A series of workshops based on the Persona Doll methodology have been conducted by the REYN National Network, the Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation (USSF) and UNICEF.
The Persona Doll approach is a way to teach children to live with ethnic diversity. Each doll (usually rag doll) has its own profile, personality and story. Dolls and their stories help children develop empathy and encourage them to react and stand for themselves whenever they witness injustice or prejudice attitudes.
Over the past few years, USSF and UNICEF have trained over 2,600 teachers, psychologists and other relevant staff in 812 pre-schools in five Ukrainian regions impacted by the war: Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhya, Donetsk and Luhansk.
The Persona Doll workshops organized by the REYN National Network promoted new pedagogical and psychological approaches for practitioners who work with Romani children. A total of 45 people were trained in September-October 2017 in areas with a high presence of Roma communities more precisely in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Odesa region. School/pre-school teachers and principals, psychologists, experts and local educational department representatives were among the attendees.
The Persona Doll methodology has already shown successful results in different contexts and countries. Recently the training has been made available for those who work on the inclusion of Romani children in classrooms attended by Roma and non-Roma.