From time to time I am trying to have classes with children at local school, where my mum work, the school is 5min away from my home. Since I came to Poland around 2 months ago I managed to have 3 classes with kids, which is a good score considering that I actually live in Warsaw, 280km away from my village.
Anyways, I just recently had classes with kids and it was amazing! How it all started: during my last year at university I was volunteered as human rights educator for Amnesty International’s local group of education in the region Wielkopolska in Poland. I had a 2 days training in Warsaw in the AI headquarters about method called facilitation and human rights, all of this was part of campaign: “Education for Human Dignity”. I wanted very much to do classes at my local school and after some problems (the campaign materials were addressed to youth not children) I got green light. I have adjusted the program to age group and so it begun…
It was amazing to see how much these classes/workshops influenced the kids thinking and some questions forced them to rethink the already deeply alive in their heads- stereotypes. In Poland there is still big difference between children raised in rural areas and urban ones, therefore I figured that ‘my’ kids should benefit from the AI campaign. After successful one year of classes, my mum took it up (as I moved to Norway) and every time I was visiting Poland I tried to have classes. This year my mum established a special extra-curricular group of Amnesty International and there is 11 children participating in classes (the whole school has 64 children, together with kindergarten).
Just recently I made workshops about tolerance and equality. Usually I use a lot of games, discussions and active participation to touch with children all kinds of topic. I am always amazed to see how kids think and it is especially visible when we talk about our own experiences or when we are trying to create a definition of new for them word. Recently children had to write what it means for them : ‘Everyone is different, all are equal’. One boy wrote : “We are equal when we have 5 candies and there are 5 pupils in the class and we have to share candies with the 6th one’. It was just so simple and so smart!
I believe in power of education and in teaching children about their rights, empathy, tolerance, open-mindedness and equality. What a different society would we have is all of us could learn about this in such young age. I want to believe that these children will keep some of the stuff I told them, in their heads and carry it on in future life. I believe that every unit matters and that it is never about abusing rights of one human being, it is always touching all the people with whom the person shares life.