Romania Anti-racism begins on the playground

Project : MOVE 22 Mar 2012

2897_favourite_smallMarch 21, 2012, Bucharest Romania: Every year, the world commemorates the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpville massacre in South Africa, which saw dozens of peaceful demonstrators shot by police of the apartheid regime. This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was marked with a particular focus on games played by children in the school yard or on the streets. These games can be either violent, based on competition, racism, exclusion – or they can encourage children to be cooperative, open and inclusive.

To illustrate the power of cooperative games in the fight against racism Tdh has joined forces with other organisations to put together the event that took place at Balonul Copiilor, Herastrau Complex with the active involvement of 100 children from different ethnic and social backgrounds and the financial assistance of UEFA.

2898_nis_1892_smallThroughout the afternoon, children of Romanian, Roma, Hungarian, French and Middle-Eastern origins engaged in six carefully selected games which foster cooperation instead of competition, inclusion instead of racial exclusion. The message of this event was supported by significant voices of Romanian sport and cultural life such as: UEFA Europe League final ambassador Miodrag Belodedici, football stars Dan Ionescu and Daniel Prodan, Olympic champion Laura Badea (fencing). Young actresses Aylin Cadâr, Doiniţa Oancea joined the event to speak with one voice against exclusion, and convince everyone that diversity is one of the most interesting aspects of our existence!

The event was organised as part of the MOVE project which has been implemented in three European countries (Romania, Albania and Moldova) since 2008. It has successfully spread a cutting-edge pedagogical tool known as “Movement, Games and Sport” (MGS). The project has reached 28 communities in Dolj county and 10 schools in Bucharest. Some 400 animators have been trained by Tdh and its partners over the last 4 years and 2,000 children have participated in MGS activities.

During the event, Tdh presented the results of a scientific action research showing that the methodology can profoundly change children and their peer relationships, for the better. If structured well and played over a sufficiently long period of time, these games have a huge potential to decrease violence and racial prejudice.


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