With debating we want to address academic, professional and civil needs, namely:
• Reading literacy.
According to PISA 2009 Slovak pupils were below the OECD average, and the ratings have been plummeting since. With debating we teach writing and reading comprehension.
Unlike many universities and parents, employers seldom care about grade reports or memorised knowledge. With debating we teach argumentation and communication skills.
• Prejudice and ignorance.
The public discourse is full of half-truths and delusions, like the one about '200 million for the Roma'. With debating we teach young people to navigate the internet and process information critically.
• Populism and demagogy.
Almost every political party resorts to group identification (Slovaks, Hungarians, 'decent people', the middle class, the religious...) instead of caring about the public interest. With debating we teach the principles of democratic discourse in a pluralistic society.
• Unbalanced public discussion.
The political mainstream lacks self-reflection. With debating we help young people mature ethically, when they are forced to consider the limits of their own opinions, understand their opponents and familiarise themselves with the international discourse.
How much have you donated?
In 2013/2014, we received €1243, almost 1% of our annual budget for 2014/2015, which corresponds to:
• a quarterof the cost of the Slovak Debating League Final,
• office rent for ofour months or
• half of the cost of a coaching seminar.
What happens to your donations?
The fundraising helps not just a single project, but the whole organisation. We believe our donors will prefer if we explain why we need their contribution, instead of luring them with the most attractive project (even we can't decide if that is the Slovak Debating League Final, the international tournament in Bratislava or the Summer academy Discover).
V sezóne 2014/2015: In 2014/2015, we:
• restore the schools debating programme in central Slovakia and debating at universities,
• expand the debating programme for elementary schools and the Summer academy Discover,
• launcha teachers' debating programme and a programme for public discourse,
• improve the debating methodology and our cooperation with volunteers,
• examine the effect of debating on young people's opinions and capabilities (together with the Scio exam board),
• raise fundsfor 2015/2016,
• strengthenthe SDA brand.
How can your donation help?
If we manage to raise more money in 2014/2015, from the next debating season we can:
• dedicate less time to writing grant applications,
• devote more time to work with young people,
• rely less on decisions of politicians and major donors.
If you donate more to us, we could:
•lower registration fees for regional tournaments (now €20-25 per person),
• invest in developing priorities we consider most important, or
•expand our team,so that our organisation can continue to grow and improve.