This year’s International Day Against Racial Discrimination (March 21st) was celebrated with the organization of a “Cultural Day” in our school. An activity from the “Learning to Live Together” programme the day provided the Greek students from a neighboring school the opportunity to share with our students their different cultures, and customs. During the week that preceded the celebration our students had worked on creating collages representing their respective countries and cultures through photos, writings in their native language, drawings, symbols, references to their hobbies and favorite games. At the same time, their parents were informed about the celebration of the day and were invited to actively participate by cooking traditional food and desserts. They responded enthusiastically to our call and the result was a delicious meal with an incredible variety of dishes that took us through a culinary journey of world flavors.
Fifth and sixth graders who have been implementing LTLT during this year had also prepared with their teachers scenarios for the activity “Using role playing” in order to explore and reflect on situations where discrimination takes place. In the reflection phase that followed students were able to discuss and analyze different types of discrimination, reasons that lead children and people to discriminate, events where they had been victims of discrimination or times when they themselves discriminated against someone.
At the end of the activity, instead of students writing in their Learning Logs about the practices and behaviors they can follow to prevent or eliminate discrimination, they did so on colorful paper leaves. Afterwards, the leaves were hang on a tree in the school’s garden which we named “The tree of small things” an idea thatoriginated by Ornella Barros, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator for Arigatou International Geneva. Ornella had visited the school on March 13th, worked with the students and discussed the concept of the Revolution of small things which can lead to changes that transform our reality. Through discussing and writing about small, concrete actions that students can undertake in their everyday life children are both empowered and also committed to do so in order to make this world a better and more ethical place to live in.