Educators for Peace & Mutual Understanding
by Dr. Julia Kipko, Chairlady of Lugansk regional committee
 

Lugansk regional committee "Educators for Peace & Mutual Understanding" marked its 20th anniversary on soft days of Ukrainian Indian summer 2010, with their melons and water melons, grapes and plums, autumn strawberries and pumpkins, with bright and smart changes in natural smells and colors, in airs and skies...

 

  The celebration assembled more than 300 participants from Lugansk and 11 territories of the region, from Austria, Russia, Byelorussia, Bashkortostan,etc. They were teachers and students, administrative staff and managers, doctors and activists of culture & art.

They gathered together in the big conference hall of State University of Culture and Arts, and not occasionally.  

 

First because it's a really comfortable and hospitable hall. Second because we use to meet our foreign guests here and this time it seemed as if they all are sharing room at our round tables, too (Ph 1). Third because in LSUCA the international cooperation is among the priorities and there is much to be seen here as the result. The start of the 3-days work was adorned with warm friendly greetings of our foreign partners and cooperative organizations from abroad.

 

Read more about honoring Frank Kryer's memory

 Then the Minute of Silence followed - the audience was honoring Frank Kroyer's memory. Here in Lugansk he is well known to our colleagues and adherents, and we still feel his steps all over the country - from our region up to Crimea...Despite his going down, his activities are alive and never ever he will be forgotten in Ukraine. Such creatures like Frank promote vitality and surviving abilities of modest social organizations similar to our committee: they are like highlights for us systematically and in everything - from their constant altruistic activities and reasonable travel passion (can we say so?) to their plainest living...Look, in 1990 when our committee grew up into a regional social organization a lot of alliances came to life likewise. None of them has survived till 2010 but us. Take it for granted, we have risen from the ranks due to our previous long lasting international work with youth all over the world and due to our working and hearty friendship with people like Frank Kroyer (Denmark), Eva Nordland (Norway), Mari Michoue (France) - our honorable partners in that work.

 

  

  Sure, the significance and importance of succession in social work became one of the most actual topics at the jubilee conference. The 20th anniversary of committee activities coincided with the simultaneous data of the 40th anniversary of foundation of Youth International Friendship Club (high school N 5, Antratsit). In former times this school organization was famous literally all over the world due to its practical international efforts (cooperating with Danish colleagues since 1987, either)). Many a members of YIFC went on acting in our committee, having brought with them both their enthusiasm and experience wherever they defined their living and professional ways. The participants agreed: however often those Hamlet's words sounded nowadays "The time is out of joint " - basically we can confirm the succession of joint generations and the succession of ideology in our social work. Well, the committee jubilee occurred to be not an ordinary event first of all because it assembled none occasional people. And it was impossible to divide them into presidium and hall chairs, into speakers and audience: they came as adherents and people of a common destiny, they were experiencing together all the hurdles and odds of our hard times.

 

The main heart, time and place at the conference were devoted to analising and summerizing the committee work on international contacts in social and professional activities ( in the frames of partnership and sponsorship). Judge by yourselves: at present there are more than 30 different structures abroad that are cooperating with Lugansk and its territories. Among them : Moscow college of Architecture and Management (Russia), Zelenograd Economy University (Russia), secondary schools 15, 31 and Youth Centre of social organization "Home of Peace" (Vladimir, Russia), Byelorussian SOS Kinderdorf National, SOS Home of Youth, Minsk Autotransport college (Byelorussia), High school of Social Work of Wien University, Wien Conservatory, local communities of Wallern, Ybbs, Neusiedle, Nickelsdorf, Lusdorf, Harbach, Traunsee, municipal organisation "Lebenshilfe" (Austria), National committee of Danish Red Cross (Kopenhagen), Local committee of Danish Red Cross (Skive), School of Social Health (Skive), International Teachers' Association (Kopenhagen), Editorial Board of ITA Post, National Public Library of Calcutta (India), Berlin Spring Academy (Germany), Recovering - Social faculty of Ostrava University (Chekhia), Health Protection faculty of Debrecen University (Hungary), High Professional School (Poland), Social organization "Peace" (Norway), Biotrace International (UK), Boston University (USA), Praesidium of Bavarian Red Cross (Munich, Germany), International project "Peace Ribbon" in the frames of peace-creative actions of UNO (New York, USA), Brussels King Musical Conservatory (Belgium), Moscow State Conservatory (Russia), Saint Etyen Conservatory (France), High Humanitary - Economic School in Lodz (Poland), Bashkortostan Republican Association "Educators for Peace and Mutual Understanding" (Ph 2).

Since 1996 the committee has been managing its international contacts in 5 basic branches : 1.Humanitary loads from abroad for the sake of educational and medical institutions. 2.Children summer recovering in Alpes. 3.Building and remounting works in orphanages. 4.Exchange of delegations. 5. Personal contacts. In realization of these branches there is a special place for collective membership in the committee.

 

   Lugansk State college of Economics, Law & Social Work arranges international meetings, scientific -&- practical conferences with participation of foreign colleagues. Similar Lugansk State University of Culture & Arts. Lugansk secondary school 47 worked out and entered the programme of Culture of Peace in the frames of international project and went into the first 10 best author school models in Ukraine. Novoaidar Children Rehabilitating Centre is permanently studying world experience of social work to the benefit of indigent children. Swatovo regional educational department integrated the practice of international help and care to the children-victims of Chernobyl catastrophe.

