In the seven project partner countries, 34 workshops were conducted in 16 primary and secondary schools with 514 students altogether (age 7 to 18 years old)
Bulgaria 7 workshops, 3 schools and a children’s monitoring and advisory group, 94 students, 7 – 18 years old
Germany 4 workshops, 4 schools, 73 students, 8 – 16 years old
The Netherlands 3 workshops, 2 schools, 39 students, 10 – 11 years old
Romania 5 workshops, 1 school and in the frame of National Forum for Children, 114 students, 10–11 years old
Slovakia 6 workshops, 2 schools, 50 students, 10 – 17 years old
Sweden 5 workshops, 2 schools, 84 students, 10-16 years old
United Kingdom 4 workshops, 2 schools, 60 students, 8 – 10 year old
What did the children participate in?
Our methodology had one common point of departure: the perspective of the children and adolescents! Participation is not merely the act of taking part in a given process, but moreover taking a share, having responsibility and chance to decide and change. Our approach is guided by the keynote that participation should be empowerment. Therefore the facilitators did not just ask the children on what their needs might be as for their safety and wellbeing in school. The workshop methods reflecting the child-centered approach let the children actively bring their ideas, to imagine, reflect, dream of, and express their voices, views, and perspective: “Listen to me! I have a lot to tell you!”.
That is how we adults cannot overhear their voices.
The workshops were not just a need assessment on their experiences with bullying, but they called upon the readiness and commitment of the children to explore and re-create the social realities of the school life. The children pondered not only on “what makes them sad, upset or angry about bullying?”, but engaged proactively in imagining “what a world and school without bullying should look like”, with ideas about “what should the others change, so they feel safe in the school?” and “what can they do so bullying does not happen?”