Academy of Central European Schools gathered more than 200 students & teachers from 15 countries
Every year a project competition for school partnerships is carried out. Volunteering was the theme of this year’s call and 299 schools submitted their project proposals. An international selection committee chose the best 45 partnership projects which now receive an aces grant. 103 schools from 15 countries were selected. The awarded schools are supported during the project implementation and are invited to international network meetings like the one in Sarajevo. The aces Kick-off was the first time for the project team members to meet and get to know each other.
At the event in Sarajevo the participants became more acquainted with their project partners, the annual focus theme and the host city. A City Rally provided the opportunity to learn more about the history and the residents of the Bosnian capital. Workshops on volunteering and project management, held by experts from all over Europe, helped the participants to implement their bi- or trilateral school projects. A “Bazar of Learning” enabled space for selfdirected learning at more than 20 interactive stations. The participants got a range of inputs all around volunteering: They could talk to living books, learn more about skills and competences they need as volunteers and much more. The party on the last evening was the chance for all to celebrate their new friendships and the official start of the implementation of their school projects.
aces was initiated by ERSTE Foundation in 2006. The initiative is coordinated by the nonprofit organisations Interkulturelles Zentrum (Austria) and VČELÍ DOM (Slovak Republic) and is supported by the Ministries of Education of all 15 participating countries. The aim is to enable and enhance intercultural dialogue and cooperation of young people and to create a continuous network of shared knowledge, mutual learning and innovation.
Contact (for media inquiries):
ERSTE Foundation, Communications: Maribel Königer, Tel. +43 (0) 50100-15453, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interkulturelles Zentrum, Communications:
Barbara Hämmerle, Tel. +43 (0)1/586 75 44 -12, E-mail: email@example.com
Danica Lacová, Tel. +421 (0)2 2086 2286, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2003, ERSTE Foundation evolved out of the Erste Oesterreichische Spar-Casse, the first Austrian savings bank. Currently, ERSTE Foundation holds 25.3% of the capital shares of Erste Group. The foundation invests part of its dividends in the development of societies in Austria and Central and South Eastern Europe. It supports social participation and civil-society engagement; it aims to bring people together and disseminate knowledge of the recent history of a region that has been undergoing dramatic changes since 1989. As an active foundation, it develops its own projects within the framework of three programmes: Social Development, Culture and Europe. Further information: www.erstestiftung.org
Interkulturelles Zentrum (IZ) is an independent non-profit organisation based in Vienna/Austria. Since 1987 IZ has been supporting international school partnerships, cross-border cooperation in the field of education, international youth work as well as intercultural education and diversity management in Austria and abroad. Notable projects such as aces or YouthNET promote the intercultural dialogue of countries of the European Union with countries in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Since January 2007 Interkulturelles Zentrum has hosted the National Agency for the EU-programme “Youth in Action”. 21 people are currently working for IZ, supported by an executive board and an honorary management. Further information: www.iz.or.at
VČELÍ DOM is a non-profit civic association established in May 2009 in Bratislava with the aim to support and develop initiatives which help society to meet the challenges of a new and united Europe. The association plays an active role in unveiling existing resources and creating new ones that can help stimulate cultural and social life in the Slovak Republic, and in other countries, especially in Central and South Eastern Europe. The effort of VČELÍ DOM is concentrated on the development of strategies, creation of platforms, support and organisation of projects for the common good in Slovakia and abroad. The strengthening of civil society and the dialogue within Europe is an important goal of the association. Further information: www.vcelidom.sk