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Romania: Anti-racism begins on the playground

20 Mar 2012 Trafficking, abuse and exploitationRomania

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Read the article published on the UEFA’s website

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A hundred children from all walks of life engage in cooperative games against racial prejudice

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, we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 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, Switzerland’s largest child relief organisation joined forces with leading Romanian think-tank Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, with the financial support mainly of the European Football UEFA and the technical support of the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) and other partners. All stakeholders are invited on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, from 11.00 am at Balonul Copiilor, Herastrau Complex to join 100 children from different ethnic and social backgrounds.

Throughout the afternoon, children of Romanian, Roma, Hungarian, French and Middle-Eastern origins will engage in six carefully selected games which foster cooperation instead of competition, inclusion instead of racial exclusion.

The message of this event is 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) and World champion in athletics, Gabriela Szabo. Young actresses Aylin Cadâr, Doiniţa Oancea will join the event to speak with one voice against exclusion, and convince everyone that diversity is one of the most interesting aspects of our existence!

This event is 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.

In this event, Terre des hommes Foundation will present 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.

Terre des hommes is proud to announce a new collaborative effort with Education4Peace (E4P) in Romania. Founded in 2002, E4P is a Swiss non-profit foundation dedicated to advocating and supporting emotional health programmes in schools and sports. E4P’s founder, Mr. Mark Milton will speak at the event and present a new resource: “Master Your Emotions”.

Since its creation in 1960, the mission of Terre des hommes has been to come to the aid of children in need. It endeavours at all times to defend the rights of children, in times of war and natural disasters, or in less publicized situations of distress.

Today, the Terre des hommes Foundation is a significant force among children’s aid organisations in Switzerland and throughout the world. It is the largest non-governmental organisation for children’s aid in Switzerland. Tdh has development projects and emergency relief programmes in more than 30 countries. This engagement is financed by individual and institutional donations, of which 85% flows directly into the Tdh programmes.


Further information on the Tdh intervention in Romania

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Terre des hommes is actively engaged in protecting children against exploitation, abuse, trafficking and violence.
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