We are living in a democratic society where one of the most important pillar is the right to freedom of speech.
The socio-political context, the expansion of extremist movements and the excessive promotion of negative examples in media increase the abuse of the right to freedom of expression leading to verbal attacks which damage the image and dignity giving birth to hate speech.
This type of discourse become the most common form of intolerance and enophobia threatening the peace, democracy, European Union values and principles. The main tool fighting hate speech is education. It is the main factor in addressing socio-economic changes and the new challenges facing today's societies.
The aim of the project is to fight against hate speech through the exchange of experiences and ideas designed to find new ways to reduce this phenomenon and to form specific competences to young participants in understanding the right to freedom of expression, identification of hate speech and increase their ability to disseminate the acquired knowledge.
8:30 AM. My dear God, we have to wake up. We have only slept for six hours. Anyway, we are going to meet a lot of people, so is better go down and have breakfast with them.
10:00 AM. The breakfast was great. Well, the best thing was talking for the first time to international people. We were so excited to meet each other and communicate. After that, we did a couple of presentation and teambuilding games. We got to meet a ‘Tired’ Tudor, an ‘Amazing’ Alessandra, a ‘Giggle’ Gabriel, a `Lucky` Lukasz, an `Awesome` Asli among many others. Next step was to get lost in a labyrinth full with bombs, only one path is right. It was really challenging to find the right way… `wrong, wrong`. So, which is the right way? Due to a good cooperation and team work we succeed… we are a great team.
3:00 PM. Some of us start to miss siesta. We can see the struggle on their faces. Time to introduce ourselves to the project topic and the Erasmus + programme. Erasmus + seems to be interesting as well as a fantastic opportunity for young people to travel, meet people from all around the world, to gain new competences, to learn from distinct cultures and expand horizons and open our mind.
5:00 PM. Everybody put their fears, their wishes and contributions related with the project on a paper wall representing a tree. Most of the fears were related to language barriers, come on….English is not so hard, and we can use also body language to communicate.
6:00 PM. Group reflection. Let’s assess the day! Not much to assess being at the beginning of our learning journey, anyway, that is leaders’ responsibility. We will have the group reflection every day, at the same time.
8:30 PM. NGO fair. Each team presented their sending associations as well as the main activities they carry out. It is time for networking and new future projects, let’s assimilate as much as we can.
10:00 AM. We started with the topic of this project. Yay, we are curious about it. First we worked in mixed grups and we had to introduce and define hate speech from our own personal point of view. Also we did a brief introduction about the situation in our country. After that we had the description of what hate speech means according to different institutions, different definitions.
3:00 PM. Every country performed a little representation about hate speech situation in their own country. They were interesting: in Romania we had a situation of discrimination regarding ethnicity and how easily are spread these news using social media tools, in Spain we could have a global image of the situation in Catalonia, in Turkey we saw how are discriminated the Syrian immigrants, in Italy we had a similar situation, Italian elder people are accusing immigrants of stealing the jobs of young Italians, the Polish team showed us a real situation which happened in the public transportation where a German girl was harassed just because she was speaking in her mother tongue. Sad situations!
7:00 PM. Romanian intercultural night – it seems to be an unforgettable evening. This evening we went to the Cultural Centre in Aninoasa where they welcomed us with traditional Romanian dances and a special traditional dinner. It was a night with many surprizes. We could admire an exhibition of traditional Romanian costumes, and we were able to capture these moments having the opportunity to take pictures of the photo cabin in traditional costumes, we danced and interact with the local community. It was a gorgeous night. We sweat our hearts out!!!
8:30 AM. We are really tired from yesterday’s awesome night, but the Polish team were ready to energize us all and to wake.
10:00 AM. Breaking stereotypes. This activity was a continuation of the previous activity but way funnier and demanding. Each nationality had to do a video in which it was shown the stereotypes of each one of our countries. Brief, we had a bull chasing a good looking Spanish guy, siesta time and Spanish party, lazy Italians who are delay most of the time and who loves coffee, Romanians falsely accused of committing pickpocketing just because of the fact of belonging to a minority and that they have lazy workers, Polish who are thