The Program creates a new instrument for funding 45 smaller scale civic education programs, accompanied by capacity building. The fund focuses on two main issues: combating disinformation and increasing the intercultural dialogue among youngsters for a smoother acceptance of refugees in society.
Fake news and disinformation started to be more and more present in the public discourse. Peoples, and especially children could become „victims” very easily. PISA 2018, an international study conducted by OECD, has pointed out that only 1.4% of 15-year-old Romanian students were capable to distinguish between fact and opinion, a key ability in identifying disinformation. It is among the lowest percentages in Europe, while best performers were Finland (14.2%), Estonia (13.9%), Sweden (13.3%), Poland (12.2%). The need for media literacy education and to develop a new set of transversal skills tends to be huge in our days.
As an effect of the current situation, Romania faces a large inflow of foreign people (refugees or migrants). There are very few services in place and little understanding within the population. The immediate response from the people has been very supportive towards refugees but with the added risk of disinformation and we might see a growth in the antagonistic feelings against refugees. Civic Education Fund aims to transmit cultural diversity as a value for our society to teenagers and young adults.
The program includes:
- Three annual rounds of training and assistance on media literacy/intercultural dialogue and organizational capacity for 15 organizations each year. Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent, the most active organization in media literacy in Romania and RAF long-term grantee, was contracted to provide the necessary expertise, resources, training and assistance for the local organizations. Similarly, a group of external experts provide training and assistance on relevant topics for intercultural dialogue (e.g. dealing with trauma, managing coflicts etc). FDSC will use instruments for assessing the capacity of NGOs that had been developed and tested by them in previous programs with other funders
- Three annual rounds of re-granting for 15 organizations/year to implement projects on media literacy and intercultural dialogue for young people in local communities. The maximum value of the grants will be $ 24,000 with $ 4,000 allotted for organizational development activities
- Monitoring and annual evaluation that will allow improvement of the program from one round to another