Description of the Project
The project had 2 sections: the 1st year -What and Why
Tolerance is a Key?; the 2nd year: How To Be Tolerant in
Modern Society? The problem of intolerant attitude towards
persons of other religion, nation, culture, persons with special
needs and Environment still remains actual among young people,
sometimes it leads to vandalism. The opportunity to solve the problem is tightly
connected with institutions of socialization, such as school. The project was aiming to
create tolerant attitude among young people towards persons with special needs, people
of other nations, cultures, and religions, Environment through various activities
integrated into school Curriculum. We suppose, that Tolerant attitude is the necessary
aspect of better European dimension. The project helped to reach such aims as: to teach
students to plan and participate in European projects, to show how to work in
international team, and main aspect, knowing each other cultures better would develop
important social and civic competences, language and communication skills, cultural
awareness through dialogues and opportunity to share personal points of view on
Tolerance issues. The results of the project are presented at the Areas of Tolerance and
booklets. People can have different appearance, etc. – but they feel, breath in the same
way like all we do.
Sometimes we find intolerant behaviour towards people with special needs, especially,
among children (it happens quite often in Latvia). Children could be cruel to such
people. With the help of project we showed good European experience in that area.
European experience is very valuable in the area of creation tolerant European space for
all. We would like to share all good practice in that aspect of European dimension with
all our partners, to know how they work with that problem.
Only trying to know each other better, trying to understand that we are equal,
though different, but not alien – that is the crucial point for modern European society.
School is one of the most important institutes of socialization for young people that is
why one important motivation factor of the project was to show our new generation the
importance of tolerant attitude to anyone who could be different. That other is not better
or worse, he/she is just different. In our age of globalisation when borders are not more
separating people such attitude is quite important and valuable. Intolerant attitude leads
to quarrels, strike, revolutions, wars, etc. Schools are responsible for developing all
necessary social skills of young citizens for our future better world.
PARTICIPANTS of the project in each school: students; teaching staff;
administrative staff; parents; local authorities.
LESSONS integrated in the project:
literature lessons; art; geography; music;
history; social sciences; language lessons;
extra classes lessons.
MAIN ACTIVITIES of the project:
Guest Lectures; Tolerance Lessons; Students
Research Works; Tolerance Games; Project
Forum; Articles in Newspapers; Debates,
Interactive Tolerance Games; Students
Conferences; Visits to Partner schoolsVisits
to National Parliament/Authorities/Museums.
RESULTS of the project:
• Project Logo and Slogan;
• Project Forum;
• Information Area of Tolerance;
• The Project Booklets;
• Questionnaires on the project;
• Project web-page (www.tolerance-key.com)
• Plays on Tolerance issue, DVD record;
• Joint DVD with the best scenarios of Tolerance Games;
• Joint Project Tolerance Collage;
• Joint Project Tolerance Calendar;
• Tolerance Puzzle
• Project Conference on Tolerance;
• Tolerance Module: Material for Teachers “The Teacher of the 21st Century =
Liceul Teoretic “Miron Costin” IaŞi (ROMANIA)
FORAVE – Associação para a Educação Profissional do
Vale do Ave(PORTUGAL)
Zespół Szkół Ogólnokształcących Nr 10,
XV Liceum Ogólnokształcąc (POLAND)
Хуманитарна гимназия”Дамян Дамянов”
Istituto D`Istruzione Superiore
Olaines Secondary School No2 (LATVIA)
Description of Olaine Secondary School 2
Olaine Secondary School began its work in 1976.
The ex-headmasters of our school: V. Dobroshtan , I. Potapov , D. Jurkiewicz ; And our
present headmaster - Ludmila Osipova, who runs the school since 2003.
650 students attended school In the 2012/2013 school year.
67 teachers and 31 staff work in our school . The school also has a psychologist, a social
teacher, speech therapist, special education teacher, a nurse and assistant teachers.To
help students with the learning process, the school set up with the following information
centers: a library, a video and conference facilities, gym.
The school also has electives, interest groups: design, studio theater, traditional dances,
rhythms, modern dance, choir, floral art, housekeeping, woodworking, athletics, fine
arts, tourism, photo club , School of Diplomacy, School Museum, the school newspaper
,sports games, handball and football.
In the 2007/2008 school year, the school was awarded the Green diploma and the status
of Eco-school for successful participation in the international eco-school program. Eco-
schools program provides insights surrounding world and is associated with many items,
gives a personal understanding and relationship to the world. Also in 2008/2009,
2009/2010, 2011/2012 academic year, the school was awarded the international
certificate - Green Flag
In the 2012/2013 academic year, the theme for Eco-schools is "The Forest"
The school also participates in international project: " Tolerance as a key to social
integration into European dimension for young citizens."
It’s not the first time our school is participating in the Comenius project . The first
Project SOCRATES Comenius 1 School partnership project– School Development
project«Young European Citizens: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow»
Main actions and activities: tolerant games at school, lessons of Tolerance, writing of
scientific work about Tolerance by pupils, creation of booklets and mosaics about
Tolerance, visit of the state structures, participation in conference about Tolerance,
exchange of information among participants of the project.
In our school took place tolerant games.
Not only adult pupils are involved in the project, but also the whole school. Even kids
since childhood learn concept of tolerance. Participants of the project visited lessons at
elementary school and gave them a task to draw what they thought about
“Tolerance"and our pupils shared the opinions how they understand a word - tolerance.
We decided to make a puzzle with illustrations on the subject of tolerance. We were
interested in it. It turned out approximately 230 features. Sticking together, cutting
pictures and decorating our work, we became the solid team where all the participants
think almost equally. It was the first friendly work in this project and, I think, it turned
out to spend time interestingly. Great adventures wait our puzzle. At the beginning, it
was created in Latvia, then it departed to Poland, where many students tried to solve it,
but useless! Students didn’t manage to design it completely, but they were very close to
it. Then puzzle went to Portugal where students are trying to solve it – let’s wish them
Many Games of Tolerance took place within the project.
«Could we justify that creative people use drugs for creating masterpieces?»
Students divided into 3 groups:
Yes, it could be justified
No in any case
Have no idea
Students shared their opinions and most interesting ideas were written down.
“It cannot be justified absolutely since in spite that masterpiece is created the author
ruin his health, he gets addiction and he cannot live without drugs for creative work
in future. In such case the creator becomes like any one else. Moreover, it is illegal”.
“From one point of view, it is not good, sure, for human health and psyche, but it is
his choice, many masterpieces were created using drugs. We would not have many
wonderful masterpieces now if some persons did not use drugs creating them. Some
people use pills for having opportunity to see unusual world, to leave reality, to
invent something new and unordinary. So, I guess, it is normal that creative persons
use some drugs since it is resulted in creation of masterpieces”.
Some students did not take any position even after debates.
The first meeting of participants of the
project took place In Olaine Secondary
2 in November 2011. 10 teachers
from all schools – partners visited our
school. Short excursion at our school was
offered to our guests, they could get
acquainted personally with each other and
with school students which were a part of
working group. Local government showed
attention and interest to the project and to the visit of our
guests. The chairman of Olaine self-government Janis
Pavlovich and Inta Purvina visited dinner arranged for our
guests. I.Purvina took part in presentations of our guests,
presentations offered description of our partner countries
Guests showed the presentations of schools prepared
by them during the official meeting. The schedule of trips
was discussed and the quantity of participants in mobilities
was defined, the main actions were discussed, and the slogan and the logo of project was
also accepted. Excursions to the Rundeles castle and to the Old Riga were organized for
guests. Our students from working group acted as guides in Rundale. They prepared in
advance material about Latvia for the guests.
Description of school in Cracow
...is located 25 min from the city centre in the
pleasant, picturesque, neighbourhood. It is one
of many good secondary schools with more than
50 years of educational tradition. The Patron is a
great, well-known in the world, Polish scientist
Maria Skłodowska-Curie. About five hundred
students attend our school
every day where nearly 50
teachers try to do the best in the process of teaching. The
students learn many different languages such as English,
French, Spanish, Russian and German. Our school offers
not only different classes but also trips to different
countries, students` exchanges, a lot of contests and
cultural events. We are the best.
the best posters about tolerance the puzzle
students researches about tolerance in religion:
"Religious tolerance is an expression of human maturity, and the choice of religion is an individual matter of
each man." Adrianna Michalska, kl.2b
"Our hearts beat with the same rhythm, so let them love, don't spread panic, pain, destruction and the brutal
harvest of hatred." Agnieszka Stylo, kl.1c
Cooperation with non-
Meeting the heroine
received the title
"Righteous among the
Description of school FORAVE
FORAVE is a private vocational school established in 1990. FORAVE has level
IV courses (equivalent to upper secondary school) and level II courses (equivalent to
lower secondary school) and its main aim is the preparation of qualified youngsters for
Our village is situated in the Ave Valley, a geographical region greatly affected by the
economic crisis of the textile companies, once its great source of wealth. Most of our
students belong to families with very low incomes and are at risk of giving up school.
So, our main aim is the preparation of qualified youngsters, who can answer to the
demands of the market and who can live creative, fruitful and successful lives.
At this moment there are four different level IV courses at our school, a Technical
Course in Company Management, a Technical Course in Industrial Maintenance, a
Technical Course in Electronics, Automation and Control and a Technical Course in
Food Quality Control.
The Level II courses are related with Electronics, Electricity and Social Services and the
main aim of these courses is to help students with family or learning problems to have a
professional certificate which will help them to get a job in the future.
We have vocational subjects like Economics, Law, Cooking, Health Care, Electronics,
Mechanics and many more…. But we also have subjects like Mother Tongue, English,
Mathematics, ICT, Civics and Physical Education.
We also have a 3 month compulsory training period as part of our course of studies (1
month during the second year and 2 months during the third one). We think this
traineeship is very important because we can develop job skills in a real working site
experience, obtain a realistic understanding of the workplace and develop appropriate
On the 3rd year we have to do a PAP – Prova de Aptidão Profissional ( Vocational
Pratical Exam) in which we have to show our examiners all the things we learned during
the 3 years we were at school.
There are many extra-curricular activities in our school like Halloween, Christmas
Dinner, Valentine’s Day, Carnival, Easter, European Projects and field trips
FORAVE also has training courses for people who already have a job and still want to
improve or acquire professional skills.
Our school is also an active partner of the enterprises, the community and the local
associations and it’s strongly supported by them
“ Adopting... grandparents and grandchildren”
During our discussions about “Tolerance” and what it is to be tolerant, our Comenius
students concluded that a great percentage of elderly people are living in "social
isolation”, sometimes even at risk of abuse or neglect. So, determined to help older
people, who have never had families, have outlived them or just can't possibly be in
touch with them, some of the Comenius students visited an elderly care home.
During this visit, we shared experiences, listened to special personal histories and we
built bonds which will endure in time.
Workshops “Drawing Tolerance”
Our students did some drawings about Tolerance and their ideas on this subject.
All the drawings were done using the techniques they learnt with the help of Arts
teachers during two workshops held at FORAVE. The results were shown in an
exhibition at our school and were also taken to the meeting in Poland where we chose
the project logo and slogan.
During the two years of our project, some Tolerance lessons, games and debates were
held during lessons of English, Mother Tongue and Civics, and also during our
Comenius meetings.Our Comenius students had the opportunity to share their opinions
and feelings about some statements made by their own colleagues. While arguing those
statements, the students learned that everybody has the right to think in a different way
and they learned to accept and respect different points of view and opinions, and not to
These were some of the statements discussed:
• Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry? Should gay or lesbian couples be
allowed to adopt children?
• Before hiring someone, an employer has the right to know everything about the
applicant (race, national origin, disability, religion and sexual orientation). Here
are some of our colleagues´ opinions and conclusions.
These are some of their conclusions.
• A parent will always be a parent no matter what sexual orientation he/she has.
Just because both are of the same sex, that doesn't mean they will treat children
• Denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of civil rights because
we should all have the same rights regardless of our sexual orientation.
• We must have an open-minded view of the world. We must respect other people´s
preferences and personalities so that we can all live in a more tolerant society.
• If homosexuals/lesbians are allowed to adopt they will contribute to give children,
who don´t have a family, a brighter future.
• An applicant should be hired because he/she is the most qualified one for the job
and not because of something else.
• A company should only be concerned about the personal skills and experience an
applicant has because race, religion, sexual orientation and other issues are not
going to influence his/her performance and are not important for the company.
• Companies should only have the right to know about the criminal record of their
future employees, but even so everyone has the right to a second chance.
The third meeting of our project was held at FORAVE – Associação para a
Educação Profissional do Vale do Ave, in Lousado, Portugal.
September 2012, Latvian, Italian, Romanian, and Polish students
and teachers met the Portuguese team to carry out the planned activities.
It was a meeting full of project activities. Ice-breaking games which made students
cooperate and use English; students’ presentations about the project; field trips to the
Lousado Railway Museum and to the cities of Guimarães and Braga; and a visit to
Espaço t, a non-governmental organisation.
There were also meetings to discuss and to evaluate the products and activities done so
far and to plan the future ones and the next meeting in Grottaminarda, Italy.
It was a time to learn how similar or different we are, to improve our language skills, to
learn more about the cultures and education systems of each school involved and to
make new friends.
Description of school
The “ISTITUTO D’ISTRUZIONE SUPERIORE OF GROTTAMINARDA” is located
in Grottaminarda, a small town of less than 9.000 inhabitants, in the “Green Irpinia” in
southern Italy. The area is mainly agricultural and commercial, with a development in
the industrial sector in the 80s, thanks to the settlement of FIAT and other smaller
industries which have employed a lot of people during the last decades and made the
place more modern and industrial.
Unfortunately, most companies have recently collapsed due to the economical crisis,
causing unemployment and also lack of any type of opportunities both for the young
and the adults.
The school has got 121 teachers and 746 students who attend one of the following 4
courses: electronics, administration-finance and marketing, art and tourism. Students
come from different villages around Grottaminarda and most of them do not have so
many chances of socializing if not at school, which becomes the place where alternative
learning opportunities and extra-curricular activities are implemented to stimulate
formal, informal and no-formal learning and avoid early school leaving.
The area is not affected by very big problems or specific special needs, but common
drugs or alcohol use as well as unemployment have increased lately. Moreover, people
from different countries have started to populate the area, so a deeper understanding of
their own history and culture need to be stimulated and taught to promote acceptance
and guarantee integration. Therefore, the main school concern is to develop in students
a more positive and tolerant attitude towards people of different cultures and traditions,
trengthening the respect for their history and identity through a more attractive teaching.
- STUDENTS WORKING AT THE LOGO
- SCHOOL MEETINGS AND DEBATES
ON TOLERANCE TOPICS
-THE STORY OF THE CIRCLE
AND THE SQUARE
-MEETING NUN LOREDANA
-MEETING THE PRESIDENT OF THE COURT
*VISITING THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT IN ROME
- WORKING AT THE TOLERANCE PUZZLE
The students question stereotypes and prejudices about other people and minorities.
They discover the perceptions of different minorities and become aware of their limits of
tolerance and of their confrontational value systems.
The students are trained to develop their skills of active listening in seeking an
One copy of the activity sheet (the scenario) for each student.
1. Each student receives a copy of the scenario and reads it silently.
2. Each person chooses three people with whom he/she would prefer to travel and three
more they would rather not travel with.
3. The students form groups of four.
– They compare their individual choices and respective reasons for their choices.
– They try to agree on a list with three preferences and three dislikes.
– They choose a spokesperson for their group.
4. Each group presents its list of preferred and excluded companions to the whole class,
giving the reasons for their choices.
5. The teacher encourages a free discussion of experiences, for example:
– What were the main determining factors?
– If the group has not agreed on a list of preferences, why not?
– Which stereotypes does the list of passengers imply?
– Where do these images come from?
– How would you feel if no one wanted to share a compartment with you, for example?
You have begun a long train journey which is
going to last for several days. You are sharing a
sleeping compartment with three other people.
Which of the following passengers would you
prefer to share your compartment with?
With which of the passengers would you not
want to share your compartment?
– a fat Swiss banker
– a disc jockey who takes drugs
– an African selling exotic articles
– a gypsy who has just come out of prison
– a feminist rock singer
– a homosexual foreign student
– a young woman carrying a young child
– a skinhead who is drunk
– an HIV positive prostitute
– a very poor refugee
– an armed foreign soldier
– a young woman who only speaks French.
The Raft Game
Students are introduced to the notion of universal values in human rights and learn how
to identify prejudices.
Cards giving information about characters.
Nine people are adrift on a raft in the open sea. They do not know their exact position.
The raft is too small for all of them. Four of them must be thrown into the sea.
Who will they be and why?
Each student receives a card giving some information about the character that she or he
is to represent. This is not only a role-play but also a matter of identifying oneself with a
character by finding reasons why he or she deserves to survive more than the others.
They must always use the first person –“I”.
The situation and what is at stake are also indicated on the card.
There must be complete silence during this first ten-minute phase.
1. The students work in groups of four to six.
Each group decides who should be saved according to arguments put forward by each
To increase interaction, each person must not only defend his or her character as well as the
corresponding value/s but should also “attack” another.
A collective decision must, however, be reached within 10
2. Each group reports their choices and compares
with the other groups.
3. The whole class identifies the values and
prejudices that have arisen.
Some examples of different characters
A gypsy who has just come out of prison. An old woman, a widow, who is travelling to
her native country with her savings in order
see her son again.
An English skinhead who is drunk. An old famous American baseball player.
A young mother who has a broken leg. A 35-year-old decorator, single, who is active
in a political movement.
An HIV-positive prostitute. A Russian pianist, father of two children.
A 15-year-old teenager, winner of an
important literature award. A soldier coming back from time off-duty.
An ambassador working for the United
CHOICE OF RIGHTS
– free elections
– freedom of property
– equality of men and women
– a clean and healthy environment
– access to healthy food and clean water
– the right of education
– freedom of thought, conscience and religion
– clothing and housing for all citizens
– private life without interference
– freedom of movement
13-18 November 2012
• Partners’ countries presentations
• Italian presentations and folk dances
• Tasting of all partners’ typical products
• Tolerance games
• Student partners + primary school children
Tolerance creative workshop
• Italian students’ performances
• Tolerance sightseeing in Naples : Catacombs of St.
Gennaro and St. Gaudioso-“Rione Sanità” –Totò’s
house – city centreVisit to Irpinia: culture, traditions
and typical products
Description of school humanities
The School of Humanities was founded on September 15,
1997. Mrs. Ekaterina Ivanova was appointed principal. The school
started with two classes studying English intensely. A parents’
board was established two days later. The first issue of the school
paper came out. The parents’ board and the teachers’ council
agreed on school uniforms on March 1, 1998.
In February a contract with Paisii Hilendarski University in
Plovdiv was signed. On the 8th of June the high school got the name of the prominent
Bulgarian poet Damyan Damyanov.
In 2000 the patronal festival was started with a school drama club performance - a
famous comedy by the Bulgarian playwright Dobri Voinikov. The 60th anniversary of
Damyan Damyanov’s birth was commemorated in Sofia on January 18, 2000. Students
from the school reciting club took part in it. Since then a poetry competition for young
authors has been annually held. Since 2010 a reciting competition on D. Damyanov
poetry has also been held every January, 18th
Despite the small number of students and teachers, the young high school took an
active part in competitions and Olympiads and wins many prizes.
In 2000-2001 the Aesthetic Education Club was established which includes some
major sections – journalism, music, arts, sports and a drama club.
In 2007 the School of Humanities became a member of The Association of
Cambridge Schools in Bulgaria.
In 2009 the Drama Club turned 10 years. In celebration of this anniversary the
actors gave a performance on the play Mother- in- Law by A.Strashimirov. Every year
they perform at least one play and take part in school theatres festivals al over the
In the following school year, the school made another step forward by accepting
students after 4th grade.
From September 2009 to June 2011 a team of students and teachers worked on a
Comenius project entitled: From difference to integration- cultural paths searching for
a new European identity.
Since September 2011 we have been working on another Comenius project-
TOLERANCE as a Key to Social Integration Into European Dimension for Young
Most of our graduates continue their education at universities and colleges both in
Bulgaria and abroad.
Our team of students and teachers involved in
the project met Mr. Marin Kavrakov, governor of
Sliven and Mr. Ivan Slavov, Deputy Mayor for
social and humanitarian activities of the
municipality of Sliven. We presented our ideas and
project objectives and the activities that will be
implemented during the two-year period of the
project. Both Mr Kavrakov and Mr. Slavov
expressed their satisfaction with the chosen topic,
having in mind the meaning of tolerance and its
place in human relationships as well as their
willingness to assist in any of the future activities.
A seminar on different aspects of tolerance
was carried on by Mrs Jekova, the regional
representative of the Commission for Protection
On 4th April 2012 in our school а drawing
competition on the topic “Dare to be Different – Say
O to discrimination” was held. The competition was
attended by students of all ages, who expressed their
excitement of the challenge to draw examples of
discrimination and tolerance.
The participants in the conference entitled
Philosophy of Tolerance had been offered texts from
Plato to Emmanuel Levinas for commentary and
analysis. Discussions and comments brought up
disputes about if rationality should always conduct
us or consensus that it is better to live in peace. The
students looked for the answer in The Parable of the
Good Samaritan, an animated vertion of which they
The project participants in had a Tolerance talk with
Mrs. Vesselina Sedlarska, a notable journalist and
writer from Sliven, who won Dimitar Peshev award
for ethnic tolerance in the media for 2004. The meeting
began with the importance of tolerance as a
characteristic topic in her book Passengers of Noah,
continued with cases related to tolerance as a moral
category and ended with many questions to which she
The participants of the project made a profound research
and prepared a presentation onthe topic of the rescuing of the
Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War. Our society, intellectuals, politicians, the
Bulgarian Church and the Bulgarian King did not want to live with the shame that they
had left their Jewish fellow-citizens to be sent to Hell.
For the fourth year the students of D. Damyanov Secondary School of Humanities conducted
improvised broadcast to promote thе not very popular in Bulgaria Buy Nothing Day- a day without
purchases. This year it was titled "Tolerant to nature" and is one of the activities under the project
"Tolerance-key to social integration of young people." Teams of reporters discussed the following
topics: Packages, you really need them? Waste-and what to do
There was a sports competition under the motto
“Tolerance in sport - tolerance in life” in the schoolyard.
The students competed in the following sports: football,
volleyball and basketball.
demonstrated not only
impressive sports skills, but
also honesty and tolerance during the competitions. Both
the winners and all the participants were given prizes.We
organised different charity campaigns connected with Christmas, 16th
November The International Day of Tolerance, St Valentine’s Day,
March- Baba Marta etc. Conference of Tolerance took place in our school too. Lecturer, Victor
Yolkin, came to our school and shared with us interesting thoughts about Tolerance. He advised us to
discuss what we thought about Tolearnce and to to come to our own opinion and understanding of the
tolerance. Students became interested in the subject, they started to express their opinions
so brightly and emotionally that debate started in the hall. Everyone expressed and listened
to the point of view another. Only good memories and impressions remained because we learned much
interesting facts and opinions from other people, which seemed to us quite original. Colorful
comparisons were postponed in our memory, we shared with stories from our experience. For us it was
very interesting and we lerned a lot.
