Since its inception, Covid-19 has made its mark on the BUILD project. The project plan assumed that the first Pilot would take place in April / May 2021, but due to the closure of the school, that part of the project was postponed. When it became clear that schools would open in the autumn of 2021, preparations for the first pilot began. The pilot, which lasted for six weeks, began in Hafnarfjörður’s schools at the end of October and in Kaunas at the beginning of November 2021.
A total of 231 students from five primary schools in Kaunas and Hafnarfjordur took part in this first pilot. In Kaunas, the pilot was facilitated by two social pedagogues in which 53 pupils from two primary schools participated. In Hafnarfjordur the pilot was facilitated by ten facilitators; sociologist, psychologists and youth workers, in which 178 pupils in three primary schools participated.
The pilot went well in both countries. The pupils were really interested in the modules and the facilitators reported back that most of the pupils were highly engaged in the discussions. As one can understand some of the topics were quite sensitive and some pupils proved reluctant to participate in the discussion.
One of the goals of the project was to improve help seeking behaviour. This turned out to be the case in Iceland . All pupils were asked to write down feedback at the end of each session, this led to a few pupils addressing concerns that they had been unable to do elsewhere. Those concerns were addressed either in the next session or between sessions.