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Free of Bullying now fighting bullying in 1 in 2 pre-schools in Estonia

On 1-2 April HRH The Crown Princess will be travelling with director of the The Mary Foundation Helle Østergaard and general secretary for Save the Children Mimi Jakobsen to Estonia to see the work of Free of Bullying in action in Estonian preschools and schools.

Foreign countries are showing increasing interest in The Mary Foundation’s and Save the Children Denmark's joint project Free of Bullying, and the interest is welcomed by The Mary Foundation and Save the Children, who want to extend the positive Danish experiences to as many children as possible.

In 2012, Free of Bullying was established in preschools and schools all over Greenland, and Estonia is now following suite. Currently 347 of the near 600 Estonian preschools are working with the comprehensive anti-bullying programme, and a pilot test is underway at 25 selected schools. Since 2011 The Mary Foundation and Save the Children have been working with the Estonian Union for Child Welfare on adapting the Danish anti-bullying programme to Estonian conditions. Today, Free of Bullying is used in more than half  the Estonian preschools, and selected schools are currently testing the programme.

During the visit to Estonia, The Crown Princess will meet Estonian business partners to hear about their experiences of adapting, promoting and establishing Free of Bullying, and will see the programme in action in both the preschools and schools. The Crown Princess will also bring focus on children and bullying by opening the Estonian conference Bully-free Education.

During her visit The Crown Princess will also open the Danish King’s Garden together with the mayor of Tallinn. The garden was renovated in 2013 with support from The Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik Foundation and the A.P Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation for General Purposes. Every year thousands of Danish tourists visit the garden, which as a unique historical and cultural area was added to UNESCO's world heritage list as part of the city’s old quarter.

FACTS

  • Free of Bullying is The Mary Foundation’s and Save the Children’s anti-bullying programme, which consists of educational material for preschools, schools and after-school clubs. The aim is to combat bullying and support positive children’s communities.
  • Free of Bullying was launched in 2007 and is currently used in 1 in 3 Danish preschools and 1 in 4 schools/after-school clubs.
  • Figures show that 98% of professionals working with Free of Bullying would recommend it to others. Teachers also experience that children become more helpful and caring towards each other, and that they become better at solving conflicts by themselves.
  • The Ole Kirk Foundation is a financial partner in Free of Bullying.
  • Free of Bullying has been adapted and implemented in Greenland and now partly in Estonia. A partnership with Save the Children in Iceland has been established with a view to adapting materials for Icelandic children.
  • The expansion of Free of Bullying is done in close collaboration with The Mary Foundation and Save the Children, which have a detailed Brand and Concept Guide.
  • In 2011, the Mary Foundation and Save the Children entered a partnership with NGO Lastekaitse Liit (Estonian Union for Child Welfare) to develop and adapt Free of Bullying for Estonia. Tallinn University then joined as an evaluation partner and the Estonian Education Ministry became involved and supported the project financially.
  • Read more about Free of Bullying on www.friformobberi.dk.


Press
The press programme for The Crown Princess’s visit to Estonia will follow.
Accreditation for the trip must be completed by Tuesday 25 March at 12 noon by sending an e-mail with name, media, title and personal ID number and contact information to the Danish Embassy in Estonia, telephone +372 630 6400 or kirtor@um.dk (Information Officer Kirke Torpan).
The press is responsible for booking own travel, while the hotel can be booked via the Danish Embassy in Estonia.