konkurs-jestesmy-podobni_mapaThe European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is happy to inform you about the start of a new project for students – ‘We are similar’. One of the major aims of the project is to deepen the integration of the Polish national minority community living in Lithuania, improve the image of both Poles and Lithuanians in society and eliminate negative stereotypes that are present among people of both nationalities.

EFHR invites all students from Polish and Lithuanian schools in Vilnius and the Vilnius region (grades 9-12) to participate in the project, during which children will have a chance to become acquainted with the mutual Polish-Lithuanian heritage, not only historical but also cultural and social aspects. Apart from looking at the mutual past, we would also like to draw attention to the mutual present, eliminate mistakes from the past and consciously create a vision of new society, one based on tolerance and acceptance of national and cultural diversity.

The project will be conducted in 2 separate stages. There will be an art contest for children and a series of integration meetings for students. The theme of the contest for students from grades 9-12 is the slogan ‘We are similar’. The participants will decide themselves on how they want to show the similarities between Poles and Lithuanians. The form of artwork is unrestricted – it can be a sculpture, an installation, a film, a photo, a graphic design etc. The contest starts on March 25th! Works should be sent by May 30th to the following address: The European Foundation of Human Rights, ul. Liepkalnio 103, Vilnius, LT-02121 or to the e-mail address: konkurs@efhr.eu. There are numerous awards waiting for participants and winners of the contest!

There will also be a series of 4 thematic-integration meetings, during which the mutual history, art, cuisine, culture and politics will be presented. Participants will be asked to find aspects that connect both nations. Meetings will be moderated by teachers of both nationalities. Those who would like to take part in the project should contact us via phone (+37069150822) or by e-mail (konkurs@efhr.eu).

Mass media and public discussions often create a negative image of national minorities and often exacerbate relations between the two nations, which has an enormous influence on how the identities of children develop. We live in a multinational and multicultural society, and by drawing attention to positive aspects that connect Poles and Lithuanians, children can contribute to the creation of a society which is tolerant, sensitive towards diversity and free from stereotypes.

EFHR cordially invites students and teachers to participate in the project. We look forward to your activity!