Animated stories: Young people call for justice and peace in conflict-affected Ukraine

Feb 20, 2017

Respect for diversity and human dignity, solidarity, social inclusion and friendship – these were the issues young boys and girls raised in their own animated stories to advance the idea of social justice in conflict-affected Ukraine.

20 February 2017, Kramatorsk – On the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice on Feb. 20, UNDP brought together 20 boys and girls aged between seven and 15 for a two-day animation workshop. There, they learned about the basic techniques used to create animated stories, and how to advance the principle of social justice by removing barriers that people face due to disability, low social status, ethnicity, gender or race.

The art workshop, which was supported by funding from Sweden and Switzerland on 17-18 February 2017, aimed to bring together children of different backgrounds – internally displaced and local children, children with disabilities, and children from well-off or poor families – to promote tolerance, respect for diversity, and to foster social cohesion in conflict-affected areas of Ukraine.

Liubov, 60, the grandmother of Danylo, a boy with autism, was pleased with the way the event had gone.

“We attend such events to help (Danylo’s) socialization, and (his) interaction with other children,” she said.

“Not everyone is willing to interact with children with disabilities. However, the children accepted my grandson at this workshop, and they even used his idea as the basis for their animated story.”

Danylo worked together with other children on an animated story adapted from the well-known fairy tale “The Enormous Turnip.”

The Enormous Turnip

In this story, a grandfather plants a turnip, which grows so large that he cannot pull it up himself. He asks the grandmother for help, and they together still cannot pull it up. When their grandson who is disabled offers them his help, they reject it thinking he will not manage it. The grandson decides to help anyway and pulls the turnip out. The story calls for inclusion of people with disabilities in societies.

Other children’s animated stories raised the issues of discrimination at work on the grounds of race, and called for solidarity, harmony and friendship in society.

The General Assembly proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007, inviting Member States to devote the day to promoting national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly. Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity, and access to social well-being and justice for all.This year’s theme of the World Day of Social Justice is “Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work.”

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