Because tolerance is not just a word, but an action

Inspired by the International day of Tolerance, CVS-Bulgaria decided to share with us their project of giving a lesson on tolerance in Bulgarian schools, inspiring youngsters and teaching them about the importance of solidarity.   

59th Primary School Vasil Levski, Sofia, Bulgaria, 09/10/2017, A Tolerance Workshop with 5th grade students, credits Veronica Adami

The date of 16th November is proclaimed as the International Day of Tolerance. This day was created by the UNESCO in 1995 in order to generate public awareness on the dangers of intolerance worldwide. CVS-Bulgaria totally supports this ideal that breaking intolerance will be the key to create a better world for everybody. However, even if words are powerful, we believe that action is even stronger.

On our small scale we started some years ago a project called “Tolerance Workshops”. Our aim is reaching young people, especially children in schools, teaching them the importance of equality and solidarity towards others. Every Monday two people of our team go to a school in Sofia and give a very informal class on the topic of migration, asylum seekers and refugees. Since Bulgaria is one of the hot spots regarding the refugee crisis that we are experiencing nowadays, we thought that it would have been extremely important to sensitise young people about this issue.

The first school we decided to work in is the school that some children of Voenna Rampa reception centre are attending. These children had experienced some bulling from other children in the school and that’s why we understood that the migration topic is really important to be addressed starting from young people.

The first day we delivered a workshop for a fifth grade. Children at the beginning were sceptical. Who are these girls? Why are they here? It didn’t take too long before they started to be engaged with the activity. We sat in a circle, introducing ourselves and asking them questions. These children are brilliant and they came up with very smart answers. We showed them two short videos and explain them what being a migrant means and how important it is to be nice and welcoming especially with people who have suffered a lot in their past. The activity was great and the next Mondays they were waiving at us in the corridors and waiting for us.

CVS-Bulgaria believes that our Tolerance project needs to reach other schools and involve as much young people as possible. We hope that our project will continue to be a success. As someone once said: “Peace begins with tolerance and respect for everybody”.


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