The “We Are Similar” project began thanks to the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR). On 17th September, representatives from EFHR paid a visit to the schools of the Vilnius municipality. The most important aim of the project is to strengthen social integration of the Polish minority living in Lithuania, especially among young people. Its aim is also to draw their attention to positive aspects of our multi-ethnic society and its cultural diversity and to eliminate negative stereotypes of both the Poles and Lithuanians.
The EFHR representatives were honoured to conduct integration meetings in R. Kalinowski Gymnasium in Nemėžis and in F. Ruszczyc Gymnasium in Rudomino. The first meeting was attended by third grade students from both Polish and Lithuanian classes. The participants were very enthusiastic and said that Poland and Lithuania have common history. It is worth mentioning that the students of R. Kalinowski Gymnasium proposed several ideas for improving relations between the two nations.
The second meeting took place in F. Ruszczyc Gymnasium in Rudomino and this was also attended by students from “Ryto” Gymnasium. The EFHR employees met second and third grade students. We are pleased to be able to say that not only do young people know the common history but they can also name historical heroes important for both nations.
Different topics were discussed during the meetings but what is most important is that the young people, in response to the question “Are we similar?”, answered that everybody is equal and nobody should be discriminated against.
Subsequent meetings took place in K. Parczewski Gymnasium in Nemenčinė and in the Gymnasium in Pagiriai. Disputes about similarities between Poles and Lithuanians are very beneficial to all participants, so schools willing to take part in the project are kindly requested to send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to remind everyone that the cooperation between EFHR and young people does not stop here – in October we are going to launch another programme – the continuation of the innovative educational project “Europeans, Poles, Citizens” and a new initiative “Skills Tandem”.