A new partner is on board

A very good news from MOVES…

We are happy to announce that the The Center for Inclusive Schools joins WYRED as a new partner. This Center  is one of the few locations in Vienna that offers a multitude of  special and supportive educational settings such as family classes, classes for children with special needs and elementary school integration, as well as multi-level integration classes on secondary 2 level. School life in the Center is characterized by a maximum individualisation and differentiation.

Our 18 new participants are already experienced in political participation as they took part in a co-creation process in the student parliament of their district for newly designing the location around their school.

Though it is not easy at all for them to concentrate for a longer period of time, within two social dialogue-sessions the children already successfully defined the topics and developed the research questions they are interested in.

So what are the ambitious projects they intend to work on in the next weeks? Some will explore the internet to find out how female and male influencers present themselves on YouTube. Some will write a Rap Text about their identities in social media. Others will research the question, how fake-news can be identified in the internet and one further group will define dos and don’ts to be safe when using it. We are very proud to have these young people in the project showing us how inclusion in practice works.

Soon results will be available in their community on the platform – we will go on informig you!

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Biology beyond borders

Hi, my name is Begum Dobrucali. I am sixteen years old. I live in Istanbul. I am an 11th-grade student at Atasehir 1 Doga College.

I wanted to make a project in Biology lesson from the beginning of the school, so I was always with my Biology teacher. I tried to follow her to be able to ask more and more questions about a Project. Her ideas were very important to me. I was always asking myself these questions;

What should I do? How can I do it? Where should I start?

I began to take notes of the problems around me and tried to produce solutions for them. One day on the beach I saw that the color was different at some parts of the sea surface. Some parts had a turquoise color. I took note of this as well. After that, in a fewdays’ time I saw the news about color changing ofsea due to the explosion of algae on television. Marmara Sea had become turquoise color. Then I started to research about algae. After I had learned that it is beneficial to human health, I decided to use algae in my project. Later, I started to think what I would produce. If algae could produce pigment, I thought I could produce organic food coloring. When I think about food coloring, all colorful candies and sweets come to my mind and of course most of the society love these sweets and candies especially the young ones. This means that there is a big problem. Because the synthetic food dyes in these desserts and candies jeopardize our health with the carcinogenic substances they contain.

When I found my project idea, I immediately went near my biology teacher. She had liked the idea very much. To get more information about this subject, we contacted to one of the assistant professors at Bosphorus University. He told us about the studies done with algae before for us. Finally, we decided to make organic food coloring in blue. That was the story of the emergence of my project.

Since I started to this project willingly and I began to spent all my free time researching this interesting subject. On the contrary, I was excited to make the project first and wonder about why no one has done this project before, or I was worried that they could not get positive results. Day by day the project slowly took its final form and blue coloring food coloring appeared.

Must the trial come to the stage of observation? The result was positive. My project was ready. Backward only the report section was left. I can’t say this part was fun but it had to be written at the last step.

I could not believe at first when I learned that I received an invitation to the Mostratec Science Olympics. How can my project be selected within hundreds of projects? On the other hand, I was happy but after a while this changed the place of joy with concern.

The biggest problem for me was that my English was not good enough. I was wondering if I could talk when I got there.” Could they understand me? How can they ask questions? what do I do if I don’t understand the questions asked? “These weresome of the questions that arised in my mind. I couldn’t remember how many times I made rehearsal about the project again before I went to Brazil, you can’t know how many nights I couldn’t sleep. But time passed very fast and I was at the airport. I was very uneasy. My face turned into white and I had a lot cramps on my stomach because of my excitement. On the board on the one hand, I curled into the seat, on the one hand, I was still trying to repeat what to say.

We finally came to Brazil. The first day we had registered and prepared the table. Meanwhile, I was relieved a little. There was no problem and I had told them about my troubles. I was relieved after telling my project once or twice in the following days. The translators there were high school students and this made me feel very comfortable. Because I could get along with them more easily and get used to the environment faster. I was told the same project hundreds of times, after a while, everything became easier. As for the judges, old, hard and critical types had come to my mind when I was dreamed. Whereas the judges who met me were friendly, sympathetic and curious.