1. Children with disabilities should go to ordinary schools.
5 chose the “minus” sector
They need special care and attention which they can get at special schools.
They can be hurt physically or emotionally by other students.
Other students can mock them.
They might make other students feel sad or depressed.
6 chose the “plus” sector
They need to communicate with other children.
They are not different only because they are ill.
Ordinary students can help them feel happy.
Ordinary students can realise easier how important their health is.
Other students can help them and feel satisfied.
4 chose the “zero” sector.
At the end three of the students who had chosen the “zero” sector moved to the “plus”
sector and one moved to “minus” sector.
Arguments of those who chose to move to “ plus” sector.
They are different but still they are humans.
Other students can appreciate what they have.
Arguments of the student who chose the “minus” sector.
Meeting people with disabilities make me feel depressed.
Conclusion: Children with disabilities are part of our world and we should accept them
and give them the same rights to get education and to be with friends at school.
Other students can appreciate what they have.
Arguments of the student who chose the “minus” sector.
Meeting people with disabilities make me feel depressed.
Conclusion: Children with disabilities are part of our world and we should accept them
and give them the same rights to get education and to be with friends at school.
2) Smoking in public places should be banned
9 chose the “plus” sector
The less smokers are, the less illnesses caused by smoking there will be.
The air will be fresher and the atmosphere more pleasant.
Passive smoking will decrease.
People will be healthier.
A lot of time can be saved this way, especially working time.
Children won’t see smokers everywhere and accept smoking as something ordinary.
3 chose the “minus” sector
Everybody can decide what to do with their own health and life.
Smokers feel being discriminated.
If there is good ventilation, the debate is unnecessary.
Conclusion: Everybody can decide what to do with their own health and life, but when
polluting the environment, social health and youngsters‘ upbringing is concerned,
We should say “No” to smoking in public places.
International meeting of the Comenius project Tolerance
as a key to social integration into European dimension for
young citizens in D.DAMYANOV Secondary School of
From 2nd to 7th April 2013 Sliven and D. DAMYANOV
Secondary School of Humanities were visited by our
partners in the Comenius project Tolerance as a key to
social integration into European dimension for young citizens.
On the first day of the visit we met our guests- the students and teachers from
Latvia, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Romania. The event took place at The National
Palace Hotel. We welcomed them according to an old Bulgarian tradition – with
homemade bread and salt. Our headmistress gave a short speech to express how pleased we were
to meet all of them in Sliven. The students from the drama club presented a part of Samodiva play and
all our guests watched spellbound. Then, the participants from different countries presented their
materials. After that there was a walk around downtown.
We spent the next morning at school. We started with an amazing presentation of Sinite Kamani
Then, the students participated
some very interesting events – an
art studio and a drama class.
In the afternoon we visited the
Historical Museum. Our guests
were impressed by the
magnificent exhibits of Thracian culture.The third day was expected with excitement
because of the trip to Tryavna – one of the most famous Renaissance towns. It’s an
example of how we should be tolerant to the past and
culture. There we visited museums and churches.
The fourth day was a day to spend with the host families
for the students and teachers made a trip to Nessebar.
These few days are something that all the participants,
both guests and hosts, will never forget. We spent a
wonderful time together and made good friends who we
will have in our future lives.
Description of school
Liceul Teoretic “Miron Constin” IASI, ROMANIA
It is a general school which comprises three levels of education: primary,
secondary, and highschool, situated in one of the districts of Iasi where the inhabitants
have a rather low social and economic status. In addition to this, the city itself is located
in the region of Moldavia which is the least economically developed area in Romania.
Consequently, a lot of people (most of them parents of our students) have migrated to
other more developed European countries in order to earn more money to be able to
sustain their children’s needs. Because of this, a great majority of our students have been
left to be fostered by their relatives (grandparents, aunts and uncles, elder brothers or
sisters) or sometimes, by themselves. On the other hand, we are confronted with the so
called “immigrants” from the Republic of Moldova; because their life standard is lower
than ours, those that can afford it, usually send their children to study in Romanian
schools. We have had many students from the Republic of Moldova who study in our
school. Moreover, we have an important number of students coming from the
countryside whose parents have no job but working the land, their monthly income
being extremely low. Because of all these reasons, a great number of our students do not
have financial potential and they cannot afford many things such as trips, books,
theatre/film tickets, membership clubcards, etc. As a result, these students are at risk of
social exclusion. To this category we can also add the Rroma students and other
minorities (half Arabs), orphans (one parent, sometimes both), students that live in foster
families or single parent families, students that belong to another religious confession, or
students that have chronic diseases.
In conclusion, the main focus of the project is to convince our students to become aware
of the necessity of tolerating, integrating and accepting people of other ethnicity,
religion or social status or people with disabilities, and to cultivate in them the sense of
equality and fraternity among themselves.
Why should we be tolerant?
Conference held at The “Petre Andrei” University of Iasi
In February 2012 our Comenius team developed an activity, including a debate
and workshops, whose subject was Why should we be tolerant? The activity was done in
partnership with “Petre Andrei” University of Iași and our main guests were Lector Dr.
Sebastian Năstuță and Assistant Carmen Mihai, specialized in our main subjects –
tolerance and discrimination.
The team from Petre Andrei University offered us a place where we could host
the activity. We invited several children from different classes of our school, not
necessarily from the Comenius Project basic team, so as to involve more people and to
be tolerant towards them. The Comenius team presented statistics about discrimination
in our school and facts about tolerance, and tried to challenge and involve everyone in
the discussion. The two professors explained to us what discrimination means, why it
occurs and how we can help or avoid it.
