STEPS TOWARD EACH OTHER

“Steps towards each other: anti-discrimination education for young minorities leaders and local policy makers in Crimea and Bukovyna regions”

Project goal was to develop human rights culture, to promote tolerance and to combat xenophobia through strengthening of the role of the civic society in Ukraine. The project was implemented from June 25 to December 31/2010.

Country and location(s) of project: Ukraine: Crimea and Bukovyna regions.

Summary of activities covered in project:
-Selection of participants from national and religious minorities NGO’s in Bukovyna
- 8-days intense training course in Chernivtsy on human rights and anti-discrimination with the focuse on activism; basic project management training will be also provided in order to train young leaders for mini-grant competition on the project.

A comprehensive program for 8-days course was developed. The first day was devoted to the issues of identity in poly-cultural society, models of intergroup relations , issues of stereotypes and prejudice. To model inter-cultural relations we used the game “Planet of civilizations”. The second day was aimed at researching the need for tolerance in polycultural society. The basic human rights course, the philosophy of human rights, the difference between tolerance and human rights concepts, international systems of HR protection were explored during the 3 day. At the 4 day we discussed the legal notion of discrimination, learning about xenophobia and hate-speech from leading Ukrainian experts. The topic “Xenophobia in cinema” (shortfilms, “Swarzfahrer” etc.) was discussed. The 5 day was devoted to conflict prevention. Complicated issues of historical memory, inter-ethnic conflicts and genocides were discussed during the 6 day. We worked with the visual testimonies of those who lived through Holocaust and Great Famine in Ukraine. Participants were asked to brainstorm for ideas of the Memory Day in their city, community or school. A pre-final day was dedicated to project-management and preparation for mini-grants competition. Participants were asked to express reflections about the course and come up with ideas of the next actions during the final day. Training part consisted 70% of the course program, 30%  were devoted to the multi-media lectures by leading experts in the field.

* 3 –days basic course on anti-discrimination for local policy makers in Chernivtsy
* Selection of participants from national and religious minorities NGO’s in Crimea
* 8-days intense training course in Crimea on human rights and anti-discrimination with the focuse on activism; basic project management training will be also provided in order to train young leaders for mini-grant competition on the project.

3 –days basic course on anti-discrimination for local policy makers in Crimea
* The sub-grants scheme for best projects of graduees
mini-grants for best project of school graduees
* final press conference

Chernivtsy school participants reflect about the project:
“Extending one’s knowledge in the field of human rights is important for every person in society, regardless of culture. But for national minorities it is more important because a possibility of oppression by police exists”.
“Project work exercise helped us to understand faults in writing projects. It showed how to present our projects to sponsors and experts in e right way”.
“You should continue and we (me for sure) will join you in the nearest future to organize such actions”.

The topics of intercultural relations and xenophobia, influence of prejudice and hate speech on our live were very important during Crimea school. We had hot discussions with participants, so afterwards they reflect about their experience at the seminar:
“I realized the world diversity, and that it is important to do as you would be done by”.
“I’ve learned that we shouldn’t judge a man at once before knowing his/her history and communicating with him/her. It helps to understand others opinions”.
“I was guided by prejudices, but now I will try to improve myself. Think yourself, everywhere and in everything have your own opinion and don’t be a copying paper”.
“Most of all I was impressed with the “Power of videotestimonies” block and now I understood that one nation grief is also a grief for another nation”

Crimea youth school had 25 participants, Chernivtsy youth school had 23 participants.

School graduates were able to check their knowledge and skills, to multiply their understanding of human rights and tolerance in their local initiates with support of sub-granting of the best 11 mini-projects. Topics ranged from basic human rights training for school pupil (3 projects), with human rights of minorities\ refugee, tolerance for university students (2 projects), raising public awareness about human rights, tolerance and discrimination (3 projects for general public), combating prejudice between children from boarding school and children who live with parents (1 project), training for young teachers about ways to counter xenophobia at school (1 project), electronic recourse for librarians (1 project).

Please see the separate data about mini-projects of each school graduates attached.
Mini-project winners have reported about their activities during the seminars for local authorities. That part of the seminar was highly appreciated by authority’s representatives. They have invited project graduates to continue their activities at their villages and towns.

Authorities representatives reported:
“It was interesting for me to learn about mini-projects realization.”
“One can organize mini-projects in different districts involving pupils”.

The Congress of national minorities of Ukraine and its partnering organizations have increased the awareness about existing xenophobia and possible anti-discrimination efforts in the wider public opinion through implementing the project “Steps towards each other”.
The program of the “Steps toward each other” project will be recommended to other youth educators and will be continued in the CNMU activities.



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