2015 represents a commemorative year - 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, a major event which marked the history and changed the map of Europe. This commemoration overlaps another event, a contemporary one this time, which is the escalation of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, a friction which represents a real threat for Europe’s peace and stability.
Commencing from all these premises, the project “Listen Stories engaged in the Past – World War II” has as purpose to unite the strength of five European schools from the same number of respective states, bringing forth their own past and their own gathered experience during World War II. Consequently, they can work together for building a fair, balanced image regarding the war and its consequences in the mind of the young generation. Through our proposed project activities, we wish to tightly connect our youths to history, a science which they may otherwise consider difficult and distant to their daily realities. They need a grain of wisdom which is rooted in the experience of former generations, so they could become more aware of it and to be able to make documented and valid decisions based on knowledge and equilibrium, thus being a counter-weight against those young people with radical or sometimes rather hasty solutions.
For this reason, the project uses non-formal methods and approaches, such as the Living Library, and the Forum Theatre, both meant to attract the young, but also to involve the local community as much as possible in a united effort to raise an alarm sign and unite our forces in order to develop active citizenship and to promote education for peace. The aims of our project (developing active citizenship and basic and transversal skills, promoting innovative methods in education, making international partnerships) have as starting point the needs identified in the 5 partner institutions.
By bringing together 5 different schools from the same number of European countries, which have undergone different realities during World War II, we aim at attaining a comprehensive image, gathering states from both sides, but also from the neutral states (like Turkey, which participated in the conflict only for a few months). Further on, as a consequence of World War II, Great Britain and Turkey were on the same side of the Iron Curtain, Croatia and Romania were on the other side, and Germany had a special status because of its territorial separation on both sides of the Wall, having different political-economic systems and different mentalities which should be harmonised today in the context of a united Europe.
A united Europe begins with collaboration and mediation of past conflicts, in such a way that they could be overcome, understood and assumed, in order not to repeat them in the future. We consider peace the root in analysing the causes and the realities of war. It is the only direction for people in order to become aware of its value and the necessity of keeping peace alive. This is the thread that unites the five partner schools who wish to have a safer future for students, teachers, parents, the communities they represent and for a united Europe.