NOTEBOOK OF FRIENDSHIP: UNITING CHILDREN OF THE EARTH
Many of us enjoyed questionnaires in childhood. We answered questions of our friends, shared our recommendations, advice, and drawings. The association ‘Notebook of Friendship’ developed this idea. It invited schoolchildren from different countries to share their ideas on transforming the world. The schoolchildren describe their cities, regions, and socially significant projects with their participation in their notebooks. Then they send those notebooks to children from other countries. That is an interesting way to conduct inter-cultural information exchange.
Maria Oshchepkova, director of ‘Notebook of Friendship’ initiative, an international programme for the development of socially significant initiatives of children and youth, shared more about the project.
The association is implementing a number of long-term programmes aimed at support of the Sustainable Development Goals introduced by the UN for the period up to 2030. Schoolchildren from the majority of Russia’s regions and from abroad take part in the programmes. They exchange their ‘notebooks of friendship’ and share their experience of participation in socially important activities and events. The programme has been operating since 2006. It has attracted 1.5 million children and adults as participants.
Schoolchildren’s ‘notebooks of friendship’ turn into self-made almanacs embodying their authors’ creative and intellectual abilities. The participants who win all contests can present their projects within UN platform in Geneva.
According to Maria Oshchepkova, the ‘Notebook of Friendship’ initiative is an alternative educational technology aimed at bringing together children from all parts of Russia and those from other countries. Thanks to it, children can develop and fulfil their potential, abilities, and talents irrespective of their school achievements, physical qualities, place of residence, social status, and age. In addition, the programme helps build communication between children, teachers, and parents, because many contests presuppose cooperation between them.
The programme ‘Notebook of Friendship: Uniting Children of the Earth’ is active throughout full academic year and includes a number of contests. Schoolchildren from different cities and countries team up and fill in their ‘notebook of friendship’ sharing about their cities, regions, and projects designed to contribute to the UN’s SDGs. In addition, every team taking part in the programme is to prepare an interactive exercise for another team.
Ms. Oshchepkova is an active woman and a professional youth worker. She loves this activity and puts every effort into helping the rising generation fulfil potential, improve skills, and develop talents. The young participants of the project inspire her. In addition to taking part in contests, they sincerely strive to contribute to addressing the global problems of the humanity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite being so young, they are already active citizens who are non-indifferent to what is happening around. According to Maria Oshchepkova, the schoolchildren are especially concerned about the environment. They often write about the pollution of cities and water reservoirs in their ‘notebooks of friendship’. The schoolchildren offer the ways to address the problem. For example, they think through new ways of waste management and recycling together with their teachers and parents.
The speaker finds it necessary to bring up right life values in people from early age. “We must learn to approach life rationally, to think about the future. We must leave behind a planet for our children to live in peace and comfort, to enjoy clean air, beautiful nature, and peaceful skies”, she said.
The Second Eurasian Women’s Forum will pay much attention to the topic titled ‘Women for Global Security and Sustainable Development’. An inter-parliamentary dialogue and several strategic sessions will take place within the Forum. The participants will share about projects aimed at achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov