PRESS RELEASE 2011-09-28

First time in Sarajevo for the participants of Europe’s largest school network

From 25 to 29 September, more than 200 pupils and teachers from all over Central Europe met for the first time in Sarajevo to participate in the Kick-off event of aces –  The Academy of Central European Schools 2011/2012. aces is one of the largest international school networks with 15 partner countries involving EU and non-EU member states.
First time in Sarajevo for the participants of Europe's largest school network Semir Mujkic

103 schools have a new partner abroad
Every year a project competition for school partnerships is carried out. Volunteering was the theme of this year’s call and 299 schools submitted their project proposals. An international selection committee chose the best 45 partnership projects which now receive an aces grant. 103 schools from 15 countries were selected. The awarded schools are supported during the project implementation and are invited to international network meetings like the one in Sarajevo. The aces Kick-off was the first time for the project team members to meet and get to know each other.

Volunteering: new information, new incentives and approaches
At the event in Sarajevo the participants became more acquainted with their project partners, the annual focus theme and the host city. A City Rally provided the opportunity to learn more about the history and the residents of the Bosnian capital. Workshops on volunteering and project management, held by experts from all over Europe, helped the participants to implement their bi- or trilateral school projects. A “Bazar of Learning” enabled space for self-directed learning at more than 20 interactive stations. The participants got a range of inputs all around volunteering: They could talk to living books, learn more about skills and competences they need as volunteers and much more. The party on the last evening was the chance for all to celebrate their new friendships and the official start of the implementation of their school projects.

aces was initiated by ERSTE Foundation in 2006. The initiative is coordinated by the non-profit organisations Interkulturelles Zentrum (Austria) and VČELÍ DOM (Slovak Republic) and is supported by the Ministries of Education of all 15 participating countries. The aim is to enable and enhance intercultural dialogue and cooperation of young people and to create a continuous network of shared knowledge, mutual learning and innovation.

Contact (for media inquiries):
ERSTE Foundation, Communications
Maribel Königer, Tel. +43 (0) 50100-15453, E-mail:

Interkulturelles Zentrum, Communications
Barbara Hämmerle, Tel. +43 (0)1/586 75 44 -12, E-mail: