Caucasus: Summer Camp Prompts Intercultural Cooperation

Cross Border Intercultural Cooperation in the Caucasus

TOL1At a beautiful resort complete with sandy beaches and a scenic forest, 30 students of 12-19 years of age attended the international summer camp. The camp took place in Nabran, Khachmaz region of Azerbaijan on June 19-29, 2011. Children from Chechnya, Ingushetia, refugee children from Chechnya living in Azerbaijan and internally displaced children from Nagorno- Karabakh had a wonderful opportunity to crash through cultural barriers and come to begin lifelong friendships across borders.

For some children, it was the first trip outside their region and the first experience being in the international camp and meeting children from other countries. Children were apprehensive at first expecting to see stereotypical behaviors presented by the media about different nationalities. However, they were pleasantly surprised when they saw that other children are just like them, interested to make new friends and have fun. This attracted children to get to know each other better and the cultures they represent. Children saw that intercultural dialogue and cooperation could help to strengthen friendships and contribute to the peace building mission in the Caucasus.

Children called the camp “Rainbow” because it reminded them of diverse cultures which were represented in the camp. Camp activities united children and bridges of friendships have been built. Even language barriers were not an obstacle any more. These memories will remain for a long time in children’s hearts. Upon return home, children started e-mailing and Skyping each other. “Our World,” children’s newsletter was initiated in the camp. This newsletter will highlight intercultural experiences of children participating in the project.


The program of the camp was developed during the training in Azerbaijan led  by Behrooz Motamed-Afshari, the international expert. The international camp is one of many future scheduled events under the project titled Cross Border Intercultural Cooperation in the Caucasus.

This initiative is being implemented by Buta Children’s Humanitarian Foundation from Azerbaijan, the grantee, and its partners: Umid-98 Humanitarian and Social Support Center from Azerbaijan, Stimul Regional Public Organization of Chechnya, and Association of Teachers and Tutors of Ingushetia, Regional Public Organization from Russian Federation. This project is supported by the Education Support Program within the framework of the Caucasus Initiative. The grantee’s ultimate goal is to make an international camp a regular summer camp in Azerbaijan.


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