The broadest goal that we will pursue with the project “Unheard Crying of Lost/Stolen Children” is:
- to contribute to the understanding of the citizens of the European Union, its history and diversity, in which we will raise awareness of the European Union’s remembrance, common history, values and goals by promoting peace and well-being in the Union. We will achieve that by stimulating debate, reflection and development of networks.
As a part of this goal, we will honor the memory of one of the most important turning points in recent European history, i.e. the twentieth anniversary of the Proclamation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000).
The main purpose of the project is to raise awareness among the general public about the vulnerability and helplessness of lost/stolen children and, in this context, to reflect on violations of human (especially children’s) rights regardless of country, regime or time. This purpose will be achieved through various project activities that will be carried out in 2020 and 2021 in three countries, i.e. Slovenia, Serbia and Germany. These are:
- two events in Slovenia, which will shed light on the stories of stolen children of concentration camp prisoners in WWII and today’s minor migrants;
- Two events in Germany (Freiburg) to shed light on the stories of children stolen in WWII and their Germanisation in German society;
- Two events in Serbia that will shed light on the stories of parents who suspect that criminal organizations in the previous system stole their new-borns from maternity hospitals;
- A closing conference, where we will bring together all of the events and their content. Thus, we will present the parallels between the past, present and future of stolen and lost children.
Through the project, we will inform the public, make it aware of the historical facts about lost/stolen children, and draw the parallel between this facts and stories that are happening to migrant minors today across the Europe.
The expected results of the project are:
- a work of art created in a public place in each country, which will serve as a reminder of the atrocities related to children’s rights in the past and a reminder of the present time;
- Greater awareness and sensitivity to the issues of lost/stolen children, regardless of their nationality, regime and time;
- Raising awareness and respect for human rights as described in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;
- Increased awareness of young people who will learn through storytelling of those who have been victims of the discussed issue;
- Destigmatization and a decrease in stereotyping of migrants, especially migrant minors;
- Raising awareness and tolerance for minorities (asylum seekers, migrants, homeless, etc.);
- Raising awareness of the importance of EU values in the broadest sense.
LP – Zavod Samostojen si (Cerknica, Slovenia)
P1 – Association Geraubte Kinder-vergessene Opfer (Freiburg, Germany)
P2 – Association Nestale bebe Beograda (Belgrade, Serbia)
Duration of the operation: 01/09/2020-28/02/2022
Total value of the operation: € 98.530
The project is fully funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
We successfully completed the project at the end of February 2022 with a 3-day conference at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The most memorable results of the project: 3 public artwork displays
Mural in Postojna, Slovenia
Graffitti in Freiburg, Germany
Mural in Belgrade, Serbia
The project » Unheard Crying of Lost/Stolen Children « was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”
Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.2 “Networks of Towns”
Measure 2.3 “Civil Society Projects“
Strand 1 – “European Rememberance”
Preparatory activities: The activities involved 6 participants from the cities of Cerknica (Slovenia), Belgrade (Serbia) and Freiburg (Germany).
Location / Dates: Cerknica, Slovenia (from 18th to 20th September 2020)
Several online meetings with all project partners (August 2020 – May 2021)
Short description: These activities consisted of preparation of the entire project documentation, including the project’s logo, official letters, design of roll-ups and promotional activities, with which we informed various target groups about the purpose and goals of the newly created project; creating a Facebook page and publishing articles about the goals, purposes and planned activities (events) of the project. At the first meeting in Slovenia, partners from Slovenia, Serbia and Germany signed a consortium agreement and agreed on all the most important organizational, technical and contextual topics of the project. Preparatory activities also included the organization and preparation of events in each country, with each partner developing several possible scenarios for the implementation of events according to the unpredictable situation related to the coronavirus.
Events: Seven events have been carried out within this project:
Participation: The event involved 63 citizens, including 50 participants from the city of Celje (Slovenia), 1 participant from the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia), 1 participant from Ponikva pri Šentjurju (Slovenia), 1 participant from Rimske Toplice (Slovenia), 1 participant from Radeče (Slovenia), 1 participant from Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia), 1 participant from Šentjur (Slovenia), 1 participant from Vransko (Slovenia), 1 participant from Žalec (Slovenia), 1 participant from Griže (Slovenia), 1 participant from Petrovče (Slovenia), 1 participant from Nazarje (Slovenia) and 2 participants from Gaza (Palestine). Location / Dates: The event took place in Celje, Slovenia, from 06/05/2021 to 07/05/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event was to raise awareness of young people (high school students) about the horrors of child theft in Slovenia and beyond during the WWII and the current problems of young migrants coming to Europe en masse, which we achieved by watching a documentary about stolen children, moderated debate and storytelling workshop with dr. Žmavc, a stolen child from WWII and two young Palestinians, who live in Slovenia as asylum seekers.