The activity had two parts: the first part was an introduction to the project and its
subjects and the second part consisted of team work; in the workshop each team
received a picture and they had 10 minutes to write down what the picture represented
for them. At the end, every team had to the opportunity to present their paper explaining
and bringing original examples of discrimination and tolerance or famous people who
were against discrimination and who changed history. In this way nobody was left,
every team had to speak and share their thoughts about tolerance and everyone was
involved. In conclusion, the activity was successful for the reason that everyone
learnt something new about discrimination and tolerance, opening other people’s eyes
about the reality in our modern society; what is more, everyone was involved and
everyone seemed satisfied with the outcome of this activity.
Dragobete’s Day at “Vasile Pavelcu” School
Dragobete is a Romanian holiday originating from Dacian times and celebrated
on 24th February. Specifically, Dragobete was the son of Baba Dochia, which stands for
the main character in the pagan myth related to spring arrival and the end of the harsh
winter. In Romania, Dragobete is known as the day for lovers rather than Valentine's
As members of the Comenius project which encourages tolerance, we organized a
meeting at the “Vasile Pavelcu” School, a school for deaf-mute children, where our
group of students met a few of theirs and we talked about the meaning of Dragobete’s
Day, we socialized, and communicated in a very special way: they taught us a bit of
their sign language which wasn’t that hard because each one of us use a small amount of
their sign language without knowing in our daily life. And, at the end of our meeting, we
gifted them cards made and written by our project members. They were very happy and
they appreciated the gesture.
To sum up, it was a very special occasion which made us more tolerant towards deaf-
mute people and made us realize how privileged we are.
The European Day of Languages
On the 26th
of September, “Miron Costin” Highschool Iasi also celebrated The
European Day of Languages. It was one of the few occasions when our students did
interactive activities in a multilingual context. These activities were very wide-ranging,
several of which being part of the multilateral Comenius project TOLERANCE as a Key
to Social Integration Into European Dimension for Young Citizens. One of them was to
design A Concise Multilingual Glossary of Tolerance consisting of synonyms for
“tolerance” in all project languages (Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Latvian,
Russian and Bulgarian). These glossaries were handed out to students from the upper
secondary level. Another one was to soar multi-coloured balloons that bore multilingual
“tolerance” messages on them, a very exciting and joyful action in which students from
all school levels were involved. Last but not least, the children competed in the Scrabble
Game of Tolerance which from that point has constituted a bimonthly meeting in our
Football … a fierce sport, yet a wonderful way to bind
friendships, such as we did. On a regular Wednesday we met the
football team of “Vasile Pavelcu” students and played a football
match. At the beginning we were uncertain about the outcome, we
weren’t sure how we would react facing our social and physical
differences, but once we started all of that remained behind us.
Only a few minutes in game and it became a fearsome competition in which all
that mattered was victory, it didn’t take long for the first goals to hit and the atmosphere
became tense and we unconsciously let our true selves out, we forgot about all of our
differences and each team communicated in their own way, seeing how their expressive
language helped us understand a new way of communication.
All those elements made us see our opponents in a whole new manner and the match
became even more interesting. Each team was building their strategy based on the
opponents’ movement, speed and actions, every single factor counted and we took it all
into consideration, and as the end was drawing near, our fight was getting even more
intense. But once the match was over, it didn’t really matter who the victor was, the
game itself satisfied us and victory became less relevant.
At the end we saw our opponents as friends and we were able to know another
side of their personality, a friendly one, and we started to discuss the match, criticizing
ourselves and our actions. It was a match which resulted in a beautiful, life changing
experience, which helped us see and understand a whole new social class, and fantastic,
lifetime friendships with remarkable, intelligent and unique persons.
Everything can help us meet new people and some
things used in the right way can open doors to new
experiences, to new opportunities, to new people and to
new worlds that can change our lives in ways we can’t
A Journey to The Palace of Parliament, Bucharest
The Tolerance Team went to the Palace of Parliament, also known as "Casa
Poporului" (The House of The People). The participants had the occasion to discover
one of the most beautiful and magnificent buildings that had ever been made. In the
company of the guide, the team explored the building and had the opportunity to see the
most famous rooms of the house, such as: The Hall of Human Rights, “Nicolae
Bălcescu” Hall, “Al. I. Cuza” Hall and many others.
According to the World Records Academy, the Palace is the world's largest
civilian building, most expensive administrative building, and heaviest building. It was
designed and almost finished by the Ceauşescu regime as the seat of political and
administrative power. It stands today as a reminder of the communist regime. The
Palace measures 270 m x 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m underground. It has 1,100 rooms,
2 underground parking garages and is 12 stories tall, with four underground levels
currently available for the general public and in use, and another four in different stages
of completion. The floor-space is 340,000 m2
The structure combines elements and motifs from multiple sources, in an eclectic
neoclassical architectural style. The building is constructed almost entirely of materials
of Romanian origin. Estimates of the materials used include one million cubic meters of
marble from Transylvania, most from Ruşchiţa; 3,500 tones of crystal – 480 chandeliers,
1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured; 700,000 tones of steel and bronze
for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 m2
of wood, over
95% of which is domestic, for parquet and wainscoting, including walnut, oak, sweet
cherry, elm, sycamore maple; 200,000 m2
of woolen carpets of various dimensions, the
larger of which were woven on-site by machines moved into the building; velvet and
brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold.
While people were starving, Ceauşescu embarked on building the world’s second-largest
building at an estimated cost of just under $5 billion.
In December 2011, we could not remain indifferent to one of our schoolmates,
who was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was going to be operated in Bucharest.
Because the operation was very expensive, we decided to organise a money-collecting
campaign named Leu by leu I Help my Fellow. With the collected money we hoped to
make him a nice surprise, donating them to his family as a contribution for the operation
which was to be performed in February 2012.
