In Romania, DPAC was celebrated in Bucharest and Sibiu, the European capital of culture in 2007. Partners in the organization of the activities were Santa Macrina Foundation, the Arab Orthodox Community in Romania, the British School, the Anastasia Popescu School, the Saint Dumitru Orthodox Church in Bucharest, the Nicolae Iorga School in Sibiu and the Santa Ursula Orthodox Church also in Sibiu. The religions represented among the total number of around 400 participants were: Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim. In Bucharest, 45 children and young people from different NGO’s, schools and religious communities participated in a workshop on “Stop Violence in Schools”. Through interactive activities such as role play, painting and dialogue, they had the opportunity to explore, reflect and understand different aspects of violence among children and learn non-violent ways of solving conflicts.
The participants were motivated to take action against violent behaviors of their colleagues and friends in their schools and communities. A concrete action during the workshop was the paintings, drawings, clay modeling made by them on the theme “Be my Guardian Angel,” under the supervision of Maria Cioata, an art teacher. The result of their work was exposed in a large exhibition, organized by the Romanian National Commission for UNESCO at Gaudeamus International Book & Education Fair (23-27 November).
Through this activity, the children wanted to raise public awareness about violence against children by sending peaceful and spiritual messages through art. At the end of the event, each participant lit a candle and said a prayer for all children in the world who suffer from any form of violence.
In Bucharest, a DPAC celebration was also held at the “Saint Dumitru” Orthodox Church with the participation of 70 people.
In Sibiu, 30 children between the ages of 10 and 14 at the “Nicolae Iorga” School from harmonious or violent families, participated, with their teachers and a psychologist from the Department of Child Protection, in the workshop on “Stop Violence in Schools”. The participants watched movies on the theme “violence between children”, took part in role plays and stories through which they identified non-violent solutions for solving problems. They ended with some time of meditation and solidarity with children who are victims of violence.
A special Day of Prayer celebration took place at the Santa Ursula Catholic Church in Sibiu with the participation of around 250 people. The prayers and meditation for children’s well-being were accompanied with beautiful songs by a famous children’s choir, “Allegretto”.
According to the organizers, the main outcomes from the celebrations were:
– The motivation of the children to take action against violence between children.
– A painting exhibition with the work of the children who participated in the celebration, organized with the help of the Romanian National Commission for UNESCO at Gaudeamus International Book & Education Fair (23-27 November).
– The dissemination of the event in an important Romanian newspaper.
Some of the comments from the participants about the workshop and celebrations were:
– “I want to participate in more events like that” (Marian 16 )
– “I was very touched during those activities” (teacher of Anastasia Popescu School)
– “I’m very glad I participated in this event and I’m sure this wasn’t just a happening. It was an emotional celebration” (teacher from Buzau)
– “I loved painting and after the meditation I felt very peaceful”
The Organizing Committee was formed by Laura Molnar, GNRC representative, Doina Rotaru, lawyer representative of the Arab Orthodox Community, Baluta Lucretia, Expert from the Romanian National Commission for UNESCO, Mona Serbanescu from “Anastasia Popescu” School and Pr. Mihai Gojgar, Parish Priest at the “Saint Dumitru” Church.