“What color is your smile?”
On June 7th, the “Journalists of the Future” project hosted a unique session titled “What Colour Is Your Smile?” at the Panos Solomonides Cultural Centre and the Cyprus Theater Museum. Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation collaborated with Little Odysseus to organize this remarkable event, marking the successful completion of the project this academic year.
Two hundred forty students from nine public school classes participated in a series of workshops focused on essential themes like empathy, unity, gratitude, and the five fundamental pillars of humanity.
The children worked in teams to choose quotes from famous literary works and wrote their texts, highlighting their right to express their opinions and perspectives. These young journalists infused their work with their unique voices and optimistic messages by incorporating phrases from well-known books into their writing. The outcome was a collection of pieces written by children for children to broaden their horizons and enhance their abilities.
Another master class’s emphasis was on the universal right to education. The children were engaged in an imaginative exercise exploring five different libraries through stories and words. This exercise helped them comprehend the crucial pillars of Humanity. By solving puzzles, and unravelling riddles about topics like travel, philosophy, art, architecture, science, and literature, the children gained a deeper understanding of the importance of education.
A fascinating experimental master class was conducted simultaneously, focusing on promoting Unity and Gratitude. It was facilitated by guests from Greece, namely Panos Christodoulou, the author of the book “Do I have rights? I have rights!” and Kula Panaghu, a teacher. They organized an interactive game with the children that allowed the participants to construct a “City of Rights for Children.” Through this game, the children learned not only about their rights, which they often take for granted but also about the reality that there are countries where children are denied these rights. By linking the rights of the children of Cyprus to those of children from other nations, they created a city in a fun and engaging way.
During the break between master classes, a press conference was organized with speakers who expressed their wholehearted joy at the children’s success. They also wished the students a brighter, more interesting academic year and discussed plans to expand the project to involve more schools and children.
Among the speakers were our Founder, Ms. Julia Dashina; Mr. Nicos Nicolaides, Mayor of Limassol; Angela Chalkiopoulou, Creative Director & Founder of “Little Odysseus”; Natalia Ryaba, Head of the Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation; Petros Panaou, writer and Head of the Department of Children’s Literature at the University of Georgia (USA), Panos Christodoulou, writer & general manager of the Network for Children’s Rights in Greece, and Argie Moutafis Agelarakis and Carolina Cambronero Varela, live from New York and representing the multi-institutional global initiative Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation.
Our sincere gratitude goes out to the Municipality of Limassol, the Panos Solomonides Cultural Center, and the Cyprus Theater Museum for their invaluable aid in organizing and hosting this momentous occasion. We are confident we will continue bringing new, captivating, unifying initiatives in the upcoming year!