“Sources of Tolerance” Childrens Camp
On 9 August over 190 children aged 9-17 from 17 national communities in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova will take part in the opening of the International Inter-ethnic Children’s Camp “Sources of Tolerance” held in Yasinya near Mt. Hoverlia in the Carpathian Mountains.
The children and young people are from Ukraine’s national communities as well as from refugee families (Armenian, Assyrian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chechens, Crimean and Volga Tatars, Greek, Jewish, Moldovans, Germans, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Tatars). The camp is an opportunity for them to live together, sharing their cultural diversity. This will be the second year that the camp is taking place with the involvement of the Afghan and Korean communities in Ukraine. There are educationalists in the camp from Ukraine’s national communities, as well as professionals understanding the specific features of inter-cultural dialogue.
The camp, from 9 -26 August, is run by the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine with the support of the German and Polish Embassies, the Ministry for the Family and Youth, the State Committee on Nationalities and Migration, the Danish Refugee Council, and other charities, sponsors and private individuals.
The camp’s aim is to develop tolerance of ethnic diversity among young Ukrainians, counter xenophobia, form an active civic position and broaden understanding and awareness of Ukraine’s ethnic diversity.
The camp works on the principle of immersion, with the children trying to live each day as the members of a particular culture. There are also Remembrance Days for the Tragedy of the Peoples of Ukraine, Human Rights Day and the Day of the Citizen.
Such “Sources of Tolerance” camps have been held since 2002. They take place in summer and last, depending on financial resources, from 15 to 21 days. The locations are deliberately varied to ensure awareness of regional diversity and to demonstrate the methodology in all parts of the country. From 2006-2008 the Congress of National Communities ran two camps each summer, however in 2009 there is only one planned.
Around 2 thousand children have taken part in this valuable programme from more than 18 national communities in Ukraine. More than 120 educationalists, including Moldova, Poland and Belarus have gained skills in running such camps.
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