In the award ceremony, the excitement of everyone and the joys of the winners of the award ceremony were worth seeing. The most difficult part of this competition was to say goodbye to each other after the ceremony. This contest did not pass as I had afraid before, everything was perfect. During my time in Brazil, I saw that I could easily do what I said I could not do, and I was more confident. When I encountered a problem, I saw that I could stand under it and learned not to give up. In fact, I saw that I could express myself by speaking English, I broke my prejudices. I had the opportunity to get to know different cultures by getting to know many people who have been living.

In fact, I started to learn different languages from my friends who I still talk to.

I’ve been able to understand how far I can cross my borders with Mostratec.

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Your power, your voice

Thank you Beyza Akay for your valuable contribution and your strong willing to make the voices of young people heard!

Hello World! It’s Beyza here. I’m a high schoolstudent. I study IT. So I know about coding,which is cool. I’m 17 and I’m an intern at Doga Schools, in the EU Projects department. I’m learning and working at the same time. My goal is to become a software engineer at Google.

No, it’s not impossible. It’s possible because i want it and I will study hard for it.

I love listening to stories about historical events, a person’s history, mysterious stories etc. I don’t know why but it’s exhilarating. I love learning and thinking about the things people tell me about. I love the internet because it allows you to search anything, you can learn everything. Even though I know there is a whole different world behind it. At school I understand that we haven’t seen even half of the real internet.

The internet and social media give you power that you will probably never have in real life. You’re who you want to be.

People only know your profile, not your real life. It gives you power but at the same time it weakens you because of what goes on in the social media. Users can address you in whichever way they wish, just as you can. You have to be careful because you can break someone’s heart and they can break your heart. Anyway, that’s not the point.

My point is your power, your VOICE.

If you have enough followers you can make all the people around the world hear your words. For example: you re-tweet someone’s tweet to show it to your followers, and they re-tweet it too. It’s snowballing. Every second it reaches out to more people. Even if you don’t want to. And some people use this. They create platforms to reach their goals, to reach your goals.

In my country, change.org is a very famous website which allows your voice to be heard. It works in a quite simple manner: you can start a petition and people will sign your petition if they find it to be reasonable. Your goal here is to reach a certain number of people. Your supporters and you share it with other people. It reaches out to a new crowd of people. You never meet them but they support your goal. They spread it to the world. And then it reaches out to the policymakers. They give their decision. It’s up to them: if they want to realise it, they will realise it. Sometimes you reach for your goal but sometimes people don’t sign your petition.

As I said before, internet gives you power. You can use your power in a bad way or in a good way. As an intern at Doga Schools, I learned about the WYRED Project. There are other projects in which Doga Schools are involved, but I think this is the most important one. Because young people really need someone to help them make their voices heard. There are young people who can speak to crowds, but the majority young people can’t even talk about their feelings or thoughts. This it the greatest part I think. I wish that the project reaches out to more young people so they can make their voices heard.

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Your power, your voice

Thank you Beyza Akay for your valuable contribution and your strong willing to make the voices of young people heard!

Hello World! It’s Beyza here. I’m a high schoolstudent. I study IT. So I know about coding,which is cool. I’m 17 and I’m an intern at Doga Schools, in the EU Projects department. I’m learning and working at the same time. My goal is to become a software engineer at Google.

No, it’s not impossible. It’s possible because i want it and I will study hard for it.

I love listening to stories about historical events, a person’s history, mysterious stories etc. I don’t know why but it’s exhilarating. I love learning and thinking about the things people tell me about. I love the internet because it allows you to search anything, you can learn everything. Even though I know there is a whole different world behind it. At school I understand that we haven’t seen even half of the real internet.

The internet and social media give you power that you will probably never have in real life. You’re who you want to be.

People only know your profile, not your real life. It gives you power but at the same time it weakens you because of what goes on in the social media. Users can address you in whichever way they wish, just as you can. You have to be careful because you can break someone’s heart and they can break your heart. Anyway, that’s not the point.

My point is your power, your VOICE.

If you have enough followers you can make all the people around the world hear your words. For example: you re-tweet someone’s tweet to show it to your followers, and they re-tweet it too. It’s snowballing. Every second it reaches out to more people. Even if you don’t want to. And some people use this. They create platforms to reach their goals, to reach your goals.