   

As a whole in the course of 20 years we got 25 trucks with humanitarian loads for orphanages, boarding schools and hospitals in 11 regional territories. Facing these activities our clients in Lugansk regional Children Clinics and in Antratsit City Clinics got modern "Mercedes" ambulances and expensive remedies. Stomatological equipment from Austria has been installed in children institutions of Antratsit, Lugansk, Shchetovo, Novoaidar, in Black Sea children recovering complex "Southern", in medical clinics either. Perfect water cleaning Siemens systems do work now in 12 orphanages and boarding schools, in Lugansk college of building, economics & law, in Antratsit City Hospital turning out Donbass bad waters into really drinking ones. Due to Bavarian Red Cross help in Shchetovo orphanage they have the new dining hall, the new kitchen with electronic handling, the new laundry-ironing block, fully renewed heating hut, fully remounted gymnasium and sport - game equipment in the school yard. As the result of successful cooperation between Bavarian Red Cross, Wien Global 2000 and Lugansk regional administration Shchetovo orphanage got the so-long-expected fence with forging gates around the vast school territory, On Oct 16th there took place the fest devoted to the opening of the reconstructed sleeping school building - in the frames of the same partnership (Phs 3 & 4).

 In Lugansk the pilot orphanage for graduates of specialized boarding schools has been erected - due to private sponsorship (Dr. Markian Prypchan, Austria), social partnership (Ursula Venneman, Lebenshilfe, Austria), humanitary help (Global 2000, Wien) and Ukrainian investments (Ph 5).

In the course of 14 years more than 700 Ukrainian orphans spent their summer holidays in Alpes. They use to arrive to Austria to be medically examined and to get recovered. As a rule they are accompanied by their habitual tutors. We should appreciate the strengthening of professional pedagogical ties in this constant process. Staff and administration of Lugansk pilot orphanage have regular trainings in children institutions of Wien, Woitsberg, Ssalla, Schladming,Graz, Baerbach, Frauenberg on the ground of their cooperation with "Lebenshilfe". Meanwhile the staff of this organization make their master classes in Lugansk and Novoaidar. Lugansk educators studied the system of SOS Kinderdorf International in Byelorussia,the work of folk schools in Denmark and Norway, took part in International pedagogical congresses and social meetings in Vienn, Paris, Graz, Skive, Roskilde. Our partnership with Austrian Global 2000 opened different humanitary channels to the benefit of both educational and health recovering service. As a fruitful result of committee intercession there were achieved hard (and very expensive) surgeries for certainly diseased children with sometimes hopeless fatal diagnostics. Swetlana Pavlova and Viktoria Leontyeva  (Ph 6)  got complicated operations for straightening their legs. Vlada Pogoretski was doomed to death by the medical conclusion of Kyjiv oncological clinic. Having started with her aging 4 until now (she is 14) the girl got a series of hard, even unprecedent operations in Saint Anna Hospital (Vienna) and is standing on the eve of the final surgery, nothing threatening to her life any more. Andrej Voronin was examined, cured and therewith operated in Kyjiv cardiological centre due to Austrian sponsorship. More than 30 children are being permanently cared and sponsored (medicines, vitamines, examining, hospital and aanatorium curing) in the frames of Chernobyl Children project. Central City Clinic of Antratsit is also supported and supplied on the ground of committee international contacts. All its departments - Maternity House, Children hospitals, Ophtalmology, Rapid Aid Unit, Stomatology, Cardiology, Travmatology,etc got special gears and various equipment, financing help, a lot of humanitarian loads since 1997 and now on. Dr. Ludmila Zhuravliova was trained in Vienna St.Anna Hospital (Ph 7).

These - and not only - topics were discussed at the jubilee conference with the common leit-motive: in our social work we all are together like many years ago, and mutual understanding is the prerequisite of positive collective thoughts and aspirations. In cooperation for the sake of children we practically are trying to make the world a bit better. After the American author Leo F. Buscaglia we confirm that a better world is one in which the principles of love become a universal way of life. A world where basic human rights, freedom, joy, dignity, growth, work, creativity, food, shelter, beauty and happiness are assured to all mankind. The past cannot be changed - it has left its teachings. The present is the moment to act to improve (Ph 8).

    In the resolutive programme documents the participants marked and summerized basic goals of international work and cooperation. Here they are:

1. Management of cooperative peace creative work with foreign social organizations and humanitary funds, with educational, cultural and medical institutions, with volunteers.

2. Exchange of professional experience.

 3.Exchange with delegations on various levels : teachers, doctors, Red Cross activists, students.

4.Education of young generations in spirit of respect to ethnical cultures, to history of different nations, in spirit of succession of eternal human values.

5.Developing of private creative contacts in the frames of international cooperation.

6. Improving living conditions in orphanages.

7. Promotion of children summer recovering campaign.

8. Widening of geographical sphere of international cooperation in the system of social and professional activities.

9. Realization of relevant chances for strengthening positive image and for collecting modern information about friendly foreign colleagues and institutions.

   There is an old tradition in use of our committee: we award prominent people that are close to both our common goals and actual social challenges the status of Honorable member of the committee. Since 1995 Viktor Tikhonov, at present the 1st vice-premier of Ukrainian government, is such an Honourable member. Having been for a long time in the chair of the Head of Lugansk Regional Board he used to take all sharp and painful social problems straightly to his heart. The children's needs especially. It was in those times that he said : "Strengthening

cooperation of Ukrainian state structures and social organizations with international organizations of friendly states is one of the promising ways of right solutions on actual problems of childhood. Help and support from other countries (financial, informative, technical) would let us at any rate compensate the lack of our own resources under the conditions of so complicated social-economic situation in our society". Many years have passed but "the social-economic situation" in Ukraine became still more and more complicated. Thus, the wise words that were told by the wise man many years ago go on keeping their deep sense and significance. And our international cooperation either. Will anybody argue ?.. Dr .Julia Kipko, Chairlady of Lugansk regional committee "Educators for Peace & Mutual Understanding", Jan 2011 (Ph 9).