“I was fetched by the idea and thought I could try to contribute,” says Stephanie. “…we held a survey among the people of Bourgas for their opinion about children with Roma background. It was useful for the whole team. Rarely people our age receive treatment as equals,” adds Phillip. “With my team we visit schools, public spaces and institutions and talk to people. We want to understand the reasons for social exclusion,” says Ilian.
Stephanie, Phillip and Ilian are three among 50 adolescents from 9 different places across Bulgaria. Together with them the National Network for Children and UNICEF Bulgaria created “Seekers of In/Equality”: a methodology for child-led research. Starting August 1 2018, the methodology is available for everyone interested to try it (hard copies in Bulgarian and .pdf versions in English languages)!
Who are the Seekers of In/Equality?
The seekers of (in)equality are children and young people who take on the roles of researchers, journalists, sociologists, public relations experts, psychologists… All this at the same time! They:
- study the ways in which prejudices creep into their everyday lives and the everyday lives of the people of their age group, in the thinking, language, and behaviour of people in the school, in the neighbourhood, the city, and the media;
- study how prejudices affect the lives of children and, in general, of the people they target, i.e. how prejudices in thinking which we identify through speech and imagery (for example, in the media) are transformed into unfair attitudes to certain children;
- present their conclusions to other people in their community – children, young people, adults, and institutions;
- help others to understand the prejudices in their thinking, speech, and actions and, as bearers of positive change, urge them to act more responsibly and to contribute to building a fair society.
As they do all this, seekers themselves learn new ways of thinking, become more sensitive to how they talk, how others around them talk, the language of media, how this affects their own lives and the lives of people of the same age; they learn many new things about how a survey and an interview are conducted, how the media work, how articles are written and public events are organized, as well as many other things.
Can you try it on your own?
Yes, if you are:
- teenagers who want to challenge themselves with new, responsible and developing tasks;
- adult professionals working with children who want to apply such type of project-based learning through research (the methodology is flexible and can by adapted casewise).
- supported by an organization like school, youth clubs or others working with children and young people. It is supposed to provide space, materials and help when they are needed.
What you can do to receive the booklet with the methodology?
- Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. In it describe briefly:
- The name of your organization and what it does.
- Why would you want to try “Seekers of In/Equality”?
- Which version do you want – the hard copy in Bulgarian or the .pdf file in English. If you want the hard copy, provide a postal address where you want it delivered (postal expanses are on the addressee).
- Wait for our response and confirmation.