Highlights: Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society, Serbia Launch, 25-27 July 2017
By Mr Peter Pece Gorgievski and Mr Miomir Rajcevic
The Danube Peace Boat and Unity in Diversity-World Civil Society Serbia event opened in the city of Novi Sad – the third largest city next to Belgrade, the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. International guests travelled in from Turkey, Greece, Italy, Croatia and Australia. It was a travelling event expertly organised and hosted by Media Education Centre.
Day 1 was held at Milan Petrovic School with more than 2000 students and users, which specialises in education for disabled from early childhood through to elderly with transition programs into mainstream schools, employment training, among other specialities in building inclusive societies. Participants saw several short films and shared their stories and initiatives, offering a chance to get to know each other, build friendships and explore new cooperation. The school was the home base for the event overall.
Day 2 continued in the historical city of Becej, beginning with an outdoor presentation of the Tandem Bicycle project. Bojan, a blind man, the member of the Media Education Centre, achieved his vision of building a tandem bicycle. He has since built 5 additional tandem bicycles with the support of Rotary Becej, Media Education Centre among others, and is offering the tandem experience to other blind people and their families to enjoy. The presentation was visited by K2 World Vice Champion from Serbia, Marko Novakovic.
The official launch of Unity in Diversity followed in the City Hall of Becej, with City of Becej and Rotary Becej as key partners. It brought together a large section of society, including representatives from local and federal government – Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth & Sport, Dept. of National Minorities and Religious Communities…. Also in attendance were key Becej organisations, including Museum, Art Gallery, Library, Tourist Organisation, From the private sector were major corporations, Linde Gas and Knott Group, 12 Rotary Clubs and 5 Rotaract Clubs, NGO’s and individuals from various fields of expertise throughout Serbia. The event concluded with an agreement from the City of Becej to join the partnership between Rotary, Media Education Centre, civil society and private sector to build the Unity in Diversity project.
An open air lunch hosted by Rotary Becej followed in beautiful surroundings. The youth participants had an opportunity to swim in the volcanic water pool. Participants then journeyed to the Dundjerski Castle for an afternoon of discovering the history of the region and enjoying the gardens. In the afternoon, an open forum was held by Rotary Regional Director bringing together 12 Rotary Clubs and 5 Rotaract Clubs in a presentation of projects and open discussion to join hands in the process of building Unity in Diversity.
Day 3 was held at the Novi Sad Museum and once again, brought an extended network of stakeholders and interested organisations in the 3 key areas of Media Education Centre: Digital, Media and Information Literacy, Danube Peace Boat, and Unity in Diversity. Another day yet of forging new partnerships in Unity in Diversity, with organisations such as the Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives Balkans, National Youth Organization KOMS, National Association of the local Youth Offices, Regional Environment Centre, Media Professionalism Organisation, International Youth Council, Local Government/Community coordinators and many others.
Throughout the 3 days, several TV interviews were given. Becej TV filmed the session at the City Hall. The event provided an enriching experience for its participants, strengthened existing efforts, and opened new pathways for dialogue and projects towards building Unity in Diversity, peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies.
Individuals and organisations interested in joining Unity in Diversity Serbia may contact Miomir Rajcevic, office(at)mediaeducationcentre.eu