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Sunday 19 February

Главная News of the Center "We are all together!"
"We are all together!"
Written by Volunteer   

Conference and training on tolerance in Yaroslavl, 19th and 20th November 2009

DSCN8657The conference discussing “Diffusion of ideas of tolerance among the youth” started in the morning of Thursday, 19th of November, in a lecture hall of the Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University. Around 120 students had gathered to listen to the presentations of the different organizing institutions which introduced themselves and explained about their work and aims. But also participants of the conference had their word on their work in youths’ and students’ organizations in Moscow, Astrakhan and Orenburg. This part was rounded out by two volunteers of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation who explained about students’ organization and movements as well as volunteering in Great Britain and Germany where they are studying.

After lunch in the canteen, the training on the same subject with about 30 students began. For the beginning, there was a little game to get to know each other. Every one had to talk with one person and afterwards present this person to the rest of the participants. This game as well as other games which were played from time to time was a nice tool to loosen the atmosphere. Everyone had fun and met the others outside the discussion and tasks. After that the work on the subject of the training started. At first it was important to define the terms tolerance and discrimination. The main conclusion we came to was that tolerance means respect towards the other, his culture, religion and life. To get a closer look on discrimination, four lists were elaborated stating which groups were discriminated most in different categories like e.g. religion. Furthermore, it was asked who of the group belonged to such a group respectively has ever felt discriminated. Only three of the participants had never felt discriminated which again shows the importance of discussing these problems. The last challenge was to think of a slogan for tolerance in four groups. All groups were really creative, but in the end the best slogan was found: “Who are we? BROTHERS! – Where are we? IN THE WORLD! We are all TOGETHER!”

DSCN8663After this work it was time for the “evening of friendship” which took place in a nice and comfortable restaurant not far from the university. Our Yaroslavl partners had arranged a great music program with singing and dancing from different cultures. It started with a German song sung by a girl who is studying German, continued with Ukrainian and Caucasian songs which went along with traditional dances. The Orient was also represented by some belly-dancers. When the program had ended everyone was bright and ready to start own dancing. The evening only ended when the organizers decided that everyone should have a rest, as the training would continue on the next morning.

The training on Friday started again with a little game and the task to remember and summarize the previous day in pictures. The whole day then was devoted to different tasks in groups. After each task, the groups – which changed from task to task – presented their work. The young people e.g. had to think about ways to counter intolerance on different levels like cities or universities. After the last tea break and funny game, the students had to master the final challenge: develop their own project and present it to the expert group which had to rate the projects. They all coped very well with the task and made up detailed and realizable projects.

The training was a great experience and is likely to have impact on the youths who participated. Hopefully they can act as multiplicators and spread the ideas of tolerance among their families and friends.