What are the “participatory budgets”?

This week was quite short because of the holidays so I don´t have much to tell you. However it has been interesting.

A couple weeks ago we visited this place called “Tiempo Joven” and we told the youngsters there about participatory budjeting in Madrid and they came up with various ideas and a few of them were interested to know more. So today we met with one of them to help him understand the process and submit their proposals.

We went through a short presentation that I made a couple weeks ago and showed him some examples and talked about the process itself. It´s always wonderful to see when someone is truly interested and you actually are giving them new information and they appreciate it. I am so glad that my Spanish was sufficient and we got along very well. What a wonderful person with such a creative mind!

Here is a photo of us working. I also gave him a permission slip about using his photographs that needs to be signed by his guardians. That’s also the reason why I can’t publish a photo where his face is seen, maybe later! These things are important so keep that in mind while doing your practice or any work.

Different countries have different laws, but working with minors they are pretty much the same everywhere: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography_and_the_law

I also talked with Ana, who I met the first day and who I talked with before coming to Spain. She coordinates “La casa de la educaciòn”, basically translated house of education, in which she finds interesting courses for the workers who work with Tomillo and the objective is to improve educational practice, provide effective tools and methods and have relations with the Universities etc.

A new method came up when I was explaining her how we do participatory budjeting in Finland with the youngters and how our system works. APS, short for aprendizaje servicio. In English this would be Service Learning. To her it sounded like we are doing it, but with a different term perhaps so obviously I googled Service Learning and the first things that came up was this:

“Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.”

It does sound familiar but I was yet not convinced that we use it in the work we do, obviously someone in Finland is using it but are we in the public services using it? I search some more…

Examples of service learning:

  • Volunteerism: Volunteerism is acts of service performed out of free will without expectation of recompense and is generally altruistic in nature; the main beneficiaries (at least in a visible sense) are generally those served by the student.
  • Community Service: Community service is quite similar to volunteerism, the main difference being that it is said to “involve more structure and student commitment than do volunteer programs.
  • Internship: Internships can provide students with experience in various fields of work; however, unlike volunteerism and community service, students gain a more measurable benefit from this aspect of service learning.
  • Field Education: Field education, like internships, is generally more materially beneficial to the student. Field education involves programs that, “provide students with co‐curricular service opportunities that are related, but not fully integrated, with their formal academic studies.

I think I’m on to something…

Anyways happy new year to all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s