“Dumaidan” awarded the winners of the essay contest for tolerance

On July 18, in the office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner, co-organisers of “Dumaidan-2017” awarded the winners of the school and university student competition of essays “Ways of Understanding”. The competition against discrimination and hate speech was held within the framework of the annual project “Dumaidan-2017: Getting Together around the Tent of Understanding”.

Seven participants won in this competition. Among them were schoolchildren:

1st place – Kateryna Onyshchuk, Mykolaiv;

2nd place – Nykyta Kursin, Kharkiv;

3rd place – Olena Olifer, Mykolaiv, and Maria Rilke (Panasyuk), Slavuta (Khmelnytskyi Oblast).

And university students:

1st place – Maria Tyshchenko, Olefirivka (Myrhorod District of Poltava Oblast);

2nd place – Nataliia Pateruk, Kyiv;

3rd place – Tetiana Haidym, Karpylivka, Sarny District, Rivne Oblast.

фото Радослави Чекмишевої
Photo of Radoslava Chekmysheva


фото Радослави Чекмишевої
Photo of Radoslava Chekmysheva
Фото Радослави Чекмишевої
Photo of Radoslava Chekmysheva
фото Радослави Чекмишевої
Photo of Radoslava Chekmysheva

Winners received certificates to purchase books at the bookstore “Ye”, several copies of the novel “Skull” written by Oleh Shynkarenko and books of Angus Fraser “Gypsies”, honorary signs of the Ukrainian Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine”, the study of national judicial practice “Precedent UA – 2015”, certificate for a free trip to the Book Fair in Lviv and a free 11-day ticket to the Inter-ethnic Children’s Camp “Sources of Tolerance” in the village of Slavske, Skole District of Lviv Oblast.

Mykhailo Chaplyha, a representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, recalled that often discrimination and other violations of human rights are written in the language of official press releases.

Михайло Чаплига, фото Олега Шинкаренка
Mykhailo Chaplyha, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“I read the essays submitted to this competition and was glad that they were written in a very simple language, which is very important because they will find more readers. Today it is very necessary. Indeed, during military conflicts, people often become especially intolerant, intolerant to others. It provokes hatred and violence”, said Mykhailo Chaplyha.

Olha Zhmurko, Head of the Roma program initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation, told that providing charitable assistance to non-government foundation promotes democratic society. Indeed, it is at the heart of human rights protection.

Ольга Жмурко
Olha Zhmurko, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“The building of a new country should be based on involving all its citizens in the state processes, without exceptions. That is why it is necessary to promote the inclusion of representatives of vulnerable groups. Obviously, these people are not able to integrate into our society. They do not participate in elections, often do not have decent living conditions, their children do not attend school, and the problems accumulate and pass from generation to generation. That is why we believe that we need to go to these people, to maintain a dialogue with them for understanding,” said Olha Zhmurko.

Kapitalina Kondur, a representative of the ICF Roma Women’s Fund “Chirikli”, was pleased that even the young contestants had written serious enough things.

Капіталіна Кондур
Kapitalina Kondur, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“When I read their works, I realized that this competition was worth to be organised. I hope that the authors of the essay will continue to have the desire and opportunity not only to write about these problems but also to deal with them,” said Kapitalina Kondur.

Daria Kariakina, Head of the board of the international non-governmental organization “International Union”, said that the winners of the contest are obliged to their mentors.

Дарія Карякіна
Daria Kariakina, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“I would like to mention one person in particular – Leonid Hapeiev, Head of the journalism clubs “Media culture” and “Leadership – the key to success” from Kharkiv. Although he is not a contestant, he also deserves the prize and will receive it from us,” said Daria Kariakina.

Arkadiy Bushchenko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, chose the theme of this year’s “Dumaidan” project. It was he who decided that this time human rights activists would pay particular attention to tolerance.

Аркадій Бущенко
Arkadiy Buschenko, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“All those who took part in this competition made a very big step forward. I hope that this step will give them the opportunity to reflect on what is happening in the Ukrainian society. Because sometimes we have the impression that we are working in vain. But your essays denied this impression,” said Arkadiy Bushchenko.

Олена Сапожнікова, фото Олега Шинкаренка
Olena Sapozhnikova, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

Olena Sapozhnikova, coordinator of “Dumaidan-2017”, recalled that this year one of the symbols of understanding would be a tent, a huge patchwork blanket; anyone can sew a piece of any color. His piece was sewn by Petro Hryhorichenko, President of the Ukrainian Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine”.

Петро Григоріченко
Petro Hryhorichenko, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“Each multi-ethnic society has a problem of interethnic relations. Unfortunately, the Roma minority faces such problems not only in Ukraine but also in Central and Western Europe. This is because they have been excluded from society for a long time. We decided to support this competition because at the moment the frequency of ethnic conflicts in Ukraine is increasing by the exponent,” he said.

While receiving his award, Nykyta Kursin from Kharkiv, one of the winners of the competition, said that we are living at a time when the attitude towards the national minorities who live next to us began to change gradually.

Никита Курсін
Nykyta Kursin, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

The winner Kateryna Onischuk from Mykolaiv received the most points in the competition. She thanked the organizers for their ability to demonstrate the ability to persuade readers in the correctness of thoughts because essays are assigned for this purpose.

Катерина Оніщук
Kateryna Onischuk, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

Tetiana Haidym , one of the winners, said she had friends-xenophobes.

“They hate the Romani people, the Blacks and other people, who differ from them and consider it to be absolutely normal. They are not ashamed of this because nobody said that it was bad,” said Tetiana Haidym.

Тетяна Гайдим
Tetiana Haidym, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

According to Tetiana, this must be fought and started with the promotion of media tolerance: on radio, television, newspapers, on the Internet.

Nataliia Pateruk, who got the second place in the competition, said that in her work she tried not to emphasize the discrimination of certain communities because in her opinion, it is an all-embracing concept.

Наталія Патерук
Nataliia Pateruk, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

“A person has to be judged for her/his actions, and not for nationality,” said Nataliia Pateruk.

Maria Tyshchenko, who got the first place in the competition, said that citizens of Ukraine should return to the values that would unite them. “All people are equal, no one has the right to speak about their superiority to others through national or some other affiliation,” said Maria Tyshchenko.

Марія Тищенко
Maria Tyshchenko, photo by Oleh Shynkarenko

Organizers of the contest are the Public Association “Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the International Renaissance Foundation, the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine, the International public organization “International Union”, the Council of Ethnic Communities of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Union of NGOs “Congress of Roma of Ukraine”, and the ICF Roma Women’s Fund “Chirikli.”

The event took place within the framework of the Charles Mott Foundation’s “Right to Participate” project, implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, with the financial support of the International Renaissance Foundation, as well as with the assistance of the Ombudsperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Human Rights.

Prepared by Oleh Shynkarenko

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