Between March and May 2019, UNICEF will develop a program for a safe school environment and the prevention of bullying and violence. It will be piloted in 5 schools from September 2019 to June 2022 (within 3 schools years). The goal after the completion of the pilot phase, which will be implemented jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science, is the implementation of the program at the national level to reach every child in the country.
The model will be implemented with the support of thousands of new BENEFACTORS, who will donate monthly 5 leva of their budget as regular donations after expressing their solidarity during the ‘Together Against Violence in Schools’ telethon, organized by UNICEF and NOVA.
The money that will be raised between 2019 and 2022 (the period of the pilot program), with the support of UNICEF’s corporate partners, is expected to reach 400,000 leva.
For UNICEF, the support of monthly donors is crucial because it leads to predictability of the money that will be used for the planned activities.
The UNICEF model is based on years of research and worldwide experience. It will include the following main activities:
- Analyzing the situation in each school and developing a plan to build a safe school environment with the involvement of all stakeholders – school management, pedagogical and support staff, parents and children;
- Involving external mentors to support school teams in developing and implementing the plan, as well as changing school policies;
- Raising awareness among all participants of the types of bullying and violence, the ways to signal and response through the development of information materials and conducting activities involving pupils, teachers, and parents;
- Organizing training to support class managers and to give regular methodological support to school specialists in order to apply positive forms of discipline, classroom management, to cope with pupils with provocative behaviour, and to solve conflicting situations;
- Funding for interactive activities for children within the curriculum (i.e. classroom workshops, role plays, case studies) and activities to develop communication skills, create positive relationships and resolve conflicts;
- Involving parents in school life through thematic workshops on child development, parent-teacher clubs on various topics, the participation of parents in open lessons as co-organizers and lecturers, the inclusion of parents in the School's Coordination and Public Council, etc.
- Active participation of children in the development and implementation of school policy and internal rules through class workshops, the organization of surveys on significant issues, consultations through the school councils.
In order to ensure sustainability, an independent evaluation of the program will be carried out and financial and institutional mechanisms will be put in place to provide support to all schools.
The telethon was the culmination of a three-month successful communication and advocacy campaign, aimed at raising awareness of violence and reducing the tolerance of its various manifestations in schools. The campaign was supported by Nova Broadcasting Group.
UNICEF would like to thank one more time the thousands of benefactors and dozens of celebrities who remained united for a common cause – to provide together a safe school environment for Bulgarian children.