The Ukraine-wide essay contest “Ways of Understanding”

The Ukraine-wide school and university students essay competition “Ways of Understanding” is announced under the project “Dumaidan – 2017: Getting Together around the Tent of Understanding“.

This year’s project Dumaidan – 2017: Getting Together around the Tent of Understanding is dedicated to finding ways of understanding among people from different ethnic groups and cultural traditions.


Dumaidan is an expert discussion project on the certain topic, which will be held in different regions of Ukraine during 2017 in partnership with the International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA. During the events, expert and public discussions on tolerance and overcoming stereotypes and reducing the social distance between people from different ethnic groups will be held. The schedule of events within the festival can be found at As part of the planned activities, Dumaidan joins around the theme of understanding all who wish to join. High school students and university students can make their creative contribution to the common result of this year’s draft, taking part in the essay competition.

The contest is to encourage young people to reflect on tolerance and peaceful coexistence, find ways of understanding among people from different ethnic groups and cultural traditions in Ukraine. The list of issues around which debate of this year’s Dumaidan will be built can be found below.

Winners will receive valuable prizes.

Deadline for essay submissions: by June 15 inclusive.

The form of essay is free.

A little advice to future authors of essays: try to focus not only on the description of a problem, but try to formulate and express your vision of ways out of this problem.

Texts should be sent to e-mail: [email protected]

Contact person: Olena Sapozhnikova, mob. tel .: +38 063 85 66 22 0; +38 0993090739

The topic of the essay can be any of the problems listed below, as well as other problems on the topic that seem relevant to you:

  • Problem of tolerance and tolerant attitude – what is tolerance, why is it important for each of us and the whole society?;
  • Problem of discrimination on ethnic grounds – what is it, how is it manifested itself and why is it dangerous for individual members of different groups, and the whole society?;
  • Hate speech, coverage in media and news media space, messages and other information on national minorities with prejudice to them, distributing an approximate, partly abusive, attitude of authors in the society;
  • ”Ethnic profiling”: the transfer of negative experience of a wrongful act of one of the members of a national community on the whole community. What are the consequences for individual groups?
  • What does it means to me to belong to a particular national community?;
  • Practice of making emphasis on Roma nationality of an offender or lawbreaker in news on the criminal topics, contrary to ethical standards of journalism;
  • Courts’ setting maximum penalties of punishment in criminal proceedings to persons with strong ethnic features;
  • Problem of xenophobia: what is xenophobia, and how to prevent its manifestations;
  • Role of the state in building a tolerant society and combating xenophobia and discrimination on ethnic grounds, dialogue between the authorities and representatives of minorities, development and implementation of ethnic policy, search for effective models of its implementation;
  • Participation of minorities in decision-making; the problem of outflow of educated people from national minorities of Ukraine, who are able to work, and the resulting loss of state intellectual capacity, which significantly complicates the promotion and realisation of interests of minorities in the state bodies;
  • Why to study to establish dialogue between different ethnic groups;
  • Equal opportunities and overcoming the social distance between members of society and people of different ethnic groups, social vulnerability of different ethnic groups (no identification documents, limited access to education and health services, labor, and lack of adequate living conditions, etc.);
  • Media focusing only on certain negative actions of different ethnic groups;
  • Lack of languages coding in some nations;
  • Lack of methodological developments on learning languages ​​of national minorities in Ukrainian schools;
  • Insufficient the Ukrainian language training of minorities;
  • Lack of the program to train teachers of minority languages ​​and so on.

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

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