What we do
Story of Change – School of Active Citizenship
Community organizing is an approach that came to Europe from the United States. Its main goal is to stimulate male and female residents to care about their surroundings and issues. The intensive development of organizing in our region has been in the last dozen years or so. This is the result of the European Community Organizing Network (ECON), which brings together organizations that use organizing in their work with groups and communities. So far, most of the know-how has been based on good practices from the US. ECON members from Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary decided that it was high time to gather their own experience in organizing, Thus the idea for a joint project was born.
The direct target group of the project was 51 community organizers and organizers and volunteers from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania. The indirect group consisted of disadvantaged communities supported on a daily basis by partner organizations.
Through offline (in Hungary and Serbia) and online trainings, individuals supporting local groups and communities increased their competencies in topics such as engaging people in times of crisis, organizing centered around a chosen social theme, and the power of public narrative.
As part of the project, partners created an innovative simulation, “Let’s Organize! In Search of Social Justice” that presents community organizing in an attractive and accessible way. The tool provides an environment for safely testing different strategies and action patterns, making decisions, making mistakes and learning through experience. The simulation is used in workshops and activities with residents.
You can download the simulation for printing in several language versions – Polish, English, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak and Serbian.
You can find the instructions/tips for printing the simulation in the link below (every decent printing house should know what to do with it).
How to print the simulation?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Another result developed as part of the partnership was the “CoAct – Community Organizing” app, which guides through the various steps of community organizing. Thanks to this tool, users will learn what this approach is and how they can solve important issues for their community, as well as learn about organizations with a similar profile. The application is free and you can download it from the Google Play store (various language versions are also available).
CoAct – Community Organizing
We have also prepared a manual for you in Polish and English for the application, which you can download below.
The publication “The Power of Community Organizing: Stories of Citizen Campaign Groups and Community Organizing in Europe” shows why organizing is an effective approach that leads to systemic change. In the study, partners share reflections from their work and examples of implemented civic campaigns. The publication is available in pdf format in Polish, English, Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian and Slovak.
Thanks to the project
- the competencies of educators working particularly with disadvantaged groups and communities have been raised;
- community organizers and volunteers obtained an innovative educational tool enabling them to present organizing in an attractive, understandable and accessible way;
- partners shared their know-how on organizing and received inspiration for further work in this area.
More information about the project