The organizers of the Festival of Tolerance have recognized that care for the young is the most significant segment in the development of a democratic society, especially at the present time when we witness a rise in violence among the young, discrimination, social injustice, between peers and towards individuals of different nationality, religion or race. This prompted us to inaugurate in 2009 a new educational programme - Educational Mornings.
Through a multimedia and multidisciplinary approach, the lectures offer an educational experience through which pupils and students can understand which events brought about the Holocaust, one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the world. It is exactly the model of educating the youngest that starts the development of understanding and tolerance, the fundamental principles needed for healthy socialization to function. Together with students, Holocaust survivors talk about the injustice of the Nazi regime and stimulate an open dialogue and appeal to cooperation of cultural, educational and government institutions. Through discussion and exchange of opinions the young come to understand that accepting diversity and respecting differences is the only right way of living in a modern world.
Since 2009 more than 17,000 students have participated at Educational Mornings. It is a programme that is active throughout the year via several workshops and projects. So far it has been held 55 times in 14 Croatian cities, in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Austria, which hardly any other institution in Croatia that educates the public about the Holocaust can boast.
By introducing film media as a platform for education, each year selecting a feature film or documentary of high artistic and educational value, the young expand their knowledge of the Holocaust in a manner that they can easily understand, after which the platform discussion is open. We are proud of their reactions, as they readily admit that before the programme they knew very little or almost nothing about the Holocaust and that after the film and the lecture they talk about completely different learning experience. This is exactly what gives us strength and motivation to speak out further about the social problems of today and continued propagation of the need for dialogue at all levels, starting with those that are the pillars of a healthy democratic and pluralistic society.