Learning for life
“Project management is an experience for life.“ This is what pupils of the course say in their final report. Music to the ears of teachers and parents who are often confronted with the question “what do I need this for?”.
In this case, this may be because a social project gives pupils an understanding of genuine practice instead of “dry theory”. It is about achieving a goal that is close to the heart of all participants through the concrete implementation of measures, as proven by the project at the G11 secondary school in Vienna:
“One learns to be more disciplined, to organise a project, and everything needs to be done properly because we can’t progress when things are missing. It can be compared to a puzzle: in case something is missing, the goal can’t be achieved. Independent work and work in a group are developed. We can all say that we have learned the importance of teamwork and trust within the group. Everyone carries responsibility; because we mustn’t let each other down. It is very important not to give up when things go wrong. We always managed to find solutions.
We believe our “movie night“ project was very successful since we really wanted to do it for a good cause. We worked hard for it, and earned money to give it to those who urgently need it. It’s a great feeling to be able to help people in need.”
This is the summary from pupils of the project management course at the G11 after successfully contributing one building block, for the amount of 1,000 Euro, for the completion of the Ginde Beret school in Ethiopia. This was achieved with the organisation of two movie nights at the school during which tickets and snacks were sold. A book flea market also contributed to their success.
Professional help for your school project
If you would like to set up a similar social project at your school, professional help is available to assist you: for several years Prof. Divjak-Mirwald was responsible for the subject project management and public relations at her school. She has retired now, and is available, on a voluntary basis, as your contact for school projects at Menschen für Menschen.
Prof. Divjak Mirwald will be happy to share her experiences with you: contact us on email@example.com
Prof. Divjak-Mirwald about one of her projects
Project management is an optional subject at my former school. In the course of my project management lessons the support of a social project was a priority to students. After some research and conversations with various organisations, we learned about the Austrian organisation Menschen für Menschen that, among other things, builds schools in Ethiopia. After a very welcoming first approach, we decided to “generate” 1,000 Euro for a building block for the construction of the school in Ginde Beret. Our project goal was to reach the amount of 1,000 Euro.
At a kick-off event an employee of Menschen für Menschen introduced the supported project. Following this, we managed to reach our goal with the organisation of two movie nights, amongst other things.
The process: Based on questionnaires, the pupils of the project management course decided which films to show. There were mostly lower school pupils, who happily paid the entrance fee of 3 Euro. In addition to this, there was a “movie buffet” with popcorn, snacks, beverages etc.
Furthermore, there was a permanent book flea market for teachers starting in March 2013, and a real book flea market on the day of the G11 (9 June 2013), during which we earned a tidy sum.
Advantages of this project
- Manageability: easily feasible infrastructure, equipment available in every school, no external assistance necessary (e.g. licences etc.)
- It appeals to young people.
- Lower school pupils had their own event and felt taken seriously. The second time we focused especially on pupils of grade 5 and 6. Friendships across grades were made.
- The support of a school in Ethiopia has to be seen in the context of school education.
- Raising awareness for matters outside our continent is a relevant learning content. Pupils could experience “yes, donating serves a purpose, we are part of it”. They supported the project more because the goal meant something to them, and they felt that they could do good with it.
- We felt well looked after at Menschen für Menschen, and got the impression that the money collected really does arrive where it is needed.
Start your own project. I’m happy to assist you. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org