What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The programme has increased empathy skills, built resilience, increased trust and interaction between different year groups, and supported peer mentoring skills. In the 1st year of the programme of 118 Ambassadors, 82% said they built their confidence, and 77% gained presentation skills and ability to put across a message. 20% expressed empathy with their teachers and an increased awareness of their behaviour and listening skills in class. This included 50 Ambassadors who had been classified as “underachievers”, many of whom said their work in class had improved as a result of the training and responsibility entrusted to them.
While the greatest impact is on the Ambassadors themselves, the younger pupils increase their awareness of these issues and are engaged by older role models. Among the younger pupils, just under 80% said they are good at understanding how others feel, able to express their ideas and stand up for themselves, and are confident talking to other people.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
In next year 70% of 1300 young people from 15 participating schools in the programme will say they have developed either their ability:
• To listen, discuss and empathise with people who hold different opinions to their own;
• Have confidence and ability to express and stand up for themselves; or
• Their resilience and awareness of the way they react to situations and other people
We also plan to complete a training pack that can be adapted and used by others. At an international youth congress we will train 40 young educators to run the programme in their own region. We will identify another organisation to share our ideas and build from each other’s experiences.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
1) Getting into the schools to carry out the programmes as it requires a lot of outreach and promotion.
Solution: Allowing sufficient time for promotion on websites, social media and recruitment
2) Schools allowing sufficient time to evaluate the programme some 3 weeks after the presentations; trying to get the maximum effective evaluation in short a time as possible.
Solution: Refine evaluation process and find best/engaging methods. Explore ways of adapting the evaluation to be conducted online or used by teachers more easily in the classroom.
3) How to extend the programme beyond our area and expanding the programme that would require additional funding sources.
Solution: More funding research, attend conferences and promotional opportunities.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Work in 7 new schools to the programme and reach 500 new young people by October 2012.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Work in 14 schools, proposal submitted to three key funders, project launched internationally using training manual by May 2013.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
1) We ran an Ambassador programme to promote sustainable lifestyles and habits. One said, “why bother telling them anything because they don’t know how to listen.” Aha!
2) Working with a mentorship programme in an inner city school. One said “it’s always the same people who volunteer - why not include people who never get involved?”. Aha 2! So we asked a diverse group of 13 year olds to identify problems in their school. “Troubles escalate at our school”. So they created a short drama and called it “Escalation.” Then decided to combine drama followed by youth led workshops to show how better communication skills involving empathy, body language and resilience (as a way of dealing with bullying), can all help turn things around.