Global Citizenship refers to the willingness and ability to perceive oneself and to act as a member of a diverse world community, in which mutual understanding, acceptance and care for people and their natural environment are widely recognized as the main value.
Citizenship describes the status of being a citizen in a specific country or nation and comes along with particular rights, responsibilities and duties but also social and psychological components such as the sense of identity.
When focused on the children, “Citizenship” is a continuous process that gives them the power to express their opinion freely, make decisions and get involved (in actions, practices, and dialogues), in matters that affect their life, according to their age, maturity and competence, valuing their agency. This process combines space, voice, influence, and audience. Space is a place of well-being, joy and pleasure open to the plural experiences and interests of children and communities. It must respect personal and social identities and be open to the play and culture. Considering children’s voices means that they can express their opinions and experiences about issues that concern them and take their opinion and perspective into account. Children must be consulted during decision-making that affects them. To have a significant influence, in addition to giving children a voice, their opinions and perspectives must be taken seriously. Children should be informed of how their views have been considered. It refers to the opportunity of children being heard, and their opinions and actions are considered by those who make decisions, and by the community where they belong (adults and other children).
Social and Family Participation focuses on how children are enabled to participate in the decision-making processes of their social and family context, as well as on a community, national, and international level. Based on the Children’s Rights Convention, participation includes the freedom of expression, thought, conscience, association; as well as the right to express their views on all matters affecting them, access to information, and to participate in the cultural life of the community.
Social and family participation is fundamental at any level of education, particularly in early childhood. The responsible and collaborative participation of families should be promoted, in consultation with educators, children, and other social actors. For the best effectiveness of children’s participation in the different spheres of daily life, the involvement of families and carers is fundamental, because in addition to their personal availability (conciliation), they provide a cultural involvement with other families, and home/school communication becomes more consistent.
Inspired by the priorities of Global Citizenship Education, gender identity and equality are considered to be key concepts. Firstly, gender equality describes the equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities for all genders. This equality implies that no one’s rights, responsibilities, and opportunities will depend on whether they are born female or male. Secondly, gender identity is the felt, internal sense of being a man, male, boy; a woman, female, or girl; or an alternative gender. It does not necessarily correspond with the sex assigned at birth or primary/secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, someone’s gender identity may or may not be visible to others
These concepts are addressed separately due to that can have their own value in insolation or in close correlation with each other. In concordance with the four themes of the GAINKids, the two themes are closely related with the concept “respect”. Which can be seen in the published books, the authors wrote real-life examples to familiarizes the child with the “normality” of the exchange of role between man and woman, due to it is only a role.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children must develop their “human” potential at each stage of development and to the full extent of their capacities.
Equal opportunities for all means that all children, regardless of gender, mental or physical disability, ethnicity or socioeconomic background, have the same opportunities in life and in the future. Each child should get the chance to maximise their full potential to develop cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally. Providing these opportunities specifically entails access to education and training
With the story-books, GAINKids aims to teach to the children that it is not about who their parents are, but who they are. To draw their attention not to what others are doing, but to what they themselves can do. To let them learn that gender, skin colour, clothes, hair length, age, and health conditions
Discrimination prevents individuals and communities from exercising and enjoying their
human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also impacts on society as a whole, reinforcing prejudice and racist attitudes, and it is often based on ignorance, prejudices and negative stereotypes.
Valuing diversity means acknowledging and appreciating the differences and similarities among all human beings. While the basic needs are similar, there is a broad variety of identity traits when it comes to gender, class, culture, ethnicity, religion, nationality, citizenship, or language. And, respecting this diversity entails to recognize that these differences shape each person’s identity while being open to other cultures and identities.
Non-discrimination refers to the principle that no one should be treated differently due to a certain set of identity criteria and nobody should be deprived of their political, social, civic, economic or cultural freedoms and rights. The Gainkids project recognises the need to develop non-discriminatory and tolerant learning environments, to benefit from diversity instead of ignoring or excluding it.