Artek’s Equals to Equals project helps children master the art of diplomacy

Participants in the international specialized session Children: Ambassadors of Peace held the Diplomatic Mission quest. Young diplomats from 14 countries shared the diplomatic knowledge and skills they mastered during this session with other children. The event ended with the Symbol of Friendship flash mob, whose participants recalled that children’s diplomacy really began in 1983 when Samantha Smith, the first young ambassador of peace, came to Artek from the United States.

The seven-stage Diplomatic Mission quest featured theoretical and practical aspects and games. “Children learned the history of diplomacy at various stations, studied the work of international organizations and their significance, and explored the intricacies of modern diplomatic etiquette. Children who trained others were able to share their knowledge, talk to peers, deliver public addresses and captivate audiences; this will, doubtless, help them in the future,” said international affairs coach Artyom Inkheyev.

The quest involved almost 3,000 children who learned all about international organizations and their activities, as well as military blocs. They were also told that people traveling abroad should, first of all, learn the address of the national embassy in that country. But, most importantly, they practiced the art of international communication and were also able to expand the boundaries of international friendship.

Jovana Devic from Serbia told her peers about international organizations. “My dream is to become a diplomat. I can see that modern leaders make many diplomatic mistakes, and I believe that children will be able to correct these mistakes and improve the situation,” she said. “I am very proud to be at Artek, and I have not heard about any other place that promotes children’s diplomacy so actively,” she added.

Darya Kolbaseyeva from Moscow taught modern diplomatic etiquette to her peers. “Children’s diplomacy is becoming more and more popular, and it is very important to involve as many young people as possible in such events, so that they would promote the ideas of friendship and peace. Students from the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy conducted this quest for us, and it was really great to be in their shoes because I also want to enroll at the Academy,” she noted.

No votes were counted and no winners selected when the quest ended, as it prioritized conversations, rather than victory. The event culminated in the Symbol of Friendship flash mob, with children forming symbols of peace for each camp. Children staying at Camp Morskoi (Sea) stood in the shape of a heart, thus recalling that the heart of children’s diplomacy started beating here in 1983 after Samantha Smith came to Artek from the United States.