Switzerland: Report on Changing minds, saving lives and building resilience through values based education for all

Actions taken:

The school instrument “Project Humanity” was launched in 2016 and the first Master’s Programme on pedagogic approaches to teach humanitarian values and principles was launched in 2018.

This open pledge contributes also to the implementation of the Swiss SP320005 on “Taking Humanitarian Principles to action – innovations in humanitarian education” as well as the Pledge SP320149 on the Fundamental Principles & the Auxiliary Role.

  • In a strong collaboration with IFRC, Switzerland continues to support national societies to engage in value-based education by guiding the next generation towards humanitarian values and principles. As “Project Humanity” is for the IFRC one of the core instrument and methodology for implementing the humanitarian principles in formal and non-formal education systems, Switzerland and IFRC support between 2017 – 2019 further national societies in the implementation of “Project Humanity” or further Humanitarian Education teaching instruments.
    The international outreach and implementation has been accompanied by an advisory group, in which SRC and ICRC are important partners.
  • Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Pedagogical Approaches for Education in Humanitarian Principles and Values 2018 – 2019

Education in humanitarian principles and values needs specific pedagogical approaches to create learning spaces where students are sensitised to humanitarian concerns. They should be encouraged to form opinions on the issues and gain greater confidence in their own capacities to act. This includes supporting the students to explore their own personal values, bringing them closer to the humanitarian principles, and teaching them to express their personal viewpoints based on solid arguments. These pedagogical approaches are based on holistic education, which is learner-centred and includes all senses in the learning process.

This MAS will provide 21 participants from four continents with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach the humanitarian principles and values in their own context, professionally and sustainably. The programme is composed of participants from the National Societies of Red Cross and Red Crescent, the IFRC, academia as well as Save the Children. The MAS will be accompanied by an academic evaluation during the whole period. The different master theses and reached goals of this MAS will be presented by the participating National Societies and academic partners at the 33rd Conference.

  • In collaboration with four universities, namely the University of Teaching Education Zug, the University of Education in Hong Kong, the Belarussian State Pedagogical University and University of Education of Upper Austria, Switzerland elaborates an eventually second round of the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS/MAS 2.0) to include further interested Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, participants of Save the Children and other NGO’s as well as representatives of pedagogical institutions around the world. The aim is to strengthen the long-term cooperation between education science and the humanitarian sector, to improve sustainability, cohesion and resilience within the civil societies as well as the quality and relevance of education programmes through humanitarian education.

In order to establish the concept of “Humanitarian Education” in the academic world, the University of Geneva (Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l’Education) started an independent academic research on the effects pedagogical approaches have on education in humanitarian principles and values. Switzerland believes that promoting and implementing value-based education allows to mitigate the harmful effects of emergencies and create a culture of non-violence as well as a peaceful environment. Here communities and their citizens contribute to help those in need by strengthening individual and local resilience. Moreover, value-based education aims to build greater community engagement and overall cohesion to ensure human dignity for all. Developing both the skill and will to care for and help others is at the very heart of humanitarianism. This academic research will hopefully help to prove the theory that humanitarian principles really matter and have a positive effect. First findings will be presented at the 33rd Conference.

Implementation completion:

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