Christmas, the Gift of Joy was the last activity in the winter holidays. The
students were invited to manufacture decorative Christmas objects which were on a
display sale at the White Holidays in Coloured Hearts Exhibiton later on. With the
collected money we bought sweets and toys for the School for the Deaf “Vasile
Pavelcu” Iasi, as a sign of friendship and a small gift for Christmas.
Miruna Oprea & Raluca Ailoaoei
…was first played on the European Day of Languages as part of our Comenius
project. Because it had a real success and our students showed a lot of enthusiasm for,
and interest in this game, we decided to turn it into a permanent, regular activity within
the project. The students aged between 12-18 meet twice a month and play for about two
hours. It is an opportunity for them to get to know one another better, to interact and
communicate and, last but not least, to have a tolerant attitude and behavior towards
students with special needs or a special social status, who are younger or who belong to
a certain minority. Strong friendships, mutual help and changes of attitudes have been
noticed since the beginning of this activity.
The Meeting in Iaşi, Romania
May to 2nd
June 2013 our institution was the host for the sixth reunion
of the Comenius project TOLERANCE as a Key to Social Integration Into European
Dimension for Young Citizens, project financed by the European Commission. The
meeting agenda was quite diverse and ample for the foreign delegation made up of 15
teachers and 20 students from five different countries to whom the Romanian team was
added (11 teachers and 38 students). The first day began with the school visit and a short
presentation of our city. After a short break the students and teachers participated in one
of the four workshops dedicated to tolerance: Tolerance Melting Pot where the
participants had to cook pancakes specific to their countries; Tolerogame where the
students were grouped in mixed groups and received some questions about tolerance and
EU in all project languages; they had to interact and communicate with one another to
find out the meaning of each question to be able to choose the correct answer;
Toleroscrabble where they played scrabble in groups of three or four; and Poster
Making where, again, groups of students had to work together to create the most
beautiful poster about tolerance.
The next day was dedicated to a research visit in Bucovina –Practical examples of
Tolerance (religion) and Intolerance (Vlad the Impaler). In this way they could
compare and contrast the Orthodox religion and Byzantine architectural style to their
own; also, when arriving at Castle Dracula, the guide told them the real story of Vlad the
Impaler (the so called Dracula), how he used to impale the country’s enemies and
traitors, the thieves and other bad people, showing no grain of tolerance towards those
people. That is why he was nicknamed, Vlad Dracul. Then, the connection to Stocker’s
Dracula was made and they were told that that was the very place where the plot of the
novel is set –Tihuţa Pass in Bistriţa Mountains. Both teachers and students were very
impressed by the mountainous landscape. On their way back, the students had to
complete some questionnaires about the visit. They checked the new information and
knowledge they acquired about the religious tolerance and Dracula’s intolerance. They
also received a brochure with information about the visited places.
On the next day the students participated in all sorts of sporting activities (badminton,
table tennis, basketball, football). After a short break all the people gathered in the
school yard and made the Key of Tolerance while holding balloons that borne tolerance
messages on them. All balloons were let go and they soared into the sky being
accompanied by the project anthem –Don’t Laugh at Me, by Mark Wills.
The next activity that took place at The “Petre Andrei” University of Iaşi, was the
artistic programme and the certificate awarding. The programme was a collage of
activities gathered under the umbrella of tolerance (street dance, dance sport, pop and
folk music, rhythmic gymnastics, duet). At the end everybody was rewarded with a
certificate of participation.
And, the last day arrived, when the guests were invited to a City Tour on foot that
started at the Palace of Culture and continued along Ştefan cel Mare Avenue where they
visited all the historical monuments, then they headed towards Cuza Vodă Street where
they could see the Jewish houses. Here the guide told them about the Iasi Pogrom and
the Jews’ fate under Antonescu’s Regime. The walk continued on Lăpuşneanu Street
(The Union Museum), Copou Avenue and finished in the Botanical Garden where trees,
plants and flowers around the world cohabit together as a sign of harmony and tolerance,
a great example that especially we, the human beings should follow!
Project coordinator, Romania
Anastasija Pavlova: “I thought that it would be the project would not offer any
interesting events except hard work at the beginning. The project became not the hard
work but the part of something greater. I met wonderful people, found new friends
from different countries (I stay in touch with all of them) due to the project. I visited
different countries, found out many interesting about various cultures within the
project. One more important thing – I improved my language skills. I am grateful to the
project that showed us what is Tolerance!”
Oleg Peretjagin: “Tolerance as a key to social integration”. Yes, it is! After my trip to
Romania, I returned home with beautiful memories and a lot of nice friends. I saw
many beautiful places there as the city of Iasi, the Castle of Dracula, which was
amazing. I can say the same for the people that I met! Not only from Romania, but
from the other countries like Poland, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria; all the people were very
kind, making me to become more tolerant and to learn that even if we are different,
inside, we all are the same. For me it was a very nice experience, and I hope that one
day I will see my new friends again.
J.Stankevica: "The project helped to increase the knowledge of foreign language and I
got positive experience in improving my communicative skills. The interaction between
partners was very intensive, each partner was happy to share information about native
country and city. Each partner was proud with native country, we found many
differences between countries as well as many common things. It was important to be
active in all events. I would like to thank for the opportunity to participate in the
project. I had no experience in participation in such international projects, I am glad to
meet such interesting people. I am sure, that we could get rid of stereotypes about
other countries and find many new friends. The project influenced students greatly.
Some of them revealed skills to organize, some got self assurance. Such projects are
not only interesting trips, but also opportunity to find out many interesting information
about various countries, to study how to work in international teams, to improve
language skills, to find new friends".
