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Schools awarded in UNESCO ASPnet global contest ‘Opening Hearts and Minds to Refugees’

Students and teachers representing schools from 10 countries were awarded at a prize ceremony for the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) global contest ‘Opening Hearts and Minds to Refugees’ at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 6 July, 2017.


The contest, to produce artwork including paintings, collages, short stories and video clips, was organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance - Tolerance Centre.

Its aim was to raise awareness about the rights of refugees and the need to respect and support them. The contest, aligned with the ASPnet priority, Global Citizenship Education, was open to the 11,000 ASPnet member schools. They encouraged their students to use different artistic expressions to promote a culture of living together and international understanding that cherishes diversity.

The ten winners - pre-primary, primary and secondary schools - were selected by a jury from applications received from all over the world. The jury also gave four special mentions to additional works for the strong messages they expressed in engaging with the theme.

With the strong support and funding of the Tolerance Centre, the first, second and third prize winning schools receive USD 2 000, 1 500 and 1 000 respectively for the purchase of educational materials.

Hope for a common, inclusive future

Ms Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, said: “With the challenges encountered daily by refugees trying to settle in a new country, the artworks of these students demonstrate hope for a common, inclusive future in which no one is left behind”.

Addressing the students Mr Svein Osttveit, Director of the Executive Office, UNESCO Education Sector and representative of the Assistant Director-General for Education, said: ‘We can see from your artworks that you have done research to know about refugees. You put yourselves in their shoes and you used your creativity to tell us that we should, like you, open our hearts and minds and learn to live together’.

Ms Elena Pronicheva, Deputy Director of the Tolerance Centre, underlined the effectiveness of the work of the Centre with UNESCO, based on the prevention of xenophobia and extremism, which includes the issue of international migration and refugees rights.

The artwork will be exposed on the UNESCO and Tolerance Centre websites.

The laureates are:

Pre-school category:

-          1st Prize: Special Education Institution Saulespuķe from Islice parish, Bauska Municipality, Latvia

Collage: Untitled

-          2nd Prize: Public Preschool institution, Nasa radost, from Herceg-Novi, Montenegro

Painting/CollageChildren’s world house of love and hope for all

-          3rd Prize: Escola Virolai Griu from Barcelona, Spain

Painting/Collage: Untitled

-          Special Mention: Sterrenbos Hamme, from Hamme, Belgium

Drawing/Collage: Untitled

Primary school category:

-          1st Prize –  ex-aequo :  13th Primary School of Trikala,  from Trikala, Greece

Painting: Untitled

1st Prize – ex-aequo: École Internationale Bilingue Victor Hugo from Paris, France

Collage: Cœurs et esprit ouverts aux réfugiés

-          2nd Prize: Colegio Americano Anáhuac from San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico

Painting: Extrañando el hogar (Missing home)

-          3rd Prize: Sterrenbos Hamme, from Hamme, Belgium –

Painting/Collage: Untitled

-          Special Mention: HIM Academy Public School, from Hamirpur, India

Drawing/Collage: Untitled

Secondary school category:

-          1st Prize: Centre Régional d’Enseignement Technique et de Formation Professionnelle Région Maritime (CRETFP-RM) from Lomé, Togo

Video Clip : Soutenons les réfugiés

-          2nd Prize: Agrupamento de Escolas Frei Gonçalo de Azevedo from S. Domingos de Rana, Portugal

Video Clip: We need you!

-          3rd Prize: Al Itqan American School from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Short Story: The Week

-          Special Mentions (2):

Baku European Lyceum from Baku, Azerbaijan

Video Clip: Let’s open our hearts to refugees

IES Ramiro de Maeztu from Madrid, Spain

Short Story : Un voyage en 140 caractères

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