On 17th April 2015 in the Eagles Palace in Palermo was held an exhibition dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It was presented and explained by the 4th class children from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Primary School. The exhibition was born thanks to a project of this school about Human Rights Education working in collaboration with the CEIPES – Centro Internazionale per la Promozione dell’Educazione e dello Sviluppo. From the side of CEIPES in this event participated few EVS volunteers and trainees, dealing with topics of human rights through non-formal education and interactive workshops.
The 4th class pupils have organized and conducted 20 meetings from October 2014 to March 2015, where they have been close to 30 articles of the Declaration with a learning process that included participation activities, manual laboratory and artistic creation, personal reflection and group working, using as a reference the simplified version for children of the Declaration, drafted by Amnesty International. The project’s goal was to allow children to grow up with awareness and optimism, being well grounded in this problems but always eager to take on with a constructive attitude. In fact, the Human Rights Education is not a simple transmission of information and knowledge of these subjects, its main purpose is to become aware of the own dignity of each human being so the bearer of rights. The objective is to educate people in order to take their own opinions, attitudes and behaviors respecting themselves and others in all circumstances and conditions as human beings, without any distinction of sex, race, religion etc.
Also it must educate children to the awareness that all human beings are born free in dignity and rights, and to encourage people to become protagonists in the battle of the defense of human rights, to have the tools for the acquisition of critical skills having the possibility of construct an alternative reality, more just and more equitable . To have education on human rights also means to teach towards to peace and solidarity in order to know the different realities around us, discovering and appreciating them precisely because of their own diversity and the possibility of mutual enrichment.
The exhibition represented the final event of this project, video and graphics works was presented by the children themselves, giving the opportunity for visitors to learn about the Declaration through the eyes and perceptions of children. The exhibition specially represented an important tool to make awareness the entire community to achieve a common goal: the construction of a more equitable, just and supportive global society.
P.S. Special thanks to Ana Catarina Silva & Mariana Mesquita (from Portugal) and Patricia Rivera Peter (from Spain) who have made a fundamental contribution to the project during their stay in Palermo.