“Comenius was an interesting thing in my life. I had a chance to meet people from
different countries. Spending time in Portugal with these amazing people was like the
best break from school ever and what is interesting I was learning! I was practising my
English all the time. Places which I saw helped me to understand their culture and
become more tolerant. In my opinion there should be more projects like this because it is
a chance for new experience and for international friends. I hope I'm going to see them
Aga Chrobak 2 c
“In my opinion Comenius project is the best thing to meet new friends, to get to
know new culture and to try new flavors. People I've met were wonderful and everyone
will stay in my mind.”
Magdalena Fecko kl. 2c
“Comenius program is the best project which I know and I am glad that my
school is taking part in it. It is important for young people to understand others,
especially foreigners. It is a real “eye-opener”. It also helps us to understand how we
can work together. Thanks to the meetings we can find out about schools in other
countries. I realise it is a lot of hard work, especially for the coordinator, but the project
is worth all the trouble it helps us get to know new friends with their experiences and
languages We share the same problems and joys. For me, this project has been a
Let’s hope for the next in the future!”
A. Niemczewska – English Teacher
Paulo Carvalho, student
During the almost two years I have worked on the project I have learned a lot and I have
made new friends, not only in my school but also in the partners ‘schools.
With the project activities like the Charity Fair, the visit to the elderly care home, the
research works and the Tolerance games and lessons, I have learned to accept others
opinions and not to judge them. I have also learned how to be more tolerant and how to
help those in need.
Another very positive thing was my participation in the visit to Bulgaria during which I
had the chance to meet the colleagues from the different countries, to make friends, to
get to know them and their cultures better, and to improve my skills in what concerns
languages, especially in English.
Overall, it was a great experience!
José Ramalhoto, teacher
Tolerance is really the key to a better world and that key was for two years in the hands
of our young students.
During the time of the project I saw my students become each day more involved in the
project activities and more tolerant regarding the world around them.
This project really made a difference for them. They created a more tolerant attitude
towards people with special needs, people of other nations, cultures, religions and sexual
orientations. And they did this in a positive and collaborative work environment which
also allowed them to acquire basic life skills and competences necessary for personal
development, and other skills in what concerns Languages and ICT.
It was a great project and its effects will endure in our students’ hearts for a long time.
• It was a very pleasant and educational experience at the same time.
• It has been one of the best experiences of my life because I’ve met new
people,made new friends and discovered new places
• We’ve learned how to be tolerant
• The Comenius project has been a fantastic experience because it has allowed the
integration among different students and culture
Teresa De Angelis
• We have had the opportunity to practice English and learn some words of other
languages too, and we’ve taught some words of our own language
Class IV BITER
• It has been a great experience to be hosted because we’ve found a warm and
Class IV BITER
• It has been great working in team on a such complex topic, TOLERANCE,
meeting different personalities who have discussed with us and students about the
different aspects of the theme, as well as seeing simple persons sharing their
personal experiences with us.
• It has also been fantastic going abroad with colleagues and students and knowing
about different lifestyles and places so rich of natural beauties, history and
The Comenius teachers’ team
I also want you to be tolerant.
Not to those who rarely make mistakes - it's easy;
But to those who are often wrong
These words reveal best the work we have done on the project TOLERANCE as a Key to
Social Integration Into European Dimension for Young Citizens at the School of
Humanities in Sliven.
As life is colourful, there is a great variety of ways to express yourself and everybody
should respect other people’s choice. That was the most important we realized while
working on the project. We met our colleagues from partners’ schools and made friends.
We experienced together a lot of unforgettable moments with friendly hands reached out
and smiling faces all around.
Katya Tahchieva, Literature teacher
Damyan Damyanov Secondary School of Humanities, Sliven Bulgaria
Working on that project has given me knowledge, experiences and memories to have for
all my life. We did different things, participated various activities, visited partners’
countries and learnt more about the people, their everyday life, historical past, culture
and traditions. We made good friends and we keep in touch with each other almost
daily. We know that people are different and respect that. It is easier now than before as
we personally met all these students and teachers from foreign countries, worked and
had fun together.
As to me being a member of the Comenius project team at the School of Humanities is a
unique experience and a lifelong remembrance.
Kristin Badjeva, Xth grade student
Damyan Damyanov Secondary School of Humanities, Sliven Bulgaria
Evaluation –Students’ opinions
“This project is a great opportunity for me to meet new people from other countries with
different cultures and it is also a way to achieve experience for my own way of
“I am very happy to be serving in the Comenius team project. It has been an opportunity
for me to develop my teamwork skills.”
“I really enjoy participating in every activity and being part of a big team, having
support from all my colleagues and sharing nice experiences with them. Comenius has
helped me realize how many opportunities we have, how many chances to do great
things not only for ourselves, but especially for the community.”
“Comenius is a great project, which gave me the opportunity to meet new people and to
develop my skills, but I have also learned how to be more tolerant with others that are
not as lucky as we are.”
“I take part in this project because I’ve decided to learn how to be more tolerant.
Tolerance, in my opinion is a very important quality that all of us need to have. Be
tolerant, don’t be a bad person!”
This project has been the best way to create strong relationships not only among teachers
from all over Europe, but also among students. The cooperation was at its highest levels,
everything being done according to the plan and all objectives being achieved in due
time. Our pupils enjoyed the company of their peers, learned new things about tolerance
among people, about other cultures and civilizations, about other educational systems.
They also had the chance to improve their communication skills in English. The same
spirit floated even among us, the teachers from this project team. We are people who
come from different religious backgrounds (Catholic and Orthodox) or are of different
origin (Latin and Slavic) and in spite of all these, we felt like a real family, the Great
European Family. I am convinced that even our project has approached its end, our
friendship has only begun and it will last for a long time from now on.
This booklet was made by students from all partner schools,
participants of the Comenius project TOLERANCE as a Key to
Social Integration Into European Dimension for Young Citizens
This project has been financed by European Commission.
The publication expresses opinion of the authors and Commission
does not responsible for the information the booklet contains.