The Glada Hudik Theatre, in collaboration with SI, has started the school project Children are not born with prejudices with 450 students in four schools in Latvia. Glada Hudik Theatre has been running the school project in Sweden for several years and has now, with SI’s participation, launched it in Latvia. Children are not born with prejudice is a door opener for discussing issues of prejudice, diversity and tolerance.

Schools in Latvia are now lining up to participate in the project, and we are excited to be able to expand the project to some 50 schools in Latvia this autumn and also launch a first initial phase in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. People with disabilities often live a limited life in countries that do not have a long tradition of inclusion. They are often quite invisible in society, which means that ignorance is great, which in turn can cause prejudices. There are still children that are institutionalised and separated from their parents.

The project means that teachers are trained in a 10-step method of working against prejudices, a method that fits children in Year 4–6. The method is based on reflection, own experience and conversation.In the evaluation with all teachers who carried out the project in Latvia, it has come to light how important it is to get concrete tools for dealing with discrimination issues practically in the classroom.

Mia Berglund, project manager at Glada Hudik Theatre, says ‘We have heard amazing stories about how the project has affected the students. It is also great to hear that our lecturers from a care centre in Riga who have visited the classes received a warm reception, and that students prepared thoughtful questions to ask them. The goal for the lecturers and their staff was to step outside their daily lives and move boundaries, both for themselves and society at large.’

Pär Johansson, founder and director of the Glada Hudik Theatre, says ‘With our experience and knowledge, we want to contribute to change fears and prejudices into understanding and friendship. For us, it’s natural to start with the children.’

Read more about the project here.

Films
In Latvia, Evija, Roberts, Marcis and Evija are ambassadors for the project. They travel around schools to meet students, inform and answer questions. You can meet them here: