Learning Democracy through Play

A festival of learning democracy through play – In a world which had yet to learn what Covid-19 was, Marhanets school #3 held the mini-festival “Country of Democracy” in Ukraine.

September 15 2019, on the occasion of International Day of Democracy, Marhanets school #3 held the mini-festival “Country of Democracy”. Teachers and representatives of the school student parliament prepared numerous events for the many people who flocked to the festival in the park.

The festival guests took part in the Enter Dignityland game, a card game on social rights. In the game they were Members of Parliament in an imaginary country, developing important public strategies and social policies for the next five years.

Social lotto developed by the Council of Europe invited the players to choose a problematic life situation and find a city social service that could help to solve it. Each participant of the event received a flyer with a list of important services and institutions available in the city. Interestingly, this game attracted young and elderly community members alike since players learned more about social rights and their links to social policies.

The participants could put together an interactive jigsaw puzzle My Democratic Choice and join the Thoughts about Democracy flash mob which enjoyed particular popularity.

As school pedagogue Alla Suprun says:

“We aimed to familiarize community members with the basics of democracy by means of play. The organizing committee that consisted of active participants of the Schools for Democracy: Supporting Educational Reforms in Ukraine Program developed the concept of the mini-festival.”

In addition to interactive games, the organizers of the festival prepared thematic information flyers, such as “Human Rights and Children’s Rights,” “Inclusive City,” “Where to Look for Help in Marhanets” and distributed them among the guests who attended the event.

As the school was preparing the festival, it established effective collaboration with city administration, social services as well as other schools and institutions in Marhanets. Effective partnership helped to implement the plan and organize a great festival that may become an annual event in the city.