Participation: The event involved 54 citizens, including 52 participants from the city of Belgrade (Serbia) and 2 participants from the city of Cerknica (Slovenia). Location / Dates: The event took place in Belgrade, Serbia, 29/05/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event was to carry out a public campaign and inform participants, passers-by and the general public about the criminal acts of theft of newborns from Serbian maternity hospitals in the previous century, which is a criminal act and as such represents the worst violations of human and children’s rights, with emphasis on presenting the issue by the Association Nestale bebe Beograda and victim stories by parents who suspect that their newborns have been stolen and handed over for illegal adoptions.
Participation: The event involved 84 citizens, including 73 participants from the city of Postojna (Slovenia), 1 participant from the city of Celje (Slovenia), 1 participant from Divača (Slovenia), 4 participants from Cerknica (Slovenia), 2 participants from Belsko (Slovenia), 1 participant from Ljubljana (Slovenia), 1 participant from Studeno (Slovenia) and 1 participant from Hrašče (Slovenia). Location / Dates: The event took place in Postojna,Slovenia, 18/06/2021 and 21/06/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event was to present the issue of lost migrant minors and young children coming to Europe, with an emphasis on children who are at some point lost due to various reasons. With the help of an educational workshop, we acquainted primary school students with the issue of migration and underage migrants, violations of their basic human rights and emphasizing the importance of respect for human rights. The aim of the event was also to contribute to the development of critical thinking of young people, emphasizing the possibility of influencing the general public through artistic expression (drawing murals, graffiti). The goal of the second day of the event was to present the project topics and activities to primary school students and to the general public and the official opening of the newly created mural at the Anton Globočnik Primary School in Postojna.
Participation: The event involved 43 citizens, including 25 participants from the city of Freiburg (Germany), 6 participants originally from Iraq, 1 participant from Russia, 3 participants from Kosovo, 1 participant from Serbia, 1 participant from Syria, 1 participant from Italy, 1 participant from Spain, 1 participant from Dominican Republic, 1 participant from Portugal, 1 participant from Turkey, 1 participant from Afganistan. Location / Dates: The event took place in Freiburg, Germany on 6th July 2021. Short description: The aim of the event was raising awareness among young people (high school students) about the theft of children during the WWII and the parallel stories of today’s young migrants coming to Europe for a variety of reasons and the horrors that await them on their difficult journey. The second part of the event was dedicated to drawing graffiti stencils (young people with the artist) and talking about artistic expression on unfortunate topics.
Participation: The event involved 42 citizens, including 42 participants from the city of Belgrade (Serbia). Location / Dates: The event took place in Belgrade, Serbia from 21st to 22nd December 2021. Short description: The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the general public about the theft of newborns in Serbia, which took place during the last century and emphasizing the problems of human rights violations, especially children’s rights, stressing the importance of artistic expression in public spaces to raise awareness and warnings of burning, often silenced issues of child theft and disappearance.
Participation: The event involved 61 citizens, including 53 participants from the city of Freiburg (Germany), 3 participants from Cerknica (Slovenia), 2 participants from Lodz (Poland), 1 participant from Bonn (Germany), 1 participant from Stuttgart (Germany) and 1 participant from Essen (Germany). Location / Dates: The event took place in Freiburg, Germany, from 27th to 30th July 2021. Short description: The aim of the event was a public debate and awareness-raising on the issue of stolen children during the Nazi regime and the problem of non-treatment and ignorance of the current authorities towards the victims of these horrific acts. In this regard, the aim was to raise awareness of the importance of recognizing Nazi acts as acts of genocide and the worst human rights violations, and the need to compensate the surviving victims. We achieved our goals with an open air event, where various activities were intertwined (screening of a film on the topic, public moderated debate, concert, storytelling workshops).
Participation: The event involved 126 citizens, including 100 participants from the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia), 9 participants from Cerknica (Slovenia), 3 participants from Serbia (Belgrade), 2 participants from Freiburg (Germany), 2 participants from Gaza (Palestine), 1 participant from Donji Kraljevec (Croatia), 1 participant from Celje (Slovenia), 2 participants from Kranj (Slovenia), 2 participants from Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia), 1 participant from Koper (Slovenia), 1 participant from Trbovlje and 1 from Velenje (both Slovenia) and 1 participant from Radeče (Slovenia). Location / Dates: The event took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 14th to 16th February 2022. Short description: The aim of the event was to raise awareness of students and the general public about the problems of the project, which we achieved by presenting all project activities and events and contributions of various NGOs that highlighted the topics from different perspectives, a storytelling workshop with young migrants from Palestine and screening of a film Stiches which presents a true story of a mother whose newborn was stolen from maternity hospital and illegally adopted. The film was followed by a debate with guests from Serbia. At the conference three 20-minute documentaries from each project partner were shown, depicting the circumstances of making the murals and graffiti and other project activities. The documentaries can be seen at project’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UCLSC.