In my country, change.org is a very famous website which allows your voice to be heard. It works in a quite simple manner: you can start a petition and people will sign your petition if they find it to be reasonable. Your goal here is to reach a certain number of people. Your supporters and you share it with other people. It reaches out to a new crowd of people. You never meet them but they support your goal. They spread it to the world. And then it reaches out to the policymakers. They give their decision. It’s up to them: if they want to realise it, they will realise it. Sometimes you reach for your goal but sometimes people don’t sign your petition.

As I said before, internet gives you power. You can use your power in a bad way or in a good way. As an intern at Doga Schools, I learned about the WYRED Project. There are other projects in which Doga Schools are involved, but I think this is the most important one. Because young people really need someone to help them make their voices heard. There are young people who can speak to crowds, but the majority young people can’t even talk about their feelings or thoughts. This it the greatest part I think. I wish that the project reaches out to more young people so they can make their voices heard.

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Different generations, similar purposes

Now let’s go through a reflection on new and old “addictions” to technology! Thanks MOVES for such an interesting point of view.

The young men chose an interesting way of discussing their gaming experiences: they let their favorite YouTubers speak for them in sharing phrases of the Rapper Dames’s songs in an online discussion.

One of these songs is “12 Millionen” (15 Mio hits): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKnkc-4ZzEU

So what is it, that makes young men play WoW (World of Warcraft)? Their discussion tells us, that they love being in a community where they are respected as they are. In the community they are well kown and valued for their contributions, no longer have to prove they are good performers. The problems of the real word vanish, when logging in to another world and with others collaboratively solving  the challenges given there. Its addictive being in a flow. They  are a team, they are strong together.

:“Die guten alten Zeiten” (26 Mio hits): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3rLrFC8igY

But wasn’t it similar in the “good old times”? Times, when they were not even born and the previous generation was glued to television? TV series like Popey, Spiderman, Superman, Wiki, Asterix and Obelix provided the strong and clever idols in that times. Wasn´t this – at that times when television was the leading entertainment technology – as addictive and distracting from the real world as gaming is now?

Though being distinguishable by the 24 hours availability of online gaming and by the level of active/passive participation, it seems that every generation uses its specific technologies for similar purposes.

 

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Young People and The Wyred Project: Sarah

What do young people think about college radios? Is their opinion taken into consideration when institutions distribute fundings? Sarah, a student from Roma Tre University, explored this topic through the Wyred project.

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You People and The Wyred Project: Lorenzo

Lorenzo, a student from Roma Tre University explains the results of his survey conducted through the Wyred project. The topic of the research is the relationship between young people and the employment world. Is it time for institutions to hear the young people’s voice?

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How a digital platform can save animals

October the 4th is World Animal Day in Turkey and Gizem Agyuz decided to share with us his story about how a digital platform and a campaign can have a deeply positive impact on animals’ life.

My name is Gizem Agyuz. I work as a Project Development Assistant in Doga’s office for EU Projects Coordination. I am 26 years old and I have a great love for all animals. I gained a bachelor degree in Biology from Marmara University in 2015. Naturally, my studies concentrated on plants and animals. Many lectures involved a number of animals being cut open to examine their anatomy; however, I did not attend those lessons. In order to examine their anatomy in detail, animals were first knocked unconscious and cut open; once they started waking up, were killed by having their aortic vessels cut.

I only attended the very first lecture. Myself and some of my friends in the same course could not remain indifferent. First, we talked to our friends to explain that these animals were not newly discovered species, and therefore there was no need to cut them open to examine their anatomy, as all the relevant information and images could be accessed on the internet. During one lecture, we spoke about the impact on the slaughtered animals.Unfortunately, the number of animals slaughtered for a single course was as high as 70!

This was not science, this was just slaughter!

Then we talked to the instructors in our department, and asked for this to be the last course using this appalling method of study. Unfortunately, we never achieved anything. We talked with animal protection associations and animal rights lawyers. We understood that we were able to reach more people by using digital platforms and we created a campaign via change.org. We shared our campaign with people from all over Turkey, and we managed to reach to many people. For the following year, our department decided not to cut animals oper for anatomy lessons.

After this success, I decided to become an animal activist. I worked as a volunteer in various non- governmental organisations, such as GREENPEACE, WWF, SOHAYKO, HAYTAP, etc.

