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Creating Spaces for Children to Reflect about Ethical Issues during the Pandemic

Arigatou International Geneva was invited to facilitate an online workshop for children from Indonesia on “Peace, diversity and solidarity during the pandemic.” The workshop was held on 10 February 2021 and was organized by educators belonging to the UNESCO Associated School Project Network (ASPnet) and several other partners.

The webinar aimed to help children become more aware of how they can respond to the social reality of the pandemic by focusing on peace, appreciation of diversity and fostering a sense of solidarity. Children took an active role in the organization and coordination of this webinar. They led the ice breakers and supported the facilitation of the session.

Prof. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman, Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of National Education gave the opening remarks. Selaksa Alun Samundra, a child from the SMP Labschool Kebayoran, Indonesia, moderated the session.

Speakers included Mr. Suchith Abeyewickreme, Programme Officer on Ethics Education from Arigatou International Geneva, and Ms. Dwi Kartika Sari, S.Pd., XL Future Leaders Program Leader, from Indonesia.

During the workshop, children were invited to participate in an activity called My Peace Tree. The activity aimed to create a space for children to explore and reflect on how the concepts of peace, diversity and solidarity relate to their own lives and those of their friends.

During the activity, children reflected on a set of questions: What is the meaning of or a story about my name? Who is a peacebuilder I know? what is something about him/her that I admire? What is a memorable experience I have had with a person from a different ethnicity/religion/culture/country during the last year? What are some challenges people in my community face during the pandemic? What gives me peace?

They wrote their responses around a tree they drew. They were then invited to share their answers in groups of 2 or 3 before coming back to plenary where some of them shared what they heard and reflected, and further discussed the ideas of peace, diversity and solidarity. 

We thank ASPnet and its partners for this invitation and the children that took part in the workshop for their sincere sharing and reflection.