165 children from 6 countries had the chance to be part of the intercultural exchange project in Children’s Village Pestalozzi , Switzerland. One of this countries was Macedonia, 40 children from Macedonia lived together with children from Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Moldova, Russia and Switzerland during two weeks, they were all separated into mixed Nationality groups and lived in one of sixteen houses, where they had to do different house tasks like washing dishes and clothes, cleaning, bringing food from the kitchen to the houses etc.
Over this period they had the chance to deal intensely with the following subjects:
- Migration and Citizenship – in this course the participants had the chance to know about the reasons why people migrate, what kind of problem refugee’s face, what should be done to solve some of refugee problems, which is the best way to ensure the acceptance of cultural diversity.
-Conflict and Oppression - where the children had the opportunity to learn why conflict arise and how to reduce it, the point of the mentor was to teach the children to be open minded and to show them that every conflict can be stopped by talking with each other instead of keeping everything inside.
-Child Rights – Children learned about their rights how to use them, how to fight for them and how these rights are connecting all the children from all around the world into one community where everyone is equal to each-other. Their motto was: “ Each of us is responsible for protecting and promoting all the children’s right and we should help and treat every child equally” .
-Gender and Sexuality – the idea of this workshop was to create the feeling of identity and tolerance to make all people understand that gender comes from our heart and everyone can make a choice, to accept the others the way they are and the way they feel about themselves.
- Learning Democracy - work of this workshop was based on experience and conflict, they talked about things which are related to the daily business of the participants, not to teach them theoretic things which have no connection with their lives.
They also had the opportunity to visit and enjoy the beauties of Switzerland, there were many excursions visiting Zurich, Luzern, Säntis (At 2,501.9 meters above sea level, Säntis is the highest mountain in the Alpstein massif of northeastern Switzerland. It is also the culminating point of the whole Appenzell Alps, between Lake Walen and Lake Constance), Swiss Science Center Technorama, Rheinefall Waterfalls (The Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in Europe), Lichtenstein Castle in Vaduz and Konstanz(Germany).
Declarations from participants:
Being one of the participators of Kinderdorf Pestalozzi Exchange it's a great experience and two-weeks-perfect-time spent. Firstly, that close relationship that we created with other countries are strong that learnt us to appreciate every person's social and cultural background. Through courses, games, talking hours we gained both educational and entertaining informations that lead us to a another step of knowledge while having fun and enjoying every second of those two weeks. Simply said, this camp will be one of my best experience that gave me unforgettable lessons and irreplaceable friends. FATLINDA ZEQIRI
This camp was amazing. We learned a lot of things about freedom of speech, conflicts, democracy etc.. We learned how to use these things in our life, how to be more attractive and more friendly. We need to share these also in Macedonia. Living together with people from other countries was also one of the best experiences in this camp. We met a lot of people, we learned from their cultures and traditions. It was an amazing experience. YLLZA ESHTREFI
The past two weeks in Pestalozzi will be unforgettable. This camp was one of the best experiences in my life that taught me so many things I wasn't even aware of. Culture makes a big difference in every person's life and we are all different. We were living in a global village where, unlike other times, people of various cultures, live in close contact with one another and share the richness of each culture. These people that i never met gave me some of the best memories, while discussing different topics that helped me gather more information that will help me in the future, we played different games that helped us connect even more to each other and taught us how to live together not only in the village but in the everyday life. VLERA SAITI
It was real blessing to have this opportunity to be in this village, it was the best experience in my life. We learned so many things about ourselves and others. We learned about what is identity, we learned cooperating and helping each-other, we learned how to listen to each-other, we didn’t judged anyone about their skin color or religion, when you are on this camp you don’t know anything about hate. I was in the learning democracy workshop and i have such good memories and lessons from there. We learned about what democracy is and how you respect the others, voting, values, justice, equality everything we learned we tried to use it later in a game, it was really good. And to be even better we had the chance to live with kids from 3 other countries, i really can’t remember how many new words I have learned, traditions, culture, food and music, a lot of music that is not from your country. We made lifelong friends, we made the best memories and if I can turn back time there wouldn’t be thing i would change about anything. TEODORA MIJAKOSKA
For two weeks which I spent in the summer camp Pestalozzi, I learned to much things which definitely Will help me now and in the future. There I learned a lot about the conflict , identity, discrimination and migration. In the summer camp I met many Peoples from different countries and cultures. I met many friends that I may no longer see them but I will always remain in good memory. Apart from this, for me it was big impression were the excursions through Swiss and the most important living like one big family. I think Pestalozzi was my biggest adventure so far AMELA REDZEP
The 2 weeks in the summer camp pestalozzi were great and we met new friends. There were like 6 different states: Russia, Switzerland, Moldova, Mazedonia, Bosna&Herzegovina and Serbia. We were different but we had so much fun together. ADMIR ABDULLAHI
Prepared by Fitore Ziberi, Coordinator