Strengthening children’s empathy
Many of us, countless times in our lives, have faced a lack of understanding or acceptance at various levels. Although empathy is not the strongest trait of our society, it seems that we are getting more aware of empathy every year, which definitely improves our attitudes and behaviours.
This is one of the reasons why the Czepczyński Family Foundation has created an educational project dedicated to children aged 5-10 that aims to accelerate the process of deepening the empathy of the society. Czepczyński Family Foundation methodologists focus on the area of diseases and disabilities, and argue that inclusive education, started in the early school stages, has a real impact on the upbringing of conscious generations, thanks to which the pejorative associations with the word “disability” may fade.
The ABC of Empathy project was created in response to the social needs in the area of inclusive education, one of the three key educational strategies identified by the European Commission, next to entrepreneurship and digital education. The basis of the project is the book “ABC of empathy, for we are all the same” by Wiktor Czepczyński, Żaneta Kupczyk and Katarzyna Muzyka-Jacheć. The publication explains with the language of a child what disabilities and diseases are, mentioning the differences in everyday functioning that disabilities cause. In addition, the project includes a methodological guide for teachers, containing practical tips, ideas for educational group games, student worksheets or inclusive language (Dos and Don’ts). All of the above was consulted and prepared in cooperation with social organizations specializing in specific disabilities or diseases (including the Anna Dymna’s Against the Odds Foundation, the AVALON Foundation, the Autyzm UP Foundation, the Polish Association of the Blind). The main goal of the project is to initiate a dialogue with the child on the functioning of people with various disabilities, to evoke empathy and sensitivity to otherness, to build social awareness about the inclusion of people with disabilities into active and independent life, as well as to sensitise children to people with health conditions other than their own.
The piloting of the ABC of Empathy project has begun this year. As a part of the “1000/100” strategy, Czepczyński Family Foundation decided to equip educational institutions (public kindergartens and primary schools) in 1000 Polish municipalities (1 facility in a municipality) and 100 hospitals with children’s wards with the ABC of Empathy project (the foundation financed the project). The Foundation engaged Polish athletes and artists in its activities so young patients could receive books signed by: Majka Jeżowska, Agnieszka Radwańska, Robert Kubica, Rafał Buszek, Artur Boruc, Artur Barciś or Olympians and Paralympians sponsored by the Orlen Team.
The project is under the patronage of UNICEF Poland, ROTARY Poland and TVP ABC. Educational institutions interested in free participation in the project will find more information on the foundation’s website (www.cff.edu.pl).
Czepczyński Family Foundation
Last Updated on February 3, 2022 by Łukasz