Promoting citizenship education: Thales Foundation supports Aide et Action through payroll giving programme since 2015 !By Fondation Thales In news
We live in an interconnected, interdependent world and face societal issues that extend beyond borders. Both inside and outside schools, the solution to global issues such as protecting the environment, fighting inequality and promoting peace lies in discussion, dialogue and international solidarity. Those are the objectives Aide et Action strives to promote with the support of the Thales Foundation and Thales employees.
In 2015 (and with Thales employee support since 2016), Aide et Action launched its SOLIDE project, which allows children and young people in four countries (France, Senegal, Togo and Benin) to discuss the important issues of the future through a web platform. Hundreds of children from 43 primary and middle schools have discussed issues as varied as waste management, citizenship in schools, sustainable development, solidarity with the elderly, water resource management and sustainable cities. Some have also worked together on joint projects like the annual 100% Junior magazine, which includes contributions from participating schools on a given topic. The theme of the last edition, published in 2018, was “How can respect for all and shared responsibility help protect our world?” The magazine included 39 articles submitted by 15 primary and middle schools, each featuring an action taken, a lesson learned or a concrete example of dialogue on this question.
After three years of implementation, the association evaluated the project and took stock of progress. This process highlighted several achievements:
- The community education associations participating in the project saw a transformation in the way they work with schools by involving more teachers so they can become promoters and advocates of Citizenship and International Solidarity Education (CISE). Clémence, a facilitator, said SOLIDE “changed my view of the projects I lead and their meaning. It makes you feel that the method you use will really change things by raising children’s awareness and giving them a role in building the world they want to see.”
- Teachers who were initially sceptical have gradually come to realize the importance of CISE. They can see its positive effects on group dynamics in their classroom and in helping students gain perspective by being in contact with other children living different realities.
- The biggest changes, however, were seen in the children. In different schools, students built eco-friendly benches from recycled materials, created vegetable gardens, studied coastal erosion and water resource management, installed recycling bins and wrote articles about their work in the 100% Junior In doing so, they not only became more aware of the importance of sustainable development and good citizenship, but they also developed new skills. Teachers noted progress in reading and writing thanks to the 100% Junior magazine, an improved mastery of digital tools, and greater student empowerment through learning to work with a group, expressing themselves verbally, helping one another, gaining self-confidence, etc.
The Aide et Action team wishes to thank Thales employees for their support of the SOLIDE project through their micro-donations. In 2018, the project will conclude with an evaluation of the 100% Junior magazine to take stock of one of the most promising components of the project. Using its past three years of experience, Aide et Action will work in the coming months on deploying new activities and projects, but still with the same ambition of building a more sustainable, equitable and united world.
To support this project and join the Group-wide charity movement by participating in payroll giving, click here: https://thales.microdon.org/les-projets/education-et-citoyennete-projet-solide,977.html
The payroll giving programme allows all Thales employees in France to support a charity project by donating a few cents from their paycheck each month and, if they wish, by making an additional donation of up to 10 euros. 100% of the donations go to the association and the Group has agreed to match employee donations. The payroll giving programme requires no long-term commitment; microdonors can change the amount they give, end their participation, or donate to a different project at any time.