KiVa is the acronym for Kiusaamista Vastaan (against bullying). This program was developed by the University of Turku, with funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, to prevent and reduce bullying at schools.
“KiVa schools are kind schools”.
The KiVa program started in 2007 and is already being implemented in 90% of finnish schools. It has been exported to almost a dozen countries, including Holland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Sweden and United States. Students learn to identify different forms of harassment and perform exercises to improve social interactions.
The repercussions of KiVa program can go far beyond the fight against bullying; they can be the seed for a much more cohesive society and even reduce crime rates. The success of the program is such, that KiVa received the European Prize for Crime Prevention in 2009.
At ENCUENTRA-T JALISCO A.C., we are collaborating with the Escalae Institute –official partner of the University of Turku- and their KiVa trainers, to implement the KiVa program in a public elementary school in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, in order to train the school staff on techniques and strategies against bullying. KiVa aims to work with children so that, instead of silently accepting harassment, they choose to support the victim and reject abusive behaviors. The purpose is to address serious cases of bullying in an effective way, which always includes a follow-up discussion to make sure that the situation has changed.
Each school that adopts this system has a team of teachers who act when a bullying case is reported. The program contains materials for school meetings and information for parents. During recess, KiVa guardians wear reflective vests to increase their visibility and remind students that their task is to take care of everyone’s safety.
KiVa and KiVa (logo) are registered trademarks of the University of Turku. Escalae Institute is an Official Licensing Partner of the University of Turku. ENCUENTRA-T JALISCO A.C., collaborates with Escalae Institute on a specific KiVa implementation project in Mexico.