The Power of Solidarity

1 February 2019

UNESCO Associated Schools Network Global Art Contest Opening Hearts and Minds to Refugees.

On 15 November 2016, UNESCO launched the global art contest Opening Hearts and Minds to Refugees for the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet), in partnership with the Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance Psychology and Education in Moscow. The aim of the contest, aligned with the current priority of Global Citizenship Education of the ASPnet, was to raise awareness among children and youth on the rights of, and respect for refugees. Pre-primary, primary and secondary schools were mobilized to encourage their teachers and students to reflect and research about refugees and to express their thoughts and feelings through art works.
Their submissions drawings, collages, paintings, essays, poems and videos all promote a culture of living together and international understanding that cherishes diversity. The ten winning schools were selected by a jury from applications received from all over the world. The jury also gave four special mentions to additional works for the strong messages young students expressed in engaging with the theme.
This publication showcases the artworks, along with descriptions written by the winning schools. With the strong support and funding of the Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance Psychology and Education, the first, second and third prize winning schools received significant financial rewards to be used for the purchase of educational materials. With the challenges encountered on a daily basis by refugees trying to integrate in new surroundings, the artworks demonstrate hope for a common and inclusive future in which no one is left behind.
By taking part in this contest, teachers, students, parents and members of the school community demonstrated that empathy and solidarity are transgenerational and universal values that are not constrained by borders or cultures. Education allows girls and boys, young women and men, to develop their critical thinking and overcome prejudice. Social inclusion and the respect for cultures and peoples are core values that if encouraged in the early stages of life can empower and inspire generations to be tolerant and engaged citizens through all walks of life.
social transformations
learning to live together
youth 2030

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