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Opening speech at the Free of Bullying Seminar 2015

Good morning and welcome to the first international ‘Free of Bullying’ seminar.

We are gathered here today, many nationalities, because we have a common commitment – to prevent bullying. We at the Mary Foundation and Save the Children Denmark are so pleased, that it has been possible to bring so many together, from; Greenland, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. The next couple of days are all about exchanging knowledge and experience, sharing insights and learnings so, we can develop an even more effective version of ‘Free of Bullying’.

Later today you will have the opportunity to see Free of Bullying in action in a pre-school here in Copenhagen. Free of Bullying is a flexible program that allows us to adapt it to our local language, culture, day-care and school systems, teaching methods and so on. We all have different ways of working with the material and I’m sure that you will be inspired by hearing about these different methods. I certainly was when I saw the program in action in Greenland and Estonia.

Bullying is a universal challenge and as we all know, can have severe consequences for a child and their future, whether he or she grows up in Tallinn, Torshavn or Copenhagen. Systematic exclusion is a serious problem, and serious problems require well thought out solutions and serious action.

Free of Bullying is a well thought out initiative that can form part of a holistic solution. Free of Bullying is about prevention, based on the view that bullying involves the whole group.  Interventions are made early in a childs’ development and schooling and aim to create strong, harmonious classes and groups that are more resilient to bullying. Children that are part of the Free of Bullying program learn the basic fundamental values of tolerance, respect, care and courage. They learn what it means to be a good friend. They are given the courage to react if the feel that they or others are being badly treated. In other words; in a strong value-based group the children’s community spirit is strengthened and there exists no tolerance for bullying.

You are all at different stages in your work with Free of Bullying – some of you have several years of experience, and others are just starting out. Regardless of how far you are in the process, we at Save the Children Denmark and the Mary Foundation are here to support you in your work. In order to do that more effectively we have established an International ‘Free of Bullying’ Competence Centre. You can use this centre to access knowledge about best practices and international research and to be inspired by others’ work with Free of Bullying. And that is exactly what we plan to do during the next couple of days.

All people need to feel like they belong and our social relationships have a strong impact on our well-being. Children need a safe and secure environment where they can thrive, where they can concentrate on learning and where they can feel like an accepted and valuable part of a group.

Thank you again for being here today. And please use this opportunity to ask as many questions as possible and to get to know each other. I would also like to thank our Free of Bullying instructors and leading experts in the field of bullying, who are with us this morning for being here.

I hope that you will find this seminar interesting and inspiring and that it can further your work in the prevention of bullying. An environment that is open and accepting gives place for the individual to thrive – such an environment allows children to be who they are meant to be – themselves.

Når pædagoger, lærere og forældre sammen sætter fokus på det gode børnefællesskab og på at lære børn og unge, at mobning er uacceptabelt, så virker det...
Kronprinsessen hyldede partnerskabet og brede alliancer i arbejdet med at bekæmpe komplekse sociale...
Vores samarbejde med MH24 - Mikkel Mod Mobning har knopskudt, og vi har netop lanceret Antibulli-prisen...
mary_fonden Ensomhed er et stigende problem blandt unge. Det vigtigste, vi kan gøre, er at tale om det, række ud og bryde tabuet. Vi skal forstå ensomhed for at kunne bekæmpe den. Mary Fondens vision er, at alle mennesker skal have adgang til nære og respektfulde relationer, hvor andre er noget for dem, og hvor de kan være noget for andre. #alleharrettilathøretil
mary_fonden Hvordan styrker vi unges sociale trivsel? Vores projekt Me&We handler om at styrke efterskoleelevers sociale kompetencer og relationer. I dag lander dette materialekatalog sammen med vandflasker og kopper på de 31 efterskoler, der er del af næste fase af projektet i det kommende skoleår. Kataloget består af viden og aktiviteter, der skal støtte elevernes forståelse af sig selv og hinanden. Læs mere via link i bio. Me&We er er samarbejde mellem Mary Fonden, @justhuman.dk, @efterskolerne og @tuborgfondet.
mary_fonden Er mobning blevet til isolering af nogle børn? Det spørgsmål stiller mobbeforsker Helle Rabøl Hansen i fagbladet Folkeskolen på baggrund af stigende ensomhed blandt børn og unge. "Nogle børn og unge oplever at være luft for de andre. Derfor vælger de at være tavse i løbet af skoledagen, for det er da bedre end aktivt at blive chikaneret af de andre i klassen. Så kommer lærerne og siger: 'Du byder ikke nok ind i undervisningen' eller 'Du skal ikke være så tilbageholdende'. Men Eva på 13 år har ikke lyst til at byde ind og dermed gøre opmærksom på sig selv. Så er det bedre slet ikke at blive set." Hun opfordrer skolerne til at tænke trivsel og deres indsats mod mobning bredere - og fx medtænke ensomhed i indsatsen. Læs mere i artiklen fra fagbladet Folkeskolen. Link i bio 👆🏼 #alleharrettilathøretil #ensomhed #mobning
mary_fonden Nu begynder forskellige sports og fritidsaktiviteter for børn så småt at starte op igen. Når aktiviteterne begynder igen, er det vigtigt at huske at arbejde for den gode klubkultur. Mary Fondens projekt Antibulli er et antimobberedskab til børnehåndboldtrænere. Det består af konkrete råd og øvelser til træningen af 6-12-årige. Målet er at skabe en hold- og klubkultur med høj tolerance, hvor alle respekterer hinanden, taler ordentligt og hjælper hinanden, så klubben er et rart sted at være, uanset hvor god man er til håndbold. Grundtanken er, at et stærkt sammenhold og gode børnefællesskaber forebygger eksklusion og mobning. Link til Antibulli.dk i bio.
mary_fonden I dag optager vi til en film om noget, der rammer ned i kernen af vores arbejde. At alle har ret til at høre til og føle sig som en del af noget større end sig selv. Det budskab og det arbejde er kun blevet endnu mere aktuelt under Corona-krisen. Stay tuned, når vi offentliggør filmen om nogle uger.