Natural phenomena, such as floods and wildfires have always been a part of nature and history, but natural hazards do not need to become disasters. The FORETELL project emerges from the need to promote a culture of safety in Europe against natural calamities. This can only be achieved by cultivating a holistic disaster management approach, which requires a prior knowledge and emphasis on disaster risk reduction tools and strategies.
As children are one of the most vulnerable groups, we must teach them from the early age about the environment and the risks, so they will have a better chance to save their lives during disasters. Children are also the future architects, mayors, doctors and parents of the world of tomorrow and if they learn at an early age to respect the environment and learn how to reduce the impacts of disasters, they will create a safer world. According to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, there is a major need to “use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels”. In this context, The FORETELL project exploits innovative technology-based learning strategies and pedagogical frameworks aiming to provide awareness, knowledge and develop essential skills necessary to cope with natural hazards, such as floods and wildfires.
The FORETELL project aims to prepare children to cope with these environmental hazards, through experiential learning activities (e.g. task-driven simulations or/and educational games etc) which will be designed based on scenarios of “good practices” regarding these hazards and implemented in a 3D virtual world. Upon completion, the project will provide an on-line learning tool that is particularly effective, pervasive and suitable for the target population and the general public. Furthermore, FORETELL aims to empower the profile of the teaching professions in order to adopt novel approaches in teaching and assist the teachers of Natural Sciences providing them with open digital educational material which will be developed in the context of the project.
FORETELL consortium is set according to the objectives of the project and the partners’ expertise required to successfully carry out the planned activities. More specifically, the consortium consists of 4 partners from 4 European countries (Greece, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria). The partners act in the fields of Education, ICT technologies and immersive learning, civil protection and citizenship empowerment of children.
In detail the partners are:
1) Hellenic Open University (HOU) in Greece.
2) FELCOS Umbria, a non-profit association composed of Local Authorities and public, private and associative actors, which realises activities for awareness raising and education in global citizenship in Italy.
3) Chief Directorate, Fire Safety and Civil Protection Directorate General, Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria, (FSCP DG).
4) The University of Malta (UOM), Faculty of Education, in Malta.
FORETELL project is expected to have a significant impact, involving 4 European Countries in the project implementation phase and aiming at engaging members of schools associations, pupils/ students and their families, as well as parents' associations, university students of Education Studies and Natural Sciences as future educators, policy agencies for education, stakeholders focused on civil protection awareness and citizenship empowerment, public bodies, NGOs etc.
Activities will ensure that the project results will spread beyond the consortium through dissemination to the target groups and the wider public, activities for project promotion, including a wide range of publicity activities and exploitation of the tools and outputs developed, aiming to secure project sustainability through the open-source approach.