“Tell me a story”: our project with the Creative International School for Children has ended

1 January 2024

From September 2023, our Museum began cooperation with the Creative International School for Children (CISC). As part of the “Tell me a story” project, 10.1-grade students had been involved in museum work and study of the Holodomor for two months. Schoolchildren participated in four workshops, tried themselves in the role of museum workers, and then created their own exhibition!

During the first workshop, conducted by Yana Horodniak, head of the excursion and education department, students listened to a sightseeing tour, watched an introductory video in the Hall of Memory and learned about the Museum’s work.

The chief custodian of the funds, Maryna Pryn, introduced the schoolchildren to the specifics of the work of the funds of our Museum. In addition, young researchers had the opportunity to view unique exhibits and learn about the peculiarities of storing objects and keeping stock documentation.

How to record oral testimonies, why they are valuable and why, for a long time, people were afraid to speak frankly about what they had experienced in 1932-1933 – this is what high school students learned during the third workshop on the topic of oral history of the Holodomor. The deputy head of the excursion and educational department, Olha Vyhodovanets, conducted the workshop. The students reviewed the testimony of eyewitnesses of the genocide. Then, they themselves became interviewers for their elderly relatives: they questioned the stories they had heard about the Holodomor and the mass man-made famine of 1946-1947.

How many stages are needed for an idea to grow into a full-fledged project, how to choose an effective strategy and organise a work process, and who to consult with during the creation of an exhibition – all these questions were discussed at the fourth workshop, held by the head of the exposition and exhibition department Yana Hrynko. The high school students needed such information to eventually implement their own exhibition dedicated to the Holodomor. After all, this was the ultimate goal of our cooperation.

Soon, an unusual excursion took place in the premises of the Museum. Students of the 10.1 grade of CISC conducted it for their younger colleagues – fifth graders.

In the meantime, in the CISC, events were held to commemorate Holodomor Victims Day: tenth graders created a school exhibition “Tell me a story”, designed it and selected exhibits on their own. The participants also reflected on the topic by drawing pictures and writing poems that depict the pain and losses suffered by Ukrainians, however, at the same time, point to the strength of spirit and the preservation of national dignity in times of trials. Other classes made candles and ears of grain with their own hands — symbols of memory of the Holodomor; the youngest students listened to the information minutes from the seniors.

In this project, the very process of researching the topic of the Holodomor and museum activities was crucial. The participants distributed tasks according to their interests and presented teamwork to the entire CISC community. The incentive for the tenth graders to actively work on the topic was the understanding that it relates to the history of their families. We are open to cooperation and new initiatives because educating the younger generation is an important part of our work.