Page 1


BOOK AUTHORS: Greta Markeviciute (16 Years) Kamilė Dambrauskaite (14 Years) Lukrecija Junelyte (12 Years) Mantas Padrostys (14 Years) Viktorija Padrostyte (7 Years) Jolita Juneliene Dr. Ariella Rosita King Editors Inesa Pranckaityte ir Dovile Barysiene Publication design was prepared by Viktoras Pinkevicius

ISBN 978-0-9980092-5-4 © Ariel Foundation International Lithuania, 2016


CONTENT

I. LONDON......................................................................................................7

II. BRUSSELS............................................................................................. ...12

III. THE HAGUE ...........................................................................................17

IV. AMSTERDAM .......................................................................................19

Greta Markeviciute...............................................................................7 Kamile Dambrauskaite..........................................................................9 Lukrecija Junelyte ...............................................................................10

Kamile Dambrauskaite........................................................................12 Lukrecija Junelyte.................................................................................13 Greta Markeviciute.............................................................................15 Mantas Padrostys................................................................................15

Lukrecija Junelyte.................................................................................17 Kamile Dambrauskaite........................................................................18 Greta Markeviciute.............................................................................18 Mantas Padrostys................................................................................18

Greta Markeviciute..............................................................................19 Kamile Dambrauskaite.......................................................................19 Lukrecija Junelyte................................................................................20 Mantas Padrostys...............................................................................20


FOR THE HELP DURING THE TRIP AND PREPARING PUBLICATION WE ARE GRATEFUL TO: H. E. Ambassador Rytis Paulauskas – constant representative at the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva Algirdas Saudargas – Lithuania’s Member of the European Parliament Corinne E. Dettmeijer – Dutch National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and sexual abuse against children H.E. Ambassador Darius Jonas Semaska - Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania in Netherlands Gabrielius Landsbergis – Lithuania’s Member of the European Parliament Jolita Juneliene – Paparciai Primary school teacher Julie Ward – United Kingdom’s Member of the European Parliament Ruta Kancleryte – Principle of St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Paparciai Saule Gaizauskaite – founder of Lithuanian Culture Center in Netherlands Vilija Blinkeviciute – Lithuania’s Member of the European Parliament Vytenis Tomkus - Mayor of Kaisiadorys


I am extremely happy that our children from Paparciai St. Joseph’s Home of Children, thanks to good people, and especially Dr. Ariel King, founder and president of Ariel Foundation International, had an opportunity to participate in the Children as Actors Transforming Society (CATS) conference, visit several European capitals and major cities, as well as meet their peers to discuss serious issues, such as: children and human rights, equality, justice, and youth role in the politics. I believe this experience was very useful for our students and opened their minds more. They could realize the importance of learning foreign languages, education, could observe the processes that are taking place right now in Europe and the whole world. It is important that our students not only travelled and enjoyed their time, but also could communicate with their peers from different countries, learned more about the processes that take place around the world, were introduced to the activities of European Union institutions, and could relate to the members of European Parliament representing our country as equals. Things that seemed to be far, foreign and unfamiliar before the trip became close, understandable and familiar after it. Therefore, this experience is priceless for the growth of children’s personalities and development of their life awareness. Children are our future, and very soon they will be in charge of Lithuania and they will determine what role in the world we will play. It is very likely that this trip will stimulate some of these children to seek for the higher education, will make an influence on their future job and maybe even will inspire them to participate in the politics. I am very delighted that it is already not the first year when children from our region of Kaisiadorys are participating in the world conference. I hope that children will have the same conditions in the future as well. I wish all the best in studies and life for the children from St. Joseph’s Home of Children! Vytenis Tomkus MUNICIPALITY MAYOR OF KAISIADORYS REGION


Children and young people are wonderful! I believe that with encouragement, given the chance, they can understand surrounding world and accept challenges that come their way more easily. This experience is important, because it leads to the better future for all of us.Ariel Foundation International – Lithuania actively encourages children and youth leadership, enterprise and community. We are inspired by the words of Hillel, who said: “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” It is undoubtedly a great privilege to have an opportunity to support the bright future of Lithuania’s youth. It is our hope to continue developing children and youth leadership in Lithuania for many more years to come. Dr. Ariella Rosita King THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE FOUNDATION

Thanks to the priceless gift given by Ariel Foundation International – Lithuania, a group of young people from Paparciai village could travel around the Europe, visit Paris, London, Geneva and Brussels. Children from the countryside could feel how big the world is, and recognize how wide opportunities are open for them. At the same time they could sense what are a tolerance, prejudice and attitude towards the representatives of different nationalities. Most importantly they could recognize that children all around the world are experiencing sadness and joy in the same manner, and adults should pay more attention, so that children could grow happily.

Ruta Kancleryte PRINCIPLE OF THE ST. JOSEPH’S HOME FOR CHILDREN IN PAPARCIAI


Someone once said: “Listen to the children. God is speaking through them”. Very often we think that children should listen to us, adults, because we know and understand more. Children should listen to us unconditionally. They must not have their opinion, and especially voice it out loud. Adults look very stagnantly at those who are trying to change the world, express their opinions, and teach them, who know everything. We are often constrained by prejudices and stereotypes. Especially, if you’re a kid from a small country, and even more so from the village, you are suppose to be illiterate, uneducated, can not have goals or great dreams. However, summer of the year 2015 became a springboard to a different future for the five children from Lithuanian region of Kaisiadorys, Paparciai village. Dr. Ariel King, the founder of Ariel Foundation International, unexpectedly offered to finance a trip to the annual international conference titled “Children as Actors Transforming Society” (CATS) in Switzerland, Caux castle. Already the fourth year adults and children from different countries gather here as equals to discuss and solve a variety of problems. With a help of theater and photography children learned to express their thoughts about the sensitive issues of the world - hunger, poverty, wars, shortage, violence and exploitation. Children shared their ideas and taught adults to play, communicate and work together. The conference was held in atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation. Children were genuinely surprised that they had the opportunity to express their opinion, and it was heard. During this trip the children had the opportunity not only to attend the conference, but also visit the United Nations, Disney World, and travel to Switzerland and visit a small town in France. Here they became acquainted with the French culture, people’s lifestyle and daily routine. Children met with the Tavaux town mayor and members of the community. This is a priceless experience and great responsibility to represent Lithuania in the world. Children visited the Netherlands. In the Ministry of Justice in Hague they met Mrs. C.E. DettmeijerVermeulen, who is responsible for the prevention of human trafficking and the sexual abuse against the children. During the private conversation children expressed their opinion that even until now there are kids who do not have a chance to study, experience safe childhood and be sure they will not be exploited for the labor or other activities. They think that governments around the world should focus more on caring for families, creating jobs for the parents, so that children wouldn’t need to quit schooling to go to work. During the two summer weeks and one autumn week, children visited Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands. This opportunity was given by the Ariel Foundation International – Lithuania, which financed children’s trip. It was a great chance for the children to broaden their horizons, improve their English language skills, as well as gain self-confidence through voicing their opinions and being heard. Jolita Juneliene ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER OF PAPARCIAI LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL


I. London Greta Markeviciute (16 Years) We have arrived to London Luton airport. I have never been here. It is my first time in London. Immediately I felt the life of a real city, it fascinated and intimidated me at the same time. On the way to the hotel I could see Big Ben and the great London Eye. It was wonderful and incredible to see all of this. After check-in we decided to stroll around the evening London – it is even more beautiful in the dark! We were full of good impressions. The next day we were on the tour in one of the eight royal parks. I heard many different stories about the royal family, saw a lot of impressive buildings and learned a lot about Great Britain. I was fascinated with

the stories of the guide; they left a deep impression on me. It was like learning English language and history, just not from the books. We were at the National British Museum. There I saw the Egyptian mummies, the old sarcophagus tablets, jewelry, war and working tools, sarcophagus of different size. Mostly I wanted to see the Rosetta stone - it is said that this is an ancient rock stele that helped to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. It presents the same text in three different languages - Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script and classical Greek language. The next day we went to Canterbury. This is a very beautiful city. We visited the cathedral (I recognized that this is a Gothic style). I was fascinated by its magnificence and beauty. There the Mass was held for the victims killed in France, choirs of men and boys were singing. It was indescribably beautiful. Later, we walked around the cathedral and 7


were trying to catch the most beautiful images on our phones and cameras. We had the opportunity to spend some time in Hertfordshire as well, take a walk in the nature, talk and rest a little from all the excitement, reflect on everything we saw already. The next morning we went back to London, to visit the Parliament. There we were accepted very warmly. I met acquaintances, friends, took pictures as the young men were discussing how they are getting ready to present their research on various issues related to the human rights. It was really interesting. One woman from the Parliament agreed

to show us around the palace. She told us that the British Parliament consists of the Lower House of Commons and the Upper House of Lords. Also she shared some facts, why the king and queen are not allowed to enter the House of Commons. She advised us to always look at the ceiling, so you can say we were walking with our eyes looking up all the time. We have seen the throne of Queen Victoria, learned that she was below average stature, so she had a small chair close to the throne to look taller. I am glad that I will have something to share with my friends.

8


Kamile Dambrauskaite (14 Years) We arrived to London on Thursday. After arriving to the hotel we had a good sleep, and the next day we went to the Green Park, one of the eight royal parks. There we had a tour around various buildings of London. It was very interesting to know something you have never seen or heard before. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, still it was very interesting. After the tour we went to the British Museum, where we saw a pharaohs sculptures, various relics from Egypt, a variety of gold jewelry. After the museum we went to the hotel to rest. After a short rest we went to Canterbury. There we visited Canterbury Cathedral; it was indescribably beautiful and great in size. We have attended the Mass for those who were killed in France. Of course, the British Mass was held in a different way. I would say it was more interesting than the Mass in Lithuania. Later, we walked around the old town, bought some souvenirs, and visited Hertfordshire Park. The next day we went to London, the Parliament Palace. We had an excursion there. We learned about the fire that once occurred there. We were told that there was a competition to see who will be the first to restore the palace. The

9


representative of the Lower House told us few interesting stories about the parliament, showed the former room of the Queen Victoria. We have seen the queen’s throne. It was so small, but very nice. We were walking around the British Parliament. The lady showed us the side that belong to the Lords, and the side that belong to the peasants. She explained that the queen couldn’t enter the side of the peasants. Parliament House ceiling is the second largest in the world! Each side has thirty little angels. There was a speaker in this palace who could vote only when it was a tie. The speaker would receive money for that. That money was quite big, maybe even bigger than the one prime minister or president would receive. We were at the Big Ben. It is very nice and big. Also we visited St. Augustine’s Abbey, it is also very beautiful. I enjoyed walking around Canterbury, there is a very nice river Stour. We have seen the remaining city walls, Renaissance Tudor palace. I liked Canterbury very much, and I would like to come back here again. Lukrecija Junelyte (12 Years) We have arrived to Kaunas airport. We had to change airplanes, because the first could not take off due to technical problems. The flight to London was great, the weather as well. When we arrived, we were greeted by our friend Ariel and all together we went to the hotel. After check-in we were going 10

to eat. We received a map and by following it we had to get to a Chinese restaurant, but we decided to stay in a different fast-food bistro. There we bought a meal and went to the pool of an interesting shape. We sat on the benches and ate peacefully. When we returned to the hotel, we went to sleep. In the morning, during the meeting, we decided to go to the center of London. There we had a tour in the park. We listened to the stories of a guide, visited many interesting places, history of which was very useful. We gained a lot of knowledge, which surely will be useful in the school. It was amazing, because we were at the National British Museum! We have seen the coffins of the ancient Egyptian kings! Skulls and impressive “Rosetta stone”. It was written in hieroglyphs and translated into 3 languages on the top of it. The museum was really very big. It is pity we could not visit all of it. On Saturday we went to Canterbury. We


stayed at the hotel, but our room was not ready yet. We had a bit of rest and moved on to the city. Cathedral was wonderful! It was raining that day, but it didn’t bother us at all. We went to drink hot chocolate. We received wonderful cups as a gift! Our plans didn’t change and we went to the church. Its beauty is incredible! Sunday morning we went for a stroll. We were filming “Happy” video. We could

observe an interesting school through the fence. We visited those places we had no time to go on Saturday. After return to the hotel, we got into the car and went to the other city. Again checked-in into the hotel (all hotels had the same name - “YHA”). We went for a walk in the park and after return to the hotel around 8:30 pm went to sleep, because Monday morning we had to wake up really early. Kamile and I woke up a bit earlier than others to prepare breakfast. We left early, and went to the British House of Parliament. It was WONDERFUL! Stories about this palace were very very interesting: I was listening and watching with my mouth open! All the knowledge about Big Ben and Parliament will be very useful for my education in the future. When we were in the Parliament building I felt so small, because the ceiling is very high. I didn’t know that Queen Victoria was so short, and it appears that her husband was very tall man. After visiting the Great London Ferris Wheel we departed for Brussels. The journey was very long and took us five hours. We took the train that went under the water! It was dreadful, but also lots of fun at the same time. I felt sick for a short while, but got better quickly. We have arrived to an impressive hotel, where we received a small phone instead of a key! I would like to live in such a place. These five days were wonderful!!!

11


II. Brussels Kamile Dambrauskaite (14 Years) We are arriving to Brussels on Monday. It is very nice! We have arrived to “Fun key” Hotel, we were very tired, so we went to our rooms to sleep. The next day we met with our friends, we missed them a lot. After a short chat, we went to the city to visit the cathedral. It is very beautiful. We were walking in the rain, it was very wet, but interesting. Inside of the cathedral you can visit the ruins of an old cathedral. After return to the hotel we went to the Parliament. There all the children presented their activities from CATS Conference. It was very interesting to see what our friends have prepared,

what have they experienced and what this means to them. Later after the presentations, we had to talk in teams about our experiences, what we would like to change among children and adults. It was decided that the children should accept the opinion of adults, while adults should accept children’s opinion and make efforts to understand what they think. Children can also express themselves through their actions and show what they are capable of. They are as intelligent as adults. After the discussions we presented our conclusions. I think that we really were able to hold a conversation with adults. Evening time we had dinner all together. It was so much fun. The next day we

12


went to the Parliament for a business breakfast with the European Commissioners. We were discussing children rights and their communication with adults. It was very interesting to talk to them, express our thoughts and hear what their opinion about us is. Later, after the breakfast, we said goodbyes to our friends and went into the meeting hall. We were greeted by Vilija Blinkeviciute. It was very unusual to meet a Lithuanian in a foreign country and talk in your own mother tongue. It was a great honor to participate in the counsel of the parliament members. We listened to their conversations with a great interest. They were discussing about the children’s poverty, what needs to be done to eliminate it. Our topics overlapped, because we discussed the same issues in our group work. Therefore it was interesting to hear that adults are thinking the same way as us, kids.

A bit later we met Gabrielius Landsbergis. Mostly we were sharing with him our impressions, what we liked the most, what have we done during this period and what do we think about children rights. It was really interesting talking to him. Later his assistant showed us around the Parliament building. We saw many interesting things. It was first time having lunch in the Parliament’s canteen. We came back to the hotel. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, everyone enjoyed the day spent in the Parliament.

13

Lukrecija Junelyte (12 Years) We arrived to the hotel late at night, tired, but happy to reach our destination. We were shown where is the kitchen, how to open the door (outside and inside). It was great because the room key was operated by a small phone were we found some games! On Tuesday morning Greta, Kamile and I got up early. We got ready, cleaned the room and went downstairs to the kitchen to have breakfast. I wanted to see my friends, tried to imagine what the reactions will be when we see each other. I have already started thinking about next year CATS conference. Later we were writing reports, how we felt being in London (England). After all the discussions we were about to go to our rooms, but suddenly we saw our friend from France! We all hugged, but unfortunately we had to go already. We went to the city, where we had only three hours to look around the cathedral. We travelled with a bus. Greta’s task was to buy tickets. She did great job conversing in English.


