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SUMUS -TOLERANT YOUNGSTER'S NETWORK
A human rights educational network exists since March 2003 when three NGOs from Hungary, Romania and Serbia and Montenegro organized the first educational program in partnership, financed by the Council of Europe.
network came into existence spontaneously based on a decision made
by the three organizations who implemented the same educational
program in three different countries. They agreed that it is useful
to put in practice the same project in such countries where problems
and needs are mostly the same.
Since then several HRE activities has been organized in these three countries at the same time, using the same educational methodology. Different nationality students, aged between 14 and 20, participated in this project, mostly national and ethic minorities such like: Hungarians, Romas, Romanians, Russians, Saxons, Serbians, Slovakians and Turkish young people.
2004 a new Ukrainian organization joined our network, and we carried
out together our program. Since then our common educational
methodology already had specific elements, that needed unification,
and it was the time for members to meet in order to analyze and
estimate the results and to create a common strategy development
plan, which helps us to work together in future more effectively.
representatives of the four partner organizations, some young
representatives of our target group,
trainers, representatives of two NGOs from Slovakia and
Slovenia, also donors met
during the “Building the Network of Human Rights Education in
South-East and Central Europe” seminar in Budapest on 2-7
the participants gave the name:
Sumus – Tolerant Youngsters Network to our initiative and
also designed the image of the network.
Beside the fact that the two new invited organizations were open to join our network, and now we have six organizations in our network, the real success of the seminar consisted of the results achieved by the workgroups: participants came with genuine new ideas relating to follow-up program activities. As a result of one of the workshops, participants planned to open regional human rights offices in Romania and Serbia and Montenegro, for monitoring and providing legal assistance and the Martin Luther King Organization is ready to give its professional help to this initiative. The other group - that dealt with the question ”What to do our young target group to be in permanent contact and keep in touch” - suggested to organize international summer schools annually for students from every country who actively participate in the HR educational project all over the year. They thought that such event is indispensable for two reasons: it gives enough motivation to young people to participate in the program, and assures the connection between the participants. In 2005 the Csíki Foundation from Romania was charged to organize the first meeting, because the organization already has many experiences in similar activities.
Human Rights Educational programs:
A. The program in Miercurea Ciuc was realized by the Csíki Organization based on two kind of activities: in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Youth, Education and Research. We started a national program for students belonging to a senior secondary school students who learn Hungarian, Romanian, Saxon, Serb, Turkish, Slovak, Russian. The program was financed by the European Union, through Phare - Civic Education Program.
The direct target group was 48 15-20 year old students with different nationalities (4 students/high- school), 24 teachers (2 teacher/ high- school) from 12 different cities in Romania (Târgu Mureş, Bucureşti, Sighetu-Marmaţiei, Medgidia, Timişoara, Nădlac, Sibiu, Miercurea Ciuc, Sfântu Gheorghe, Oradea, Craiova). Indirect target group: approximately 6.000 students and 120 teachers from 12 schools (60.000 inhabitants from the 12 cities.
The aim of the programme was to promote human rights education on a national level with the help of a new method, which is appreciated by the students too. We organized training courses for the students in themes like: human rights, relation between human rights and responsibilities, common responsibility for eliminating social exclusion, marginalization, intolerance and violence, importance of diversity and multiculturalism, interethnic and religious tolerance, ethics in society, campaigns against racial discrimination, protection of environment and development of democratic school structure. The training sessions were followed by high-schools competition, which consisted of planning and organizing different extracurricular activities related to international events (International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Day of Roma, International Day of Women's Rights, International Day of Refugees, International Day of Earth and International Day of Human Rights). The students organized different activities like: debates among students and specialists, competitions and exhibitions, different entertainment, role plays, performance, cultural and sport events related to the event, games, simulation games, planning and creating student councils, organizing elections, planning media campaigns or creating their school radio or other publication, different charity programs for the community and marginalized children who live in unfavorable conditions.
In 2004 we also organized a regional education program: "Youth Competition on Human Rights- 2004", whose target group were Hungarian- minority students from Sanmartin, Cristuru Secuiesc, Baraolt. The standard training course -which is specified for students who live in minorities- was organized in Miercurea Ciuc. After the training course the students organized a very successful Tolerance Day- event in their high- school.
