"Looking out for each other – being there for one another – learning together." This is the motto of the buddY programme – a national initiative launched in 1999 which aims to provide a pioneering educational model.
Germany’s school system fails in terms of equality of opportunity in education. Around 29% of children in Germany are at a high risk of poverty, have unemployed parents or have parents with low educational achievement. Among children with migrant backgrounds, this number rises to 48%. In order to tackle educational inequality, buddY E.V. has developed a successful mass scaling platform for German schools. The buddY programme puts children in charge of their own learning and enables each of them to develop essential social and emotional skills.
Whether in groups or on their own, inside or outside the classroom, as part of their daily routines or as one-off events, children who participate in the buddY programme learn to attend to the needs of others. They help each other study, mentor their younger peers, resolve disputes, administer first aid, take on the role of teacher or volunteer for social work.
By engaging in such activities, children exercise self-reflection and learn to see things from a different perspective. They learn to rely on themselves and each other and experience how good it can feel to help others and have an impact.
External buddY trainers, experienced in psychology and conflict management, provide initial instructions to teachers and social workers so that in their new role as coaches they can help to implement the programme at school and subsequently act as advisors.
Everyone benefits from implementing the buddY programme at schools:
- The pupils develop communication skills, a sense of responsibility and confidence in their abilities – for life
- Teachers experience a reduction in their responsibilities over time. Thanks to their new skills, pupils not only change their behaviour outside but also inside the classroom.
- Schools improve – the atmosphere of mutual support motivates everyone to perform better.
Since 2005, the buddY programme has been part of the non-profit organisation called EDUCATION Y, which was launched by the Vodafone Germany Foundation. To date, roughly 1,200 schools throughout Germany have taken part in buddY training courses. The joint goal of EDUCATION Y and Vodafone Germany Foundation is for buddY to become an integral part of the national educational system.
For more information, please visit: https://education-y.de/handlungsfelder/schule/