Ariel had to take money from the ATM, she said she will be back soon; therefore we were standing next to the shop that baked waffles and waited for her. We were taking interviews from each other, asking where we are, what we are doing, what will we do, what is the weather, etc. After Ariel’s return we bought some waffles and ate them with a great appetite.

14

Almost at the cathedral, Ariel stopped us to take a picture, because the view was truly fantastic. I have never seen such a beauty. Immediately after entering inside I raised my eyes upwards. Dome was so high, it made me feel small, but strong at the same time. The time has come when we had to return to the hotel. We took a bus and with a help of the map returned safely. After return to the hotel I saw many familiar faces and felt happy, that almost all my friends are together again. We climbed to the second floor, sat in the circle and were told that we will have to introduce ourselves, but I knew all of them already. We told our names and where we are from. Later we played some games and discussed our plans for Wednesday. It was fun, we laughed a lot. Then all the time until 6 pm was free, we could do whatever we wanted, but we were suggested to go to the city. Greta and I didn’t want to go, but then after second thoughts we realized that we won’t have a second chance like that, therefore decided not to stay at home. Warmly dressed we went towards the city center. We talked a lot about school, took many selfies with friends at the subway station. We approached a sculpture of an interesting shape that was decorated with Christmas lights. It was sparkling with different colors in the evening dusk. I taught couple of my friends to say “hello”, “thank you” and “Merry Christmas” in Lithuanian language.


After return to the hotel we shared our impressions and didn’t go to sleep until late. We woke up at 8 am, greeted our friends, prepared some breakfast and ate while chatting. It was Wednesday, a hard day. We gathered in the same room and discussed our plans for today. Greta Markeviciute (16 Years) Finally we have arrived to Brussels. Here we met with our friends from CATS conference. They are wonderful people with some great ideas, full of sincerity and understanding. We spent a meaningful and great time together. We have visited Parliament, where we presented our experience to the members of European Parliament. I was worried a bit, not only for myself, but for others as well, but I believe everything went well. Then we divided into groups and discussed what we heard, realized, what we would like to change in the society, telling each other short stories, providing a variety of examples, we talked how things should be and how they are in reality, we shared experiences, convictions, supported each other’s opinion, helped each other. The next morning all of us met again in the European Parliament for the business breakfast with the European Commissioners. Kids and adults together spoke about various children problems; everybody expressed their views and sought for the compromise. I think that we really did it! I’m not the one that speaks English very well, but with the help of others I could engage into the discussion. I greatly appreciate how sincerely they communicated with me, I appreciate their friendship. It was a bit hard to say goodbye to them. It is strange, but I wanted to communicate with them despite the lack of the necessary skills. I am sure that I will never forget them, in such a short period they have become especially important to me. I hope that someday we meet again. We attended the conference were the problem of children poverty was discussed, listened to various presentations and discussions. Unexpectedly, in this conference we met MEP Vilija Blinkeviciute. She is a very energetic, warm and joyful woman. We had an opportunity to meet with Gabrielius Landsbergis. It was very interesting to talk about different things. We told him about CATS conference, its activities and our trip. We talked about the books we read - this is particularly relevant topic for me because it’s one of my main activities! This person has left a big impression on me with his sincerity and openness. He had an idea to present us with the old Lithuanian state flag! That made me very happy!

Mantas Padrostys (14 Years) After London we went to Brussels. There we stayed in the “Fun Key” Hotel. We unpacked and then went downstairs. Here I met with a friend. Together with other kids we had some job to do. Then we went for a walk around Brussels. I have seen a lot of beautiful buildings. We walked and talked. Brussels has a very heavy traffic. It was raining heavily. I saw

15


a strange figure, which reminded me a molecule. It was very large, made from iron and had lamps. Then we went until the subway and returned to the “Fun Key” Hotel. We spent a night, and when we woke up we went to the European Parliament. In the Parliament’s library Greta and I presented our impressions after the CATS conference. Security guards met us at the Parliament. I felt very good,

16

because we were going to the parliament! I really liked the security check. We met Vilija Blinkeviciute in one of the meeting rooms. We were thrilled. We took a picture with her and listened to her speech. We met with Gabrielius Landsbergis. We sat down and talked. He has visited a lot of care homes. He told us how he started his activities. Gabrielius gave us an old Lithuania’s state flag as a present. We were


III. Hague very happy. An assistant of Gabrielius Landsbergis showed us around the Parliament. We had lunch in the Parliament’s canteen. After lunch we went back to the “Fun Key” hotel. The very next day we packed our luggage into the car and drove to the Holland. Lukrecija Junelyte (12 Years) Atvažiavom į Hagą. Gražiai apsirengę nuėjomWe have arrived to Hague. Nicely dressed we went to meet the Lithuanian ambassador Darius Semaska. I was honored to get acquainted with him. I kept thinking that other children will not have such a chance, and that they even have no idea where we are and what we are doing. During the conversation with the ambassador few things surprised me: he remembers a lot and he can explain about his work very well. He is living the same, only more difficult

life as we are. He takes his children to the soccer practice, cooks food, takes his dog out (whose name is Nuga) and also he has his own car that he rides to the store for the grocery shopping. Most people think that there are other people who do such things instead of the ambassadors, but I was surprised to learn that it appears to be otherwise. Ambassador offered us to visit him in the evening, as there will be the viewing of the film. We agreed, of course. The ambassador himself offered to drive us around the city. I know many people will not believe it, but yes, the ambassador himself. It was very interesting to listen to his stories. Having parted with Darius Semaska we went to meet a woman who is against child poverty and sexual exploitation. Of course, I didn’t like this topic, but such things are happening in the world and it frightens me very much. We had

17


tea and ate biscuits, also, we discussed how we can change it. After saying good-bye I kept thinking for a long time, how can people treat children in such a way. I hope things will change. Upon returning to the hotel we quickly changed clothes and went to the town. After a short stroll we went to the Lithuanian film review at the Lithuanian Ambassador’s place. It was so good that they had nuts and juice. Lithuanian films were shown, what I really liked. One of the films was quite funny, and the other was quite sad. After the viewing we met with other Lithuanians who are living here already about 10 years and speak fluent Dutch and English. This encouraged me even more to pursue my life goals. We left late in the evening, we were tired and hungry, so we went to a fast food restaurant. After the dinner we went home to sleep.

beautiful. Here traffic is very strange: cars, bicycles and trams are riding on the same road. It was very interesting to see a different life. Later, we went to meet with a woman who is against child poverty, children trafficking and sexual exploitation. We talked with her, it was very interesting. After the talk we went back to meet with the Ambassador. He showed us a number of Lithuanian films. It was very interesting, I felt very happy and uplifted. I liked Hague a lot, I would like to come back here again. Greta Markeviciute (16 Years) Later, we went to Hague that is in Netherlands. There we met with Lithuanian Ambassador. He is very warm, nice and interesting person. The conversation was a bit formal (as it should be), but we found out that the Dutch embassy employs five Lithuanians and three more are working in other justice institutions. He also talked about his work, how he solves problems with the documents. Also he told that he owns a dog whose name is Nuga. She keeps him company when Ambassador is using a Twitter. He showed us the city of Hague and acquainted with the attractions in the surrounding area, told interesting stories. In the evening, we were watching short films made by Lithuanian directors. We could meet other Lithuanians. It was nice to hear our own native language. In the Ministry of Justice we met with Mrs. Corinne Deittmeir, a woman who is working against child abuse and sexual abuse. She asked us a lot of questions related to children’s rights, what we should do to avoid poverty, how we can reduce it. We listened to each other’s proposals and shared our thoughts.

