Bright Future’s innovative volunteers worked together and created a
Dutch-English bilingual book for international children,
using non-formal learning methodology.
This inspiring bilingual book will introduce young children to the basics of
science - from the structure of the human body and its senses to forces, seasons, weather, nature. The book also includes fun, interactive workshops with experiments to practise the learned material together.
This book is illustrated by international children between 9 and 15 years of age. (Previously we announced a contest for young illustrators-volunteers to illustrate the bilingual book's pages and 3 very talented children were selected.
Colourful pages, interactive and developing content, fun workshops and “scientific” experiments will not only be attractive for international young readers, but also for their parents. Thanks to the bilingual format of the book, international parents can try to understand the book without using a dictionary or online translator, thus practising Dutch together with their children in fun learning environment.
This Solidarity project actively promoted social inclusion. The project provided a strong positive experience of volunteering and motivated the young volunteers to use EU suggested methodology and standards of successful non-formal learning.
in the Netherlands and abroad.
Our Solidarity projects enable young people to build a more inclusive society and respond to societal and humanitarian challenges. They offer opportunities to develop valuable competences abroad or in the individuals' home country.
The European Solidarity Corps also enables capacity-building for organisations involved in the programme, local and international organisations.
Bright Future's young and initiative volunteers will successfully implement a new Solidarity project for children. They will create a non-formal Dutch-English bilingual book for international children to start learning Dutch.
These are the great initiative young people, who put all their efforts to bring success to this Solidarity project.
The project volunteers and the young illustrators had their first check-up session with the target group.
These talented children were selected as a result of our young illustrator's competition, announced in the frame of our "Bilingual Book for International Children" EU Solidarity Project. They are happy and excited to be a part of this amazing adventure!
Report about our EU Solidarity projects, being implemented in the Netherlands.
The project volunteers and the young illustrators had their following check-up session with the target group.
[Guest at Dutch local podcast, organized by AANAMSTELVEEL.NL]
We talked about our EU Solidarity projects, under the European Solidarity Corps ("Bilingual Book for International Children", "Dutch for Non-Dutch", "Digital Skills for Elderlies", etc.), about ongoing and future projects.
In cooperation with Participe Amstelland, Buurtkamer Keizer Karelpark, Solidarity Bridge Foundation, Gemeente Amstelveen Bright Future Foundation and its volunteers organized an impactful event for Ukrainian refugee children. (VIDEO & PHOTO)
We represented our projects, told about their success. (VIDEO & PHOTO)
Is developed working in an international team. The volunteers were involved, keeping not only gender and age balances, but also - cultural and national backgrounds’ balance (to make the project really international). Being open for other cultures, habits and realities, the volunteers worked in international environment helped one another in preparing different working materials, book’s draft pages, found out important information and working materials for the team and the target group, etc. Native Dutch speaking volunteers did their best to support their international coworkers, who still had space to improve their Dutch (which also boosted their self-confidence). This way they also they managed to overcome the language barrier for free communication within the group. Thus the multilingual competence was perfectly improved during the project.
Personal, social and learning to learn competence
Solidarity projects first of all let the volunteers grow spiritually, become better persons by supporting those who really need their skills, experience, time or solicitude. This project was a good opportunity for the volunteers, to feel connected, cohesive and united. It gave them space to be tolerant, work separate and in a group, develop common working style and achieve the planned goals. They improved their ability to work in international environment, promoting social inclusion and solidarity. Working together the team had space to experience themselves in the position of project managers, presenters, developing not only number of personal and social skills, but also oratory skills, time-management, digital skills, ability to represent the information in easy and non-formal way, etc.
As the team members have different cultural and professional backgrounds, they were able to share and gain lots of skills and knowledge from one another. The volunteers improved their social competence through working, cooperating and communicating in the team, with the target group (international kids and their parents), as well with young illustrators, local partners and others, while planning different project activities and team-building games, organizing small group works, discussions, negotiation, brainstorming and evaluation sessions, competitions and other interactive activities. They developed negotiation and presentation skills, ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities, ability to ask for help or offer support, as well be happy to receive help. While involving and dealing with the young illustrators and target group, they had chance to improve interpersonal communication, motivation skills, teaching in non-formal and fun way, to offer fun and educative, as well language skills practicing workshops and then including them in the non-formal bilingual book.
Citizenship (Civic) competence
This project was aimed to create a book, which would promote and support social inclusion of the international community, encouraging others to help the international children and their parents to improve their Dutch in non-formal way to be more integrated into the local Dutch society. As a desired impact and outcome the youngsters have acquired such actual skills, as leadership, book content writing and designing, worked with other people in the neighborhood, as well with the target group, which enhanced their social and civic competences. The project activities improved the citizenship (civic) competence, while the volunteers, acting as active citizens and initiating the Solidarity project, supported the target group in the neighborhood and shared with them experience and knowledge in non-formal learning (NFL). The volunteers have got awareness of the fundamental values of our society, such as solidarity, tolerance, empathy and respect towards otherness, self-confidence, adaptability. Civic part was improved by the volunteers, taking up tasks as active citizens, discovering more about the international community, as well about the international and Dutch families in the neighborhood, differences and similarities in their learning and kids’ upbringing styles, their social and cultural habits. The team considered this information, while deciding the book's content and types of the illustrations, as well the process and activities of the check-up sessions.
Thanks to this project the volunteers made efforts to act as decision and change makers in the local and international communities in the neighborhood, maybe even also in other parts of the Netherlands. With their example they promoted Solidarity as a value, strong citizenship and volunteering opportunities for the youth. This Solidarity project has not only benefited the international and Dutch speaking communities, but also the initiative youth themselves - opening lots of opportunities to learn new things, share and develop skills and practices, promoting citizenship, social inclusion and care.
Using NFL methodology and working in international and fun environment, the team was given space to contribute to improvement of that competence. During project elaboration, they had a great chance to enrich their skills in entrepreneurship and project management, as the team was the one to take responsibility for the full implementation of the project. Sense of initiative, flexibility and entrepreneurship were improved by the volunteers, contributing for the project’s activities, its impact and results. The core skills, such as organizational skills and entrepreneurship competence were improved, taking up initiative in the activities and sharing ideas and practices with one another, as well with the coach. Coming up with new and fresh ideas, not being afraid to make mistakes, to initiate and manage different activities, as well to make changes in the working procedures - all of these were the basis for entrepreneurship competence’s improvement.
Teamwork, project set-up and implementation led to improvement of the volunteers’ organizational, administrative and time management skills. Leadership and entrepreneurship, problem resolution skills were improved, while planning and implementing this project. Presentation skills, key to success in entrepreneurship competence’s improvement, were developed, while working in the group, with the target group, as well while disseminating the project’s impact and results.
This Solidarity project had big impact on the volunteers, developing their skills in non-formal learning. Conducting works with the target group helped the volunteers to become more disciplined with a higher sense of responsibility, as the expectations from them were high. The team members had had already started to develop entrepreneurial attitude by taking initiative to implement this Solidarity project. Taking time and planning the project’s activities had positive effect on their personal learning process. The volunteers did their best to develop entrepreneurship competence within this project, as well will develop, while taking initiative and coming up with follow-up projects ideas and motivating youth to be involved in such Solidarity and volunteering initiatives. The team had a good overview of the learning outcomes, while working on the Youthpass. They are ready to make efforts to improve their core competencies, actively using and promoting Youthpass and its provided learning opportunities.
Cultural awareness and expression competence
The project encouraged communication and cooperation between youth from different countries, with different educational and cultural backgrounds. The team had space to make researches on the topics and had experience in working with different people, having different cultural backgrounds. The group developed flexibility, while being involved in the project’s activities, sharing responsibilities, taking into consideration not only interests, abilities, but also cultural backgrounds and cultural specificities/habits of each of the team members. Visiting libraries in the neighbourhood, conducting activities for writing and illustrating the book, implementing the book’s drafted pages’ check-up sessions with the target group, the volunteers got to know each other and the target group better, collected feedbacks and improved the book pages, gained knowledge about differences and similarities among their cultures. Thus the cultural awareness and expression competence the initiative volunteers improved, gained skills in NFL, as well of expressing their own culture, learning about the others' – their coworkers and the target group.
Besides of the fact that the group consisted of a lot of international enthusiastic young individuals with different cultural and professional backgrounds, within the fame of this project the volunteers cooperated with the target group, with the young illustrators, other people, again having different cultural backgrounds. The project’s activities gave the youth space to be tolerant, work separate and in a group, develop common working style and achieve the planned goal. The team members improved their ability to work in international environment, learned more about each others' working habits and individual styles. Working in international environment, in multinational and multicultural group, as well with Dutch partners - all of these were a great contribution to the volunteers’ cultural, social and communication skills’ development. Thus the team members benefited a lot, while implementing this very social and special project with great outcomes.
This project included sustainable practices, accessible and inclusive activities. Various methods were used to digitize our activities. The team did their best to use digital platform, limiting our travels (team meetings), bringing as many activities to digital platform, as possible. To reduce the use of papers the volunteers went for digital evaluation forms. They made sure to cooperate with libraries, in order not to print too many copies of our book and give to the each printed book chance to be used lots of times by various families. The team is already in the process of publishing also an eBook.
The youngsters used various digital tools and methods to complement and improve our project's activities. The volunteers and the target group were periodically involved in digital reflection and evaluation activates. Volunteers improved our digital competences, while volunteering for this project. Most of us learned how to illustrate and design the book’s pages, to work in different apps, etc.
Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering
That was done through the research, which was based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered and analyzed by the volunteers. Also understanding the data was improved during the group discussions. These competences were improved, while solving problems, calculating, budgeting, controlling and planning expenses, finding ways to use cheaper working materials, as well - publishing houses.
Was improved thanks to: proofreading, reading comprehension, researching, collecting, finding and processing necessary information to include in the book. The young volunteers also improved text/content writing skills.
Task specific competences
The volunteers got chance to develop imagination while thinking about each topic, illustrating and creating contents for each page of the book, designing and editing it. They experienced themselves in a dynamic non-formal fun environment, thought out of box and improved flexibility, creativity, project planning and management, as well ability to pay attention to details. They made efforts to be concrete and clear using non-formal learning methods and making the book and its content “light” and easily understandable for the target group. Working in international environment, they developed communication skills, patience, time-management, organizational skills, project management, ability to delegate responsibilities, motivate and inspire people. The volunteers actively experienced such skills, as networking, setting up a project independently, project administration, as well enthusing others and working with a specific target group. They improved the level of trust and communication within the group, implementing periodic team building and brainstorming activities.
Creativity and researching skills were improved, while searching for necessary information, inspiration & improving the writing competences. Critical thinking, flexibility and problem solving skills were improved, while volunteering for the target group in the frame of the book’s check-up sessions. Presentation skills were improved in the frame of various gatherings and workshops and while doing Social-Media Marketing.
The team developed such key skills, like adaptability, communication and negotiation skills, time and people management, skills to delegate tasks, sense of responsibility, self and people motivation, conflict resolution, decision making, etc. Working on their Youthpasses with the coach, they reflected on the learning process and evaluated improved skills, the project’s results, impact and outcomes,
As a result of this Solidarity Project the volunteers have become real change makers in their communities, actively promoting social inclusion, solidarity, care and support. They acted as strong volunteers, who actively promoted solidarity as a value, introducing and spreading the standards and methods of NFL, promoting EU Solidarity Corps and telling about Youthpass.