Bringing people together to debate and find solutions for their communities that could be implemented with their involvement and stakeholders’ support
Many small towns and villages in Romania are either abandoned or “dead” in a sense that there is a total lack of initiatives that bring people together into social and cultural events. Small towns and villages need to be reinvigorated socially, culturally and economically. People tend to leave and go to the big cities looking for more opportunities. So there are communities that are not developing because of the problems of accessing resources, lack of resources, communication between the stakeholders and lack of civic initiatives.
A.R.T. Fusion Association was founded 12 years ago and strives to create and offer innovative and participatory learning experiences, in order for everyone to contribute in a responsible way to the positive transformation of their communities locally and globally. We implement non-formal education methods for community development, using Theatre of the Oppressed and Human Library in poor areas of Romania and methods to develop Global Education. In the past 3 years we worked in small communities from Southern Romania, especially with schools having interactive activities with teachers and pupils focusing on community analysis and development. We struggle to activate 20 towns and villages, to get them more involved in small activities that on a long term can have a great impact for positive change in their lives, in order to solve different problems and develop new projects. Therefore, we want, next to the methods we already use, to create the first community development strategic game in Romanian for schools especially, with the possibility of expanding.
This social board game can create the context for citizens from a community (youngsters and adults) to innovate. The game will also bring to their attention different organizations, entrepreneurs, funding opportunities that could be accessed and contacted, to help them in their endeavors.
The geographic area is the Southern part of Romania, communities from counties around Bucharest, the capital, and we are working with them since 3 years ago. We also target NGOs active in community development, some of our partners in the project that we are involved.
At the international: our partner organizations within ERASMUS+ program from all over the world Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, who work with different communities.
The target group is composed by teachers or youth workers and young people from the communities we are present, and also NGOs that are working in the communities (Romania and abroad) that could multiply the benefits of the game.
A.R.T. Fusion will address this to those communities where we already developed different projects, having strong partnerships with schools and stakeholders from the community. We will also give the solution to the partner organizations from Romania and from abroad with whom we have a long-term collaboration.
In the past 3 years we developed online resources and we released guides for Street Campaigns to raise awareness about local or global issues, also a Global Education guide for facilitators. Along the years we have promoted also other guides such as Theatre of the Oppressed for disadvantaged young people, Human Library.
A part of our team participated last year in Serbia to a Gamification training, and they can be available for this project.
We offer tools that support people to improve: identify the problems they are facing; to find the most viable solutions; to know how they can use the resources from their community. We work to bring to empower people to take action, to find solutions to their problems through festivals and campaigns for taking attitude.
The community development board game is an initiative. Our team (10 people) has extensive experience in developing educational materials, in facilitation, in social intervention.
Board games are used in so many contexts for adults and for youngsters. They have a great educational value and are used successfully in finding solutions. We worked with non-formal exercises and we continue to implement them. We consider an added-value to have a game where players feel more empowered, have fun, they decide when to play and when to put into practice community activities.
Moreover, this would be the first board game dedicated to community development in Romania, with a focus on schools and pupils extended to stakeholders from the community.
We need support in order to design and develop a board game, in Romanian and in English, that can be used by people from different backgrounds and for different ages (we intend to offer it to schools).
As mentioned before, A.R.T. Fusion Association has a long history in developing resources such as guides for methods we often use and that are very representative for our work. However building a board game in order to be played for gathering solutions for the community and involving also stakeholders is a more complex activity and we need the support on behalf of specialists. We have used a guide for community facilitation in schools from Bucharest in order to teach pupils and teachers to organize for discovering and practicing solutions.
So in order to have very good product we will be involved with the know-how we have, coaching and pro-bono consultancy for our SPs. In some of the communities we work we have an oil company investor as a yearly sponsor that could probably be involved in supporting some of the costs of printing the game. This year we also started a collaboration with a few companies in order to help them implement corporate volunteering and we stay in touch for further activities. We have strong relationships with organizations involved in community development and education and so we will promote and distribute through our channels.
We will discuss with the solution provider possibilities to continue our work together and maybe create more educational games in different projects or having different investors.