Over the last year, the European Union has paid increased attention in launching dialogue with children. In November 2017, the European Parliament marked World Children’s Day by fostering a debate with children and young people about the ‘Europe we want’. The European Union Agency for the Fundamental Rights (FRA) has initiated research into mainstreaming child participation in order to ensure that children’s voices are heard.
According to the United Nation’s Child Rights Convention, every child has the right to be heard, yet many policies and practices across EU member states seem to be intent on leaving children behind; thus deciding for children without children. In April 2017, the Eurochild launched its Child Participation Strategy that aims to put children at the heart of Europe, give voice to young children and young people, and build a community of child rights advocacy.
By following and implementing the Eurochild Child Participation Strategy, the focus of the EUROCHANGE project is to empower children to act as agents for building a child-friendly multicultural Europe.
This project aims to reinforce all children’s (native, minority, migrant, and refugee) social inclusion and their sense of belonging to a common European space by drawing upon the concept of the diversity of our European cultural heritage – at EU, national, regional and local levels.
This project is innovative because it uses the children-inspiring-other-children approach. It aims to get the participating children to develop activities, resources and materials for other children, and motive other children to participate in activities, both in their own local context, but also in broader European physical and virtual communities in order to meet the aforementioned goals. The innovation of the project also lies in the use of new technologies, and innovative and creative methodologies, such as collaborative art-making, intercultural online pedagogy, and collaborative story-telling.