British Council’s Active Citizens is a social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development.Through the programme, we bring together people with different beliefs and perspectives to learn from and share with each other. Working with our partners around the globe, we train participants in the skills and knowledge needed to affect social change in their communities.
Active Citizens connects thousands of like-minded people around the world who collectively want to make a fairer and more inclusive society. The program collaborates with partner organisations around the world to deliver and develop the Active Citizens programme. Delivery partners identify facilitators and we train them in the skills they need to deliver the Active Citizens training to others. Following their training, they use the Active Citizens toolkit to design and deliver the training programme to participants in their local communities around the world. Participants receive the tools and support they need to set up or adapt the way they run their own social action projects to tackle a social issue within their community. Communities are connected globally through international opportunities to share learning and ideas as well as through the website and social media.
The training is described below with some additional information:
Step 1 – Me – Identity and culture
Participants get a better understanding of the concepts of identity and culture and apply their learning to understanding the beliefs, behaviour and attitudes of themselves and other people.
Step 2 – Me and You – Intercultural Dialogue
Participants learn methods of dialogue as a tool for building empathy, trust and understanding within and across cultures.
Step 3 – Local and Global Community – We together
Participants develop an understanding of ‘community’ and its relationship with identity and culture. The group apply their learning to their own community to identify the problem they would like to address and the people they need to engage to achieve their objectives.
Step 4 – Social Action Planning
Participants focus on planning a social action initiative in their community, considering the process in different levels of detail and complexity. This involves identifying and clarifying their agenda, a specific intervention and how they will deliver it.
The following animation explains the purpose of Active Citizens: