Fri 28 Sep 18
Our 2018-19 Dora Love Prize was launched yesterday with greater interest than ever from schools across Essex and Suffolk.
Twenty-one schools are expected to enter into the annual prize, which teaches young people about the Holocaust, discrimination and intolerance. The launch, at our Colchester Campus, was attended by 150 pupils from years 7 to 10, from 15 schools.
Named after Holocaust survivor Dora Love, who lived and worked in Colchester for the last 40 years of her life, the prize aims to instil responsibility and awareness in young people to combat hatred and intolerance.
This year’s theme, Torn from Home, explores the refugee experience. Pupils at yesterday’s launch attended workshops exploring how Holocaust survivors started new lives after the end of the Second World War, what their lives were like before they became victims and how genocide happens and how it can be prevented. They heard from those who lived through the Holocaust, historians, campaigners and social anthropologists.
Drama workshops helped pupils imagine what it feels like to be a refugee, and there were sessions on how we can all combat the politics and language of hate and the importance of voice, body language and words for powerful public speaking.
Pupils also explored the experiences of the Roma community of the Second World War and today and heard from Jim Davies, a member of a Romany Gypsy community that has faced racial abuse and discrimination.
"The awareness that work for greater tolerance, for human dignity and human rights starts on our doorsteps, in our schools and in our local communities."
Professor Rainer Schulze, of our Department of History, explained this year’s theme: “The theme is of particular relevance today as currently millions of people are being torn from their homes around the world because of war, persecution, or because they see no chance for a reasonable standard of living in their countries.
“This is a huge challenge for all of us. How do we treat people who are in search of a decent and safe life, like the lives we enjoy? Do we welcome them and help them to become part of our local communities, or do we reject them?
“The Dora Love Prize tries to foster a sense of personal responsibility and the awareness that work for greater tolerance, for human dignity and human rights starts on our doorsteps, in our schools and in our local communities.
“We remember the past in order to act responsibly in the present and shape our common future.”
One teacher, from King Edmund School in Rochford, said: "The students have been able to come up with different ideas that they would not normally consider. It has also made them more aware of life after the Holocaust for survivors and to consider all aspects of it rather than just what happened in the Ghettos and camps."
The pupils taking part in this year’s prize will design and complete projects in coming months, with the winner announced at an event in January 2019, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.