“Let’s Stop Violence Together – Violence Does Not Stop By Itself”
Second conference of the "School without Violence“ networkBelgrade, 13 May 2010 – A two-day conference “Violence Does Not Stop By Itself” began today in partnership with the Ministry of Education of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and UNICEF. The participants will present systematic solutions and a protective network for children in and around school, regional plans for school networking within the programme and examples of good practice. The conference has brought together more than 350 students, teachers and principals of primary schools in Serbia, mentors of the “School without Violence“ programme, educational counsellors and inspectors, as well as representatives of competent ministries and UNICEF.
The objective of the conference is to strengthen and expand the network of schools without violence, stimulate better cooperation between schools and local communities and improve the educational performance of schools.
The conference was inaugurated by Minister of Education Zarko Obradovic; UNICEF Area Representative in Serbia, Judita Reichenberg; Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Serbia, Beatrice Meyer; and Director of Public Relations of the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Momcilo Cebalovic.
Minister Obradovic and UNICEF Area Representative Judita Reichenberg awarded certificates to representatives of 43 primary schools who have enabled further realisation of activities aimed at preventing violence within the “School without Violence” programme, thus joining a network of 101 schools without violence. Thirty-seven schools have received additional funds from the Delivery of improved local services (DILS) project so that they could broaden their experiences and provide support for other schools in preventing violence against and among children.
“Together with these representatives of 43 schools, a network of 101 schools without violence has been created. This is a significant number, but additional work is necessary so that all schools can become schools without violence – safe and stimulating environments for children and young people to work in and develop themselves. Your schools should set an example – they are the champions whose model will support other schools in improving their programmes of preventing violence, intervening in it and initiating changes in their own environments. In your dedicated work, you have the full support of the Ministry of Education “, Minister Zarko Obradovic said when he addressed the audience.
UNICEF Area Representative Judita Reichenberg also congratulated representatives on their certificates and said: “Only five years have passed since the first pilot schools applied the "School without Violence" programme, and now 101 schools pride themselves on having acquired the knowledge and skills necessary for tackling the problem of violence in a successful manner and for paving the way for other schools. You have undertaken a difficult task, but you should know that you are not alone and that we are here for you. We have carefully monitored your work and your achievements, but we have also paid attention to your remarks, concerns and, at times, failures… We are also making an effort to think of new ideas together with you, which will make you stronger.”
On the second day of the conference, there will be a review of the effect of programme implementation to date and plans for further steps and future work will be defined. By supporting the Declaration of the “School without Violence” network, all participating schools will once again be obligated to continually implement and cherish values established by the programme.
As active participants in the conference, students will analyse the activities of peer teams, discuss the role of students in preventing violent behaviour and intervening in it through peer support, think of ways to enrich programmes of prevention for students from older classes, and exchange experiences and examples of positive practice in their schools.
In the course of two-day’s work and learning, within the planned presentations and working groups, the conference “Violence Does Not Stop By Itself“ will help develop new approaches to solving the problem of violence, forming a safer protection network for every child and develop mechanisms to sustain and further develop the "School without Violence" programme.
The EKO Srbija company, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the agency Orange, have all contributed financially to organisation of the conference and realisation of the work of "Violence Does Not Stop By Itself".
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