B. The Martin Luther King Organization's "Give the Understanding on" project was financed in 2003 by the Council of Europe, and in 2004 by the European Union- Phare Acces 2002 program. We organized similar human rights educational training courses- like in the beyond borders- organizations -in the European Youth Center with the help of the Mobilitas Information Service, in Budapest. Here there was also an exhibition, where the participants had the chance to exhibit all the material accumulated during the Tolerance Day event. The exhibition was on the 10th of December in 2004, on the International Day of Human Rights. After the training course the students organized awareness- raising and human rights promoting activities in Budapest and in other parts of Hungary. Tolerance Day was organized in Ocsa for the second time by the "Bolyai Janos" Secondary School, an event in which the whole fellowship of students were involved, and year after year more teachers are interested, more NGO's are invited.
In 2004 there were many NGO's, who delivered lectures on: "War and Peace" by Humanist Movements; (Organization for the rehabilitation of the deaf's) "Be more attentive!", by HARKE; "Guilt and expiation" by Váltó-sáv Foundation ; "The world can be different" by Young Greens (human ecology), "Sport- men in wheel- chair" by Prohászka Csaba; "My dog helps me" by Mányik Richárd; "There live people in the periphery too- what can a social worker do?" by Demeter Ábel; "Still a taboo?" (different sexual orientations) by Sex Education Foundation; "We and the animals" by Fauna Organization; "The gentle sex?" by NANE (Women for Women Against Violence), "Racism in a Hungarian way"- Roma students about this issue; "Deaf'n blinds. Who are they?" by Királyhidi Dóra; "What does Krsna say?" by Community of the Krsna- trusting people; "Democratical school, living students- rights" by DIA (Organization for Students Rights Protection); "Hungarian people in minorities" -discussion with Hungarians from Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine, Helping the Family Service: "Who can help in what?"
Beside the optional lectures the student had the opportunity to actively participate in other activities like: Talking wall- Don't only talk about it, do something for it!, games, films related to human rights (Rain- man, Radio, Mice and people, The diary of a basketball- player), sport activities (paraolimpics: sitting volley- ball, team- competitions), community builder- games: "Weaving the dream- carpet together"
The motto of the day was: "Diverse world with diverse society". The students appreciate that diversity is a value, which need protection and recognition. Tolerance is not patience, not Christian love or in difference for the diversity, but it is openness for understanding, the will to communicate to recognize each other and while respecting the other's dignity. All the lectures, discussions, interactive games, films talked about these problems.
C. The organizer for the programs in Serbia and Montenegro was the Open Prospects organization, Subotica. After the public announcement in the media the representatives of four high- schools registered for the human rights training courses, listed as follows:
According to the program the four representatives of a high school had the opportunity to participate on a common 2 day long training course. The students actively took part on the workshops and had the chance to learn more about assuming the role in the society. Before the education program the students had he opportunity to orientate in international legal documents legated to human rights, to determine notions like tolerance, etc.. The first meeting was on the 3-4 November, 2004. The workshops were guided by Verona Molnar and Aurelia Lukacs conform the COMPASS (Manual on Human Rights Education with Young People). The continuation of the training- course was organized on 27-28 of November, 2004. The results of the workshops were not only the student's enthusiasm for the work, but the great creativity about organizing the Tolerance Day event and exhibition on the 16th of November in their high- schools. In each city the students organized an exhibition were we could find many materials related to tolerance and illustrated with photographs. Like an accompanying event they prepared leaflets, put the "talking wall" in practice, made presentations, lectures, discussions about tolerance and the importance of the human rights protection. The student's activities were evaluated by a three- person jury (teachers). The most appreciated group was who succeeded in demonstrating and presenting tolerance in an attractive way for the other students, and at the same time succeeded in creating a creative and effective communication with other students. The winner group was the group from Novi- Sad. They got precious books as awards.
Building the Network- seminar in Budapest:
As you could read in the Description, in December, 2004 there was an international seminar in Budapest, whose aim was to create the international SUMUS network, to unify our educational strategy and to extend our already existing network.
The First SUMUS Human Rights Summer School in Romania:
As a result of a workshop in the international seminar in Budapest a group of students- that dealt with the question "What to do our young target group to be in permanent contact and keep in touch"- suggested to organize international summer schools annually for students from every country who actively participate in the HR educational project all over the year. In the first year the Csíki Foundation is responsible for organizing this event, because we already have experiences in this filed ("Look where I live..." project in 2002)You can read more about the SUMUS Summer School under the News menu.