The Day of the Rose T-shirt

pink_t'shirt_24.02.2016The team of Future for Children Association called for a challenge in connection with the World Initiative DAY OF THE ROSE T-SHIRT and the celebration of the WORLD DAY FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST BULLYING IN SCHOOL.

We called for all  schools in Kazanlak to wear pink, hang a pink ribbon / sticker, organize an event or initiative to show their commitment to fighting school bullying on 24.02.2016. We received feedback from most of them – some responded positively, others did not, and others were silent.

“While communicating with schools, their school principals, teachers, school psychologists and educational advisors, we have found that in a number of Kazanlak schools the celebration of the World Day Against School Bullying has become a tradition and in others it will be the first time.  It’s good that we do not close our eyes to the problem. The truth is: Yes, there are cases of aggression in our school. Yes, there are children who are bullied in school! Yes, aggression among children and school bullying are a fact! …

More recently, there has been talk of school harassment – more often after an incident at the school. Our provocation was to talk to students, teachers and parents to prevent bullying at school.”

We celebrated the World Day Against School Bullying with Flashmob being one of our suggestions. This was held at the High School “Ekzarh Antim I” in Kazanlak and the School “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” Ruzhena village, “Matti Bolgaria” Primary School and the National High School of Plastic Arts and Design in the city.

Children and teachers made a heart, a pink t-shirt and other shapes with their bodies, and thus they said together, “No bullying at school!” About the same time, at 12 o’clock in the morning, 25 pink balloons flew from National High School of Plastic Arts and Design “Acad. Dechko Uzunov “,” St.  Cyril and St. Metodius “, Vocational High School of Transport and Transport Management, Primary School” St. Cyril and St. Methodius “village of Razhena and Future for the Children Association. Our team was joined by the children of the Young Volunteer Club from  “Nikola Obreshkov” High School in Kazanlak.

With a “pink” mood, teachers and students showed and proclaimed their civic stance against violence and harassment at school including pink clothes, glasses, faces, exhibitions, multimedia presentations, polls among students, message boards, thematic classes devoted to aggression, and so on. This was a ROSE DAY IN KAZANLAK!

Radio broadcasting with the history and symbolism of that day and everything related to its marking was  on the school radio of Exarch Antim Secondary School. Fun and educational activities for the youngest were prepared at the Paisii Hilendarski Primary School in the village of Hadzhidimitrovo – there was a house of good works. In the Primery School “St. Paisii Hilendarski” in the town of Kazanlak a series of initiatives were taking place over consecutive days – decorating the trees with pink ribbons, placing pink messages at the entrance to the school and continuing the pink theme in the classrooms. The students of the “Dr. Peter Beron” Primary School of the village of Ovoshtnik put their pink glasses on during the day of school bullying and, moreover, they  organized an exhibition of hearts as a sign of sympathy. Poll on “Aggression in School (We Recognize the Types of Aggression and Where We Can Look For Help) and posters” YES to friendship, NO to bullying “are the initiatives that pupils from 5th to 8th grade realized in the village of Hadzhidimitrovo .

At the National Art School, everyone was able to write their own pink message against school harassment and put it on a cardboard t-shirt in the lobby. In addition, members of the Young Volunteer Club at the High School  produced an information poster for the Day to present the World Initiative to their classmates. Every student of the elementary school in the village of Ruzena on entering the building on Wednesday – 24th of February  received a personal message “Do not bully at school!”. On this very special day, the Students’ Councils also came in – it is through the children’s voice that the directors decided to promote the World Day Against School Bullying and its Symbolism at the “Paisii Hilendarski” Primary School and High School “Ivan Hadzhienov” in Kazanlak. A number of initiatives were also prepared at the “Georgi Kirkov” Primary School and the  “Mati Bolgaria” Primary School in Kazanlak.

We invited pupils, school directors and teachers to share with us how they show “Pink for bullying in school!” They uploaded photos on our Facebook page – Future for Children Association and shared their messages for kindness, humanity, affection and tolerance .

Each year, the last Wednesday of February is known as School Bullying Day also known as “Pink T-shirt Day”. On this day, the participants wear pink to symbolize their position and not accept bullying at school.

It all started in 2007  as a protest against a harassment incident in a school in Canada. The event was organized by two students – David and Travis. At the opening of the school year  a group of older students mocked and harassed a 9th grader for wearing a pink polo shirt so much that he started to cry. The next day, the two students decided to buy and distribute among their classmates 50 pink T-shirts to support their harassed friend.

This initiative quickly became popular among other schools through sms, emails and the media. In 2008, the Prime Minister of British Columbia announced that day in February for a day against bullying at school. Every year, more and more students are celebrating it, coming to school with pink T-shirts and clothes that says “Harassment stops here” and “Pink T-shirt Day.” The initiative was soon launched by thousands of schools around the world. It was celebrated in Bulgaria for the first time in 2012.

We at the Future for Children Association work to support children and young people and their families at risk and to develop volunteering. Since 2015, the organization has been developing activities, initiatives and campaigns to raise public awareness of the Association and the social services it manages. Individual initiatives include children and youths of different ages (mostly pupils) as volunteers and support the realization of various social causes. In this regard, we launched the Children’s Voice project funded by NGO Support Program in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009 – 2014, whose main goal is to give children the opportunity to express their opinions and to form socially responsive behavior. It was thanks to Children’s Voice project that we created a Young Volunteer Club in six schools in the  Municipality of  Kazanlak.

For nearly three months, two of the local organization’s specialists, who had five training sessions in each club, worked on them, each time involving topics, tasks and exercises to build relationships, teamwork and trust. They helped young volunteers to have a real appreciation of their individual abilities. After the end of the training phase, the children had basic and practical knowledge of what volunteering was, how to draw up a plan for their activities, how to implement it, how to attract resources to carry out their activities. And most importantly, they learned to express their opinions and share them with the group. They were motivated and had an area to express themselves in the community.

The initiative to show “Pink of aggression” at each school simultaneously was part of the Club’s activities. The children approached this task very seriously. That was our goal and more – to motivate them, to provide them with the opportunity to express themselves and the opportunity to declare themselves in society, said the children’s voice project team.