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Milena Basara

CREATIVE ASSOCIATION

Creative Association «Hands» supports and empowers children in least developed communities with high-quality educational content as a basis for building their own future. This project specifically supports children who travel to school and, due to low development index of their community, spend hours waiting for school bus, by offering them access and participation in development programs.

Problem

Younger schoolchildren in rural areas of Croatia do not usually receive adequate care between the time that classes end and when their parents come home from work. Due to a lack of available extracurricular activities compared to richer areas, these schoolchildren develop more psychological and physical issues, such as aggressiveness, depression, intolerance, peer violence, and bullying.

Solution

Using contemporary pedagogic methods, Milena and her team use a wide range of after-school activities to encourage children to discover their interests and develop their talents, which remain untapped during regular course work. These after-school activities also curb undesirable behaviors such as bullying. During school holidays, children attend workshops to learn about what people living in their communities do for a living and how their work affects where they live. Through presentations and role-playing games, children learn about different occupations -- from firefighters and police officers to farmers and doctors. Milena organizes these mobile workshops around rural and urban communities in hopes that they encourage children to know their own community better and form a sense of connection with it. In addition, Milena and her team partner with universities to encourage future teachers to volunteer in rural communities, where they could practice working with these children while changing negative prejudices about working in distant rural areas.

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