The EU is facing several severe crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the subsequent socio-economic crisis, the refugee crisis, and tensions between some of its Member States and third countries. To successfully deal with any crisis, ultimate victory is proof that Europe can successfully overcome any cultural or other differences between its people to become socially cohesive and resilient to meet current and new threats and challenges. Cultural diplomacy can be the vehicle leading to this victory, as it has the unique advantage of helping people to adapt more quickly to the demands of rapid change and the increased speed of change. Cultural diplomacy entails a type of public diplomacy and soft power that refers to the exchange of ideas, information, art, language, and other aspects of culture among nations and their peoples in order to foster mutual understanding and cooperation. The goal of cultural diplomacy is for people coming from a foreign nation to develop a rich understanding of one nation’s ideals and institutions so as to build broad support for social, economic, and political goals. Cultural diplomacy is a course of action based on the exchange of ideas, values, traditions, and other aspects of culture or identity, to strengthen relationships and socio-cultural cooperation, to promote national interests and beyond.
The first goal of the project is to enable children to become cultural diplomats so as to act as agents of change in order to build a socially cohesive and resilient Europe capable of meeting new threats and challenges. The achievement of the goal is based on the approach of cultural diplomacy, and the use of new technologies and innovative and creative methodologies, such as collaborative art-making, collaborative storytelling and poetry, and digital-cultural pedagogies. Another important goal of this project is to promote children’s and teachers’ training to improve their skills to become agents of the cultural diplomacy approach, in order to achieve the first goal of the project.
Four schools, two Universities focusing on teachers’ preparation, two NGOs focusing on professional development, active citizenship, and other social goals across 4 participating countries: Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Malta.
ACTIVITIES AND RESULTS
The EURODIPLOMATS project will produce a methodological tool for the cultural-diplomacy approach according to a comparative analysis that will result from both teachers’ and children’s needs analyses in the participating countries, but also on the basis of the state-of-the-art analysis in each participating country. According to this methodological tool, the consortium will produce a Toolkit of Resources and Activities that will promote the objective of the project; that is children to become cultural diplomats to act as agents of change for a Europe of social cohesion and resilience which is ready to meet new threats and challenges. This Toolkit will be tested through workshops carried out with teachers and children 9-15 and then finalised. Partners will translate their own activities into their languages. As the project envisages the development of teachers’ and children’s competencies to work accordingly, a Teacher’s Handbook and a Children’s Handbook will be also produced in the English language, while including multimedia in the consortium languages. It is notable that a Group of Experts that will be created for the purposes of this project will contribute to the whole of both developing the methodological tool and the Toolkit of Resources and Activities, but also the Teachers’ and the Children’s Handbooks process by sharing their ideas and expertise, but also their evaluative feedback. A short transnational joint-staff training event will be carried out in Greece in order to provide the opportunity for teachers to be trained to use the project outcomes. All the project’s products will be promoted through international and national multiplier events that will have the form of conferences organised by the consortium. The project’s results will be disseminated through venues such as websites, social media, EU platforms, newsletters, publications, etc.
The target groups in the life of the project comprise of children aged 9-15 and teachers working with children of that age. Apart from these direct target groups, the beneficiaries include also indirect target groups such as schools, children’s associations, and organisations, policymakers, and educational stakeholders making decisions about school curricula, parents, children’s curriculum developers, teachers training institutions, universities with pedagogical departments.
Promote, through cultural diplomacy, social cohesion, and resilience in Europe in order to become able to meet new challenges and threats. Raise children’s voices and active involvement in education via the innovative methodology of cultural diplomacy.