Serbia: Tolerance campaign

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 15 December 2008

Here you can read the report from the Tolerance Campaign in Serbia:

Organization of Creative Grouping

Husinskih rudara 6/18, Belgrade

Serbia, e-mail: [email protected]



Organization of Creative Grouping, Belgrade, Serbia


Organization of Creative Grouping (OOCG) in cooperation with International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO), inspired by All different all equal/ Campaign

Seminar title: Tolerance is Feeling

Place and date: Belgrade, Fifth Belgrade Gymnasium; 27
October – 8 December 2007

Seminar goal : to promote learning about tolerance among young students from several schools in Belgrade including pupils with hearing and speaking deficiencies

Report applicator: Zoran Zlatkovic and Ana Arsenijevic

Date: 13 January 2008

Participants: 30 scholars and pupils from Belgrade schools ( schools representatives), different social background, physical condition, ethnic belonging and religious beliefs including childreen with hearing and speaking deficiencies

Instructors: Zoran Zlatkovic, political scientist – communicologist and Ana Arsenijevic, ethnologist – anthropologist

Programme of the seminar:

Seminar issues were: identity, difference, attitudes, prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination (sexism, xenophobia, racialism, anti-Semitism, homophobia). Workshops were held each Saturday from 12 AM until 5 PM, including common lunch break. Workshops were separated in several modules:

I Day: introduction and warm up activity; dialogue about identity; conclusions.

II Day: energizers and dialogue with participants on the issue “What do I like, and what do I dislike?”; prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination; differences and attitude diagonal; playing the roles and personal experience.

III Day: warm up and team building; introduction to Forum Theatre technique , dialogue about prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination – platform for scene building; acting and rehearsal for roles, and discussion about methodology.

IV Day: energizers, conversation about scenes and rehearsals; costume and presentation arrangement; final rehearsal; campaign presentation.

Final performance ( 8th of December 2007)
took place at the school theatre of Fifth Gymnasium in the centre of Belgrade. The event was opened and free for the audience. The programme started with short introduction of the campaign in Europe and facts about tolerance in Serbia. Then we offered to audience performance which included scenes of sexism, xenophobia, racialism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and after that a longer intereactive session using methodology of Forum theatre technique. Audience was involved in transforming the scenes in many different direction in order to establish tolerant atmosphere. At the end everybody enjoyed cocktail and closing ceremony with thanksgiving diplomas.

Evaluation analysis:

Workshops are highly ranked: 60% of participants valuated workshops as very successful, and 40% as successful. None ranked it as more or less successful, unsuccessful or completely unsuccessful.

Participants stressed that they attained following knowledge through out the workshops: Be tolerant to everybody no matter the circumstances; Better understanding for the people that surround me; During the seminar I had more sense andsympathy for the person that worked with me; Equality among people remind me of existence of so many discrimination and how to avoid them, I realized that difference isn’t a bad thing at all, I met wonderful, positive and cheerful people, beside their problems; Gained knowledge about human rights breaches; We are all equal no matter the colour or origins … I learnt how to respect people no matter what they are like; I learnt a lot about discrimination and prejudices, it is very useful that I had a chance to meet people and I think that I am more open and convivial comparing to my previous behavior!; I learnt not to deprecate others

Participants valuated their activity at the workshops on the scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is for bad and 5 is for excellent. Mark 3 was given by 10% of participants, 4 by 40% and with highest mark 5 – 40%.

Organization (technical and other conditions)
is marked as following: 96% of the participants are very satisfied and 4% satisfy, there were no unsatisfied.

Instructors were also highly rated: 96% of participants were very satisfied with instructors, 4% were satisfied, there were no unsatisfied participants.

Overall atmosphere and social activity on workshops were completely satisfying for 87% of participants, 13% valuated as semi satisfying and there were no unsatisfied.

All participants (100%) wrote that they would like to participate in similar programmes, and gave following comments:

Very nice and useful
workshop; Very nice people, it was my pleasure to work on the issue of tolerance; All approval for this kind of organization and I think that there must be more of them, because tolerance is very important issue. With these workshops we are on good way to ennoble ourselves and others; We really had good time; Instructors were great, organization excellent; Super and very instructive; Company was great, our instructors were patient, very good and interesting, we had good time and at the same time learning; No comment!!! Just continue like that!!!; I think that workshops were successful, because they made me realize that children with hearing and speaking deficiency aren’t that different, on the contrary they are very convivial; I like the way you organize the workshops, just continue like that. All the luck!; This is very nice and funny; Personally I liked the workshops, atmosphere is great and all participants are creative and cheerful. Every Saturday is better!; Thanks on this group of workshops, the atmosphere was great; No remark. You are great!; Everything was great, you need to continue like that, because you give good impulses to people. I appreciate this kind of organizations; All approvals to people who organize this grouping and made possible to meet new companions and make friendships
J; It was great; Great example of inclusion of hard of hearing and speaking children in hearing environment. Thank you very much!

Overall mark, comment and suggestions:

Campaign activities included: schools visits, public classes, schools debates, workshops and final performance and all was very successful. Children from different environment including children with hearing and speaking deficiency met at one place, talked about their experience and problems connected with discrimination. They were informed about sexism, xenophobia, racialism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, then cooperated and eventually made wonderful final performance, all in 4 days of work. All activities were very well represented in media reports (mostly radio). After final performance we were special quests in two radio shows, each lasting 60 minutes, on the First programme of National Radio Belgrade. The society needs very little to become transparent and inclusive. This kind of programme confirms the above mentioned statement. It would be great to continue with the campaign, but to include bigger groups of children. With hard volunteering work and great efforts Organization of Creative Grouping succeeded to make noble and inspiring action. We are planing to have few follow up activities related to the campaign: in February and March- Tolerance mask party (at the intercultural caffe in the centre of Belgrade) and peer education about discrimination, human rights and tolerance.

Belgrade, 13th January 2008 Zoran Zlatkovic,

Coordinator of the Tolerance campaign

Vice- President OOCG

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