More than 120 people took part in the activities of the next day of the Citizenship Education Caravan, which was held in Vilnius on August 19. The day included educational walks, a workshop and a pub quiz in the Lithuanian capital.
Educational walk “Vilnius – the city of solidarity and human rights”
Vilnius, which celebrates its 700th anniversary in 2023, has long been a city where people of different nationalities and cultures have traditionally lived.
This city has now become a refuge for tens of thousands of Ukrainians who were forced to move here because of Russian military aggression, and for thousands of Belarusians who were forced to move to Lithuania because of political persecution by the Lukashenko regime.
During the tour, Caravan participants were able to look at the city through a new lens: looking for and finding stories about human rights and solidarity. They saw the biggest cat in the city, a monument to a man who had never been to Lithuania, a portal to another city, murals to one of the most famous refugees in history and a Belarusian human rights activist, and much more.
The educational walk was led by Nazarii Boiarskyi, human rights activist and non-formal education trainer, member of the Coaching Pool of the Council of Europe, independent expert of the Eastern European Network for Citizenship Education (EENCE), licensed tour guide.
Workshop “How to find common ground with others? The Art of Dialogue”
Interactive tasks, games and theatrical improvisations were prepared for the participants of the meeting by the facilitator Kateryna Zezyulina, an expert on peacebuilding education, trainer of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.
The meeting with 10-12 year old children from the Ukrainian community was intense.
The children explained in their own words what conflict is, how they understand this word and what they think about it.
“Conflict is when other kids don’t want to play with you”, “…when someone yells at you”, “…when you don’t share candy”. A very simple and very understandable explanation of a complex term by the children.
Then teams of participants and participants played skits from school, playgrounds and family and showed how they usually solve conflict situations. In addition, the children learned from the examples of the characteristics of different animals how conflict can be resolved in a different way.
An important but unobvious impact of the event was the conversations with parents.
Some moms and dads who were present in the room watched the workshop with interest and came up afterwards to ask questions. It was evident that adults were interested in the topic and wanted to learn more about conflict transformation.
Pub-quiz “Eastern Partnership: What do we know about our neighbors?”
The quiz was organized by the NGO “Democratic Initiatives Incubator” and the human rights organization “Legal Initiative”.
The event brought together people inspired by the ideas of freedom and solidarity who were able to have an interesting time, socialize, exchange ideas and play the quiz together.
The main topics of the quiz were the Eastern Partnership countries, human rights, democracy and civic education. And at the end of the game the winners received not only positive emotions, but also valuable prizes.
Interesting questions, sports excitement and reigning atmosphere – this is what was worth coming to the game for.
“My colleagues and I have been playing quiz games at external venues for over a year. Therefore, when we found out that a game would be organized, especially with a topical theme, we immediately registered a team – there was no way we could miss this event. I can say for sure that the quiz was excellent. Nazarii Boiarskyi not only led the game perfectly, but also wrote very interesting questions with the team. Thanks to the division of rounds by topics, everyone could show their strengths, but mostly we tried to answer the questions with collective intelligence and logic.
I would like to say a big thank you to the EENCE Citizenship Education Caravan team for the excellent organization and, in general, for the initiative. I think that such activities are a great help to ….., as well as to spend time in an interesting and useful way.” – a participant of the event shared his impressions.
Educational walk “Vilnius: Rethinking History”
The tour was primarily aimed at IDPs in Vilnius.
The participants of the walk were able to get acquainted with Vilnius. During its 700-year history, the city has experienced many ups and downs, as well as repeated changes of authorities and ideologies.
The history of the city and the country has been periodically rewritten. The last (or maybe not the last?) reinterpretation of history began more than 30 years ago, and it continues to this day, with varying success….
How did the city change after the collapse of the USSR?
How did the processes of Lithuania’s desovietization take place?
What is the reaction of different groups of the population to the de-communization of the country?
The answers to these questions were discussed during a walk through the wonderful city of Vilnius.
The walk was led by Mark Psonik, a licensed tour guide in Lithuania.
The aim of the EENCE Citizenship Education Caravan is to support civic education providers in the EU Eastern Partnership region who are actively working to develop a civil society capable of promoting and defending the values of democracy.
The Caravan in Lithuania and Poland is organized mainly for citizens of Belarus and Ukraine who were forced to leave their countries because of repression and war, as well as for the adducators who work with them.
From August 18 to 27, the Caravan team will visit Vilnius, Kaunas, Vilkaviškės, Druskininkai, Bialystok, Tykocin, Treblinka and Warsaw.
The event is organized by a consortium of EENCE experts and organizations in the framework of the project “EENCE Citizenship Education Caravan”, funded by the Federal Agency for Citizenship Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / bpb) with funds allocated by the German Federal Foreign Office, program “Enhancing cooperation with civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia”. The project is implemented by the NGO Incubator of Democratic Initiatives (Ukraine).