Last June I got the chance to participate in a really exciting seminar hosted by the Anne Frank House. About twenty teachers or educational staff from all over the world were flown into Amsterdam to share their experiences with confronting prejudice and discrimination. When I got the invitation I immediatly got excited. Although I’m really passionate about projects that work agains racism and discrimination, I’m a new in this field. There is still so much to learn.
In the weeks going up to june we got information about the other participants, which was exciting but intimidating. We had principals, leaders of communities and people who set up really interesting projects. And the week still had to begin!
On the first night we got together for dinner, and it’s really true: Food brings people together. Although everyone was really tired from their flight ( people just came in from India, Japan, Canada or the States) it was clear that this was an inspirational group of people. People who love to fight for what they believe in. And boy do they have to fight….
During the week I got to know them better and got to taste a little bit of the problems that they face in their respective countries. Some problems were really recognizable, like the problems with homofobia. Other problems really shocked me. We had a keynotespeech by Sarah Wicht from the organisation Teaching Tolerance and she told us about the problems still happening in the US. How you can’t teach about gay rights or slavery in certain schools. I was so impressed how she stayed motivated after all this. The speech really made the group think about how we can use her wonderfull material all over the world.
We had allot of different workshops and keynote speakers. We laughed during the theater excercise, we cried during the tour through the Anne Frank House. But most of all we bonded as a group. Not only with the participants but also with the great staff : Ivana, Astrid, Cihan, Tobias, Sarah, Barry and many more. In the end of the week I was exhausted but also totaly motivated to work even more on a better world. With all the wonderfull tools I got that week.