A Delegation of the Artek International Children’s Center, headed by First Deputy Director Viktoria Korolyova, is participating in the ICF–Asia Oceania 2019, the 7th International Camping Fellowship congress of the Asia-Pacific held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 17−21.
The main topic of this year’s conference is camp sustainability and nurturing a culture of future leaders. Representatives of the International Camping Fellowship (ICF) and the International Camping Fellowship Asia Oceania (ICF АО) gathered to share experience in organizing children’s recreation in different countries.
This year, the congress in Kuala Lumpur brought together representatives from 15 countries, including Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Venezuela and other countries. It should be noted that Russia’s delegation is quite large, around 50 members. They represent Artek, Orlyonok and Okean national children’s centers, the Artek Support Foundation and other organizations involved in improving children’s health, education and leisure.
The international congress of children’s camps officially opened on October 17. Welcoming the delegates, ICF President John Jorgenson noted that the event was organized for children and they deserve the best that adults can provide; they deserve a clean planet, strong mentorship and the best opportunities for building a remarkable future. Jorgenson continued that the world can have no borders or barriers and that this is what the present and the future for children must be like. The president thanked the guests for attending the congress.
Among the first to speak were the delegations from Russia, Malaysia, Sudan and China. Artek First Deputy Director Viktoria Korolyova presented Artek’s report on child diplomacy as a factor of raising future cultural leaders. “At the Artek International Children’s Center, our key priorities are to introduce children to the heritage of different countries and peoples, to develop competences necessary for international humanitarian projects as well as to encourage personal contacts between Artek youngsters from different countries,” Viktoria said. “These days education is becoming a factor of diplomacy and Artek is forming systemic links with its foreign partners in exchanging education technologies. We organize summer sessions based on Artek’s prestigious study programs at children’s camps in Mongolia and Bulgaria. We cooperate with our colleagues on various matters concerning education and new methods. Artek is the world’s largest children’s center that is part of ICF. We also want to believe that we are the most open children’s center.”
The representative of the International Children’s Center invited colleagues from all over the world to participate in a professional dialogue.
Artek was mentioned during a workshop on specifics of educating foreign children. Representative of the Artek Support Foundation Yelena Makarova used the example of international themed study programs as she spoke about the experience of organizing the Our Home is Earth festival at the children’s center. She demonstrated during her presentation that Artek is an organization that makes sure that children from all over the planet who come to Artek feel comfortable and have a happy time.
“Our job was not only to tell participants about Artek and how international it is but also to emphasize that it is a platform where children from over 80 countries socialize and it is a unique opportunity for making friends on our planet,” Yelena Makarova said. “It was important for us to let representatives of other countries know that children from their countries and arrangements for their stay at Artek are well taken care of, starting from negotiations and greetings to the children’s departure. I spoke about support offered by foreign delegations – such as choosing volunteer interpreters from different countries that accompany their delegation and help children with adaptation at Artek. There is a lot of internal work at Artek as teachers study national traditions, culture and religion of the countries where their youngsters come from. There is a quality communications training as well. Camp counselors learn how to communicate and how to convey information to children, how to praise and encourage them correctly, how to give feedback on activities that could be improved.”
Three more busy days await the participants at the International Camping Fellowship. The Artek delegation will present workshops built on years of the center’s teaching expertise and sign cooperation agreements.
The 7th ICF Asia Oceania is taking place in Kuala Lumpur on October 17−21, 2019. Malaysia was selected as a successor of the 2016 conference in Japan. The event’s official logo features a sunbird, or “kelicap” as it is called in Malaysia, next to a hibiscus flower, both painted using the batik technique. They symbolize the unity of different countries and cultures, leadership, faith, courtesy, moral values and courage – the values that the fellowship strives to nurture in future generations.
ICF Asia Oceania official website: http://aocc2019.com/stage/