Kamile Dambrauskaite (14 Years) After all the travel we arrived to Hague. We stayed at the hotel and then we went to meet with Lithuanian Ambassador Darius Semaska. He told us about the work of the Ambassador, what they are doing. It was very interesting to listen to his stories and additionally, we were honored to talk to him. After all, he is the Ambassador who has a lot of work, but he spent time with us - the children from the countryside. It was really a great honor and happiness. I felt like I was a small ambassador as well. Later, the Ambassador showed us Hague, we saw a lot of different buildings. They are really very

Mantas Padrostys (14 Years) After Brussels we went to Hague. There we met with Lithuanian Ambassador Darius Semaska. The Ambassador told about his work and guided a tour around the Hague personally. There we saw

18


IV. amsterdam a variety of beautiful buildings, we heard some interesting stories. Ambassador invited us to watch films, one film was about Lithuanians and Americans, the other was about a daughter and a father who wanted to meet. But before that, we went to meet the justice minister. We talked about the rights of children. One of the children’s rights is to be fed and have a right to education. I suggested that the government should support parents who do not drink and help children. I loved visiting a justice minister. After the meeting, we returned to the Lithuanian

embassy and watched films. I really enjoyed it. Greta Markeviciute (16 Years) We came to Amsterdam. I saw some very interesting buildings, but mostly I was happy to have a possibility of visiting a museum of Anne Frank. I have read a book about Anne Frank once, but to see everything in reality (pictures, things and rooms) was incredible. I admired the girls mind, understanding of the world, saw how many people are shocked by her memories and feelings. I agree with those who said that she changed the world. Just how much was needed, that people could understand this? I was sad to hear how many people had to suffer and die because no one understood them. I wish that there would be no longer wars in the world. I can not understand how people can kill each other for money, power and other things. Why there cannot be 10 different religions? It is not right! Are people, especially children, guilty for who they are, where they live, what their faith is? We are talking about these issues everywhere, but these things are happening until now. I have a lot of questions. People are able to create an impressive technology, buildings, but fail to create peace in the world?! I often think about such things, therefore I am happy that I had an opportunity to attend the conference, where people were encouraged to listen to

19


children, their wishes and thoughts. I am confident now more than ever before. I sincerely thank the people who supported me and helped me. Kamile Dambrauskaite (14 Years) On Saturday we arrived to Amsterdam. We visiteSaturday morning was just wonderful, the sun was shining, it was warm. I thought the whole day will be like this. I was anticipating, because we were planning to go to the museum of Anne Frank. I did not even know who she was. It turns out she was a 14 years old Jewish girl who wrote a diary about her life. That was those terrible years, when the Jews were being exterminated. And the girl Anne with her family was hiding in the house, and wrote her diary. It was very interesting to walk around the house, where once she was walking. I am the kind of a person who likes such things, so I was very excited. I want to read her diary in Lithuanian language. Short clips from her life and about Jews were shown. Interestingly, her father survived, managed to preserve all of her writings and opened the museum of Anne Frank. She was a very brave girl, who in spite of the eradication of the Jews remained calm and believed that everything will end soon. I had a goosebumps all over my body when I saw how brutally they were tortured. I have never thought that people were treated this way. Stories about Anna and her diary that she wrote inspired me to read more and write. Looking at the pictures I have got an impression that she was very sweet and beautiful girl. While walking around the museum I felt like I was taken to those dark times. I have set a goal to read her diary. After leaving the museum I kept thinking about her for a long time. I could not

imagine how she survived all of it. To observe how your relatives and other people are dying is cruel. Outside a strong wind was blowing and it was terribly cold. We got into the car quickly and for three hours drove to Brussels. I was a little worried, because after the attacks in France security was increased in Brussels. But everything went well. Mantas Padrostys (14 Years) After the Hague we went to Amsterdam. We spent the night there. And then we went to the museum of Anne Frank and saw the original diary. We watched a short film about her life, how Anna was hiding. It was very interesting because she was the same age as I am. I feel sorry that Anne did not survive. After the war, her father published her diary. Some people believe that Anna is a good person, but some thought that Anne and her family were bad people. I think she could still live. She was a good person. Let her rest in peace. From Amsterdam we traveled back to Brussels. We went back home from there. I really enjoyed the trip.

20


ISBN 978-0-9980092-5-4

AFI Lithuania the Trip of Human Rights Told by Children  

AFI Lithuania - children from Lithuania villages and towns from all backgrounds went on a trip of Human Rights to the UN in Geneva, they spo...

AFI Lithuania the Trip of Human Rights Told by Children  

AFI Lithuania - children from Lithuania villages and towns from all backgrounds went on a trip of Human Rights to the UN in Geneva, they spo...