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Organization: UNESCO club of school “Vicho Grancharov”, Gorna Oriahovitsa, Bulgaria
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

See actions below

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

Yet we can see that despite visible progress in the direction of peace at our school, constant affords of the administration and the teachers there are still rather significant amount of behavior offence,  lack of motivation for study, disbelief in future realization.  During last 2 years we can see that the cases of aggression are growing among a definite part of students, often   between students of different schools and not only boys but girls are involved.

The reasons of these negative facts we see in the following:

1) The period of the passage from one political, social and economical system to the democratization of the society and building a new system and new values is rather long. These were 15 years of suspense, insecurity for many of those who became parents at this period and whose children are now our students.
2) Some of those parents lost their job because of the restriction of labor market and were forced to look for luck in bigger cities or abroad. Their children in most cases are left under supervising of their relatives that due to different reasons can’t always control them and children are left to themselves.

3) Many parents who live and work in town are mostly interested in family physical survival or financial prosperity and pay very little time to spiritual part of their relationship with children. Many of them have mobile telephones, well dressed, have rather big amount of pocket money but their souls are empty. There is a tendency of distortion of values.

3) During this period we can see mass pauperization of the population but from the other hand many people with big income appeared on the social arena, children from such families are also our students. Possibilities to have much for ones and impossibilities for others are sometimes the reason for envy and conflicts.

Besides Bulgarian majority we have in school  children of Gipsy, Turkish,   Armenian   minority that historically live there and the conflicts are almost never on ethnic but on  interpersonal base.

4) Being left to themselves and having easy and very often still uncontrolled   assess to Internet, children spend more and more time in computer clubs or at home in front of a computer playing games or watching films  which contents is full with violence and aggression .At school or in the street some of them pretend being super heroes or criminals from their favorite films and games.

5) Ministry of education like many other institutions in Bulgaria doesn’t demonstrate much stability and  very often change their politics in secondary education, as requirements, programs, exam and evaluation system, textbooks that  doesn’t add to the stability in teachers’ and students’ work.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

I’m Natalia Rasheva, a coordinator of UNESCO club of comprehensive school "Vicho Grancharov", Gorna Oriahovitsa, Bulgaria. Our club is named "Friendly Horizons" and under this name we participated in UNESCO "Mondialogo" project last year.

The school with 115 teachers and 1120 students provides specialized education in music, fine arts and computer technologies. It gives students large possibilities for expression of their professional and personal interests and gives access to participation in numerous national, international and local programs and projects and also direct contacts with young people from other countries.

All this contributes to creation, maintaining and overcoming obstacles in the direction of Culture of peace at school, developing students’ interest, tolerance and understanding of different cultures, helps them to better realize their own national identity and personality.

Common work of students of different age and classes together with their teachers in preparation of concerts, contests and exhibitions and realization of projects leads to building of abilities for team work, unites and generates ideas and creates friendly and respectful atmosphere among themselves and students  and teachers.

Last few years were very fruitful in this direction.  These are some of the most significant activities:

1) Introducing optional course of English  in school curricular for 11-12 class students "Culture study"-since 2001-to present

2) Realization of program "European lessons" on the motto "Europe is more than you think" providing civil  education  and  knowledge of  European laws for teachers and students,  initiated by NGO "Youth Tolerance" in the terms of Bulgarian future enter the EU.- 2004-2005.

3) Project "European initiatives for equal possibilities"-2005

4) Project "He and She-equal in sex and love"-2004

5) International youth projects "Balkans without borders’, with the college "Anastaseskou", Romania  providing youth exchange in the area of art, music and computer technologies, during workshops and camps in Bulgaria and Romania, started in 2003 to present.

6) International project initiated by our school together with the State Agency of Youth and Sports with the students from a similar school of Estonia "Earth, Water and Fire", providing a three-day
     workshop on Bulgarian seaside-summer 2004.

7)  Project "Communication without borders" that gave the opportunity for learning Spanish and Japanese with native speakers-2004-to present

8)  Youth exchange programs with schools from Cherepovets, Russia; Varen ,Germany; Tssaloniki, Greece; with the exchange of works of young artists-a book published as a result of this common work in  the discovering  of each other.-2003-to present.

9) Concert program dedicated to 60-anniversary of Great victory prepared by our students in Russian, which is studied as second foreign language, collected all town community.

10) Participation in international and local contests where many of our students were           distinguished with rewards and diplomas.
     a) literary:
    -"Children of Bulgaria-guarantee for protection of nature and cultural and historical Heritage"-2002
    -"To save the world"," My family and I", "Orpheus-my dream"-2003-2004
     -"Role of women in social life of our town"-2004
- Editing of school book, including works of young artists and writers on the motto" Save the Earth             today- tomorrow will be late-" since 2002-to present
-Editing of school newspaper, initiated by students, and describing the events of school routine, including topics of ethic and aesthetic concern and creative students’ works.
b) artistic:
-National art contest " This is my Motherland", the works of our students were  exhibited in the ----National Museum" Earth and People"-2002
-International contest organized by the foundation ‘ Shanker",India, students  rewarded with gold and silver medals-2002-2003
-Participation in the exhibition"Earth ,tradition and future"-2003
Participation in 13th art contest, organized by foundation for Universe Peace and Ecology, Japan and United Nation Ecological Program on the motto "To save oceans, sky and forests for future"
Individual exhibitions in Japanese Embassy, National Art Gallery "I saw sorrow with my eyes"-2003, 2004

Contest  for young children" Birds in their natural environment" aiming the building of bird houses and putting them in town parks. Children from 1-4 classes   wrote messages to their French  partners  concerning the problems of peace and  understanding  and sent  them in a form of pigeons-2003

The school ecological club" Terra  "is very often initiator of  school and municipal ecological actions and activities. The last one devoted to the World Earth Day this year became a real event where many representatives of other schools took part under forms of different contests like creation a Multi  Media products, flower exhibition, essay writing, poster designing. A symbolic tree was planted with the message to future generation- 2005

Participation in the project "Green Packet", started last year in Hungary, actions in planting, cleaning, waste collecting.-2004-2005

Realization of the project, sponsored by Japanese foundation "JIKA" led to  reconstruction of old school building into the center for social and art activities  that should add to better conditions in development of their creative abilities, social and personal  experience, involvement of bigger number of students and make their leisure more purposeful.
By the end of May the building of the lift for disabled children will have been finished at school. It will give to such children the possibility to study in regular classes and socialize among their peers and on the other hand, it will be a practical way for others to learn how to be kinder, more tolerant and helpful.

Very useful for organizing school activities are ideas, proposed in Life-link manual. Following the calendar of UNESCO we celebrate the dates and organize actions under different forms.

Poster- "Keep our planet clean" April 22, 2005

Poster- "We are all different- we are all alike" April 22, 2005

Ikebana contest, April 22, 2005

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

1) Russian comprehensive school, Kohtla Iarve-Estonia
2) College "Anastassescou", Rishiori di Vede -Romania
3) Grammar school for girls, Cherepovets- Russia

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

Despite the obstacles to the progress  in a direction of culture of peace at our school, we don’t give up and look forward with hope that our common affords- teachers and students, will give positive results and we’ll become equal members of big European family.

Postal address of organization

Comprehensive school “Vicho Grancharov”, N6, Tsar Osvoboditel, Gorna Oriahovitsa, 5100 Bulgaria

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization

www. gelesoft.com/schools/souvg
www. souvg.hit.bg

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Understanding, tolerance, solidarity

Highest priority country of action (or international)


Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: UNESCO club of school “Vicho Grancharov”, Gorna Oriahovitsa, Bulgaria

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