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Renewable energies

The new story from our partner MOVES comes from Hertha-Firnberg-Schools in Vienna and Lehrlingsstiftung Eggenburg, and it is a message on renewable energies…

Lack and waste of resources is limiting the society in order to evolve and expand the knowledge and use of renewable energy. Rare earth metals are a fundamental part of advancing in terms of science and technology. Resources like petroleum, coal or copper, which are fundamental for the continuity of a functioning infrastructure and therefore crucial for the survival of human kind, are extinguishing. Consequently, there is the need of funding and further developing environmentally sustainable ways of energy generation. When taking a look at the Fukushima incident in 2011 or the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 it is further easy to recognize, that the wrong treatment of these resources is one of the causes. Most of these catastrophes are directly linked to natural disasters caused by global warming – another energy related cataclysm made by the ignorant use of energy of humanity.

Not only is the introduction of renewable energy stopping energy related disasters from happening, it has also many other positive aspects, which are worth mentioning. Firstly, and probably the most important issue that occurs when generating energy out of fossil fuels is global warming. Since it is a problem that is current and becoming more and more dangerous for Planet Earth, it is the duty of nowadays generations to build the foundation for fighting global warming in the future. Therefore, instead of using coal, which produces 0.6 to 1.6 kilograms of CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, or natural gas, which amounts from 0.3 up to 0.9 kilograms CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, as energy sources, they should be replaced by wind, solar or hydroelectric power. They emission roughly 0.01 kilogram of Carbon Dioxide per generated kilo Watt-hour.

Therefore: We urgently need to continue with the processes of the introduction of renewable energy!

“Jesseal” produces a collage showing the dangers of nuclear power plants, being a steady real danger in the northern border region of Austria – the region where his school is located nearby.

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Hunger of democracy

And now we leave the floor to Kuzey Sagkal, a young boy with very clear ideas on what democracy should be based on.

I am a 17 years old student from Doga Schools in Turkey. Me and my friend Deniz have been working on the topic of democracy since 2016. We have delivered a lot of workshops in Greece, Turkey and Finland.

People often talk about countries “becoming” democracies, once they start to have relatively free and open elections. But democracy includes far more than just elections, and it really makes more sense to think about the idea of ‘will of the people’, rather thanjust voting. Most of the Turkish people look at social democracy in a different way; for instance, choosing a class captain is considered to be something big in democracy, whilst in some of the more advanced countries such as Finland this is perceived as being just normal. The main reason behind our hunger for democracy is that we do not have a social democracy. We can only use democracy in its true essence only once in every five years, i.e. for the elections. We can restructure the way we think about democracy by educating our new generations on how to use democracy in their daily life. We can familiarize their opinions on democracy. Today, if we were to ask a Turkish citizen what democracy is, they would only make references to the elections, because that is all we have in the name of democracy in Turkey and underdeveloped countries. Me and my friend Deniz had conversations with people from other countries, who think their
countries are not democratic enough. We all have the same problems of lack of social democracy. In Turkey, our biggest obstacle is created by our minimum wages, which are too low, unlike EU and other advanced countries. Because of that, our people just focus on their work for subsistence and cannot really afford to care about democracy in their daily lives, even in their offices, which sets a bad example for their children who ignore anything about democracy, thus creating an endless loop.

EU projects showed me what is lacking in our democracy system and this led me into thinking about how to solve these problems.

1 Lack of social democracy

1.a Teaching democracy in our schools to the younger generation

as a subject like maths. However, the biggest obstacle is our government. Low educated people do not want to change this system and the current government is happy about this situation.

1.b Push them to use democracy in every scenario in their lives. For instance, choosing their meals at the family dinner by expressing their opinions, or choosing their student council through a democratic voting system, perhaps even including e-voting.

2 Rigging democratic elections

2.a Even though it does not look like a huge problem, it is one of the biggest problems inTurkey’s electoral system. By changing our systemto an e-voting model, we could minimise this risk and make voting easier.

In conclusion, if we were to apply these proposed actions step by step, we could advance our democracy and make use of democratic thoughts in our daily lives. Sure, it will take a long time to put these proposals into action, but our younger generations will be better for it.

 

Kuzey Sagkal from Doga Schools

 

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