ChildHub — as an interactive platform and community of professionals fostering learning and experience exchange in the field of child protection — is keen on supporting local organisations in Southeast Europe in their innovative projects to improve the protection and well-being of children. Our new Crowdfunding Incubator Programme assists NGOs in realising their initiatives and in disseminating the results. As crowdfunding is a collaborative practice of promoting a project and raising money from a large number of people, we hope that we can count on you, our community, to bring this project to fruition.
In response to our first application call, we received several promising ideas that have the potential to improve the well-being of children not just in one country, but which can be easily adopted in all countries across our region. We looked for ideas that are attractive, practical, engaging, and that can be used by a wider public, including professionals in child protection, as well as parents and children.
We are pleased to announce the two shortlisted initiatives:
- A psycho-educational booklet with stories and practical activities to help recognise and manage emotions in early childhood by Qendra STEPS
- 'Pričamo' ('We Talk') short video series to help children and adolescents address mental health issues and questions
Below you can find more information about each initiative.
At this stage, we would like to ask you to help us select the final candidate who will benefit from our Crowdfunding Programme.
Please vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FT7K3F6
Initiative: A psycho-educational booklet to recognise and manage emotions in early childhood
Qendra STEPS is a non-profit organisation located in Tirana (Albania) focusing on human rights and psycho-emotional well-being by implementing educational programmes and advocating for the social inclusion of marginalised people. For more information please check their organisation profile.
This initiative focuses on the emotional development of children at an early age. Qendra STEPS aims to develop a child-friendly booklet allowing children to learn more about their emotions and others’ feelings. The book will include stories about various emotions, helping the children to gain skills in recognising and managing them. There is a lack of tools dedicated to emotional education in this age group, especially those focusing on the specifics of our regions and cultures. However, emotional development is necessary for children in their early years of life to develop their brain architecture and for their development into adulthood. The booklet will be available for professionals working with children (teachers, educators, psychologists) and parents to support their work, activities, interventions or simply play at home.
The booklet will be composed of educational stories about emotions, practical activities and psycho-educational sessions for parents and educators.
The main topics will cover:
- Identifying and recognising your emotions and those of others through stories and storytelling;
- Educating children on ways to communicate and share their emotions with others;
- Simple, practical techniques and ways to help children manage their emotions.
It will be available online and in hardcopy format as well. A YouTube channel will be launched to accompany the book and support the implementation of the activities linked with emotions for children.
For the realisation of this project, professionals will be included: experts on developmental psychology, a story author, graphic designer, and a video editor to create an adapted booklet for children and adults. The total amount needed for this project is roughly 5000 €.
The booklet will have a great impact on children who will be able to learn how to manage and express their emotions and improve their interactions in various fields, social or even academic. The translation of the booklet will permit other organisations, parents and professionals to use it with children in countries from Southern and Eastern Europe where there is a lack of material dealing with the development of children’s emotions.
Initiative: 'Pričamo' ('We Talk') short video series to help children and adolescents address mental health questions, issues
BoliMe is a non-governmental organisation based in Zagreb (Croatia). Through educational and artistic activities, they try to encourage dialogue around mental health to strengthen prevention and promotion, and to raise awareness that mental health is as important as physical health for an individual to live a meaningful life. For more information please check their organisation profile.
Residents throughout the region, due to the recent trauma of war and the change in political system, followed by an economic crisis that led to mass emigration and separation of entire families, are facing extremely challenging obstacles in terms of mental health. Fear, stigma and shame about emotions and mental health only make it harder to seek professional help, causing a snowball affect that lands upon the youngest citizens. These children are unfairly deemed a spoiled generation, but now face a global crisis causing uncertainty at social, economic and health care system levels.
BoliMe has been developing a video mini-series, ten minutes per episode, on a weekly base, called 'Pričamo' (We Talk). In these videos, mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists) address, in a simple and understandable way, the issues related to mental health. Each episode focuses on a specific topic, like 'How to deal with anxiety, shame, and sadness', 'How to cope with grief', 'Why it is important to seek help when we cannot help ourselves', 'What are healthy relationships in a household', 'How to live well'.
12 episodes have already been produced and published, reaching 43,500 views on YouTube. The plan is to create 8 new episodes and include subtitles in Bulgarian, Romanian, Albanian, Hungarian and English for all 20 episodes to ensure that more people and NGOs can use these resources. The purpose is to reach the younger generation to discuss and increase awareness about mental health, together with the help of philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
The focus will be on topics related to mental health, for example, highlighting that feelings are something that makes us human, that we can say 'I can't', and that those who question their actions in their own terms, but also in a social context, can gain a lot. The videos also highlight the importance of affirmation of all human states, not based on sex or gender, but on healthy relationships and behaviours.
The target for the crowdfunding will be 30,000 euros, which will be used to support the production of new episodes, including organisation of the film set, professional film workers, filming equipment, pre/post-production, translation and editing, as well as the production of merchandise for the campaign: T-shirts, cotton bags, posters etc.
The lives of children can be positively impacted by providing information and support, and offering normalisation — not only to children but also to their parents, teachers and school personnel. Mental health is not just a health issue, it is everyone's business and it is closely related to education quality, school climate, career options and wider opportunities for a good life. We have to bring discussions about mental health closer to the daily lives of people, without stigma, fear and judgment towards the professionals.
This idea can be easily used in other countries by organising public streaming with debate and Q&A for mental health professionals from their regions. Furthermore, parents and professionals can use the videos to educate children concerning mental health. The goal of these episodes is to encourage people to talk about mental health, raise awareness, reduce stigmatisation of mental health issues, increase help-seeking behaviours and peer support in situations where children notice their fellow students or friends struggling.