Culture Ants – Cultural Awareness Foundation in Istanbul
The Cultural Awareness Foundation developed this heritage education programme in collaboration with pedagogues, psychologists, art historians and educators. Targeting elementary school children, Cultural Ants is an original education model that utilises cultural values as an intellectual stimulant. In this model, with the aim of raising children’s awareness and sensibility to cultural heritage, specially trained university student volunteers show children Istanbul’s historical sites and provide information about the city’s historical heritage in an active and entertaining fashion.
As the children are at the age of being most receptive to positive stimulus coming from older youth, efficiency and permanence of knowledge transferred to the children is better sustained. In addition, often coming from the most socio-economically disadvantaged families, theses children may perceive the educated youth as role models. Through this model, the project is also able to reach families who are in most need for stronger integration into urban life.
“This exemplary educational model of community awareness-raising as seen through the eyes of schoolchildren and of helping them develop a sense of consciousness towards the cultural values of their environment, is acclaimed by the Jury. The model can be utilised in multi-ethnic societies throughout Europe.”