The 3rd of September 2014 was the ten year anniversary of the tragedy in Beslan. Over three hundred people were killed, among them 187 children, the youngest of which was only two years old… On the 3rd of September 2014, the Tolerance Centre held a preventative social action “We Can Defeat Terrorism!” in which around 100 school children and students from the city of Moscow took part. Commemorating the Beslan tragedy, the kids considered terrorism in general: how much of a threat is it felt to be, can it be defeated, and what can we all do personally to help reduce this threat in the world. 60% of the youngsters already felt at the start of the action that they personally were capable of making a difference.
We often fear that of which we know nothing. During this action, the kids were given the opportunity to speak about what terrorism means to them, and where it comes from; they were taught about the rules of behaviour in various terror threat situations, and illustrated these with their own posters. After this, each of the participants wrote down what they themselves can do to reduce this threat worldwide: discuss with others the rules of safe behaviour during extreme situations, share their impressions of this event, believe in the possibility of fighting the threat, bringing up future children in an atmosphere of love, replacing hatred with acceptance… All this was written on their posters which they made in the session and took away later to their places of study. To end the action, the participants lit candles in memory of the casualties and released 187 white balloons into the sky, bearing the names of the children killed at Beslan. The aim of this action was to make sure the youngsters recognised and thought about their own personal responsibility – and that they fulfill this as best they can.