also created a number of variants of the "You the PEOPLE" Program stretching from youth camps to handicapped facilities and from kindergarten to college, including a complete methodologies course for the teachers college.