Our Voice Counts! - Romania
The project "Our voice counts!" is implemented by the Association Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development - Agenda 21 in partnership with The National Association of Librarians and Public Libraries in Romania, the Association Starlight Petra and Norsensus Mediaforum Norway.
The project ran between August 2021 to September 2022 and is funded via the Active Citizens Fund Romania through the EEA Grants 2014-2021.
Background and aims
Children and young people with visual and hearing impairments have a low capacity to know and claim their rights, experiencing difficulties in social integration and integration into the labour market. The project proposes a series of educational sessions, information campaigns, street events and meetings with local authorities, designed to help raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities and their integration into the community.
The programme took place in Bucharest and Buzau County, in 7 special schools and 7 schools in mainstream education. It is addressed mainly to children and young people with hearing and vision impairments, aged between 11 and 26 years.
The aim of the project is to change the mentality and attitude of the citizens of Bucharest, Buzau and Ramnicu Sarat through information and advocacy activities that promote human and children's rights, designed to combat stereotypes, prejudices, and practices of exclusion and marginalization which affects children and young people with hearing and vision impairments and their families.
The project scenario provides that the participants with visual and hearing impairments benefit from the expertise of ANBPR in the field of Digital Storytelling, in order to acquire digital and creative skills with the support of technology. These new skills will lead to a better motivation of people with visual and hearing impairments to invest in their personal and career education, to improve the social situation and correct understanding of human rights from the perspective and benefit of vulnerable groups.
Why is this a good practice?
The activities proposed in the project aim at increasing the level of knowledge on the rights of children and young people with visual and hearing impairments, increasing their capacity to claim their rights, the socio-intellectual integration of these vulnerable categories through the involvement of 7 partner schools from mainstream public education in advocacy activities and public events that demonstrate to the citizens the capacities and skills of these beneficiaries at risk of exclusion.
An important feature of the programme are the digital stories created by the participants with the participation and guidance of qualified digital story makers. At the end of the project, a selection of the 50 digital stories made during the implementation stage was used as dissemination material and an example of good practice in future advocacy campaigns regarding human rights and the inclusion of vulnerable people. All products created within the project will be available for use and post-implementation for all interested parties (individuals, organizations, institutions).
The project has the potential to be replicated by other interested entities, and the central and local authorities will be able to take over elements of the project within the central and local strategies regarding non-formal education on human rights for visually and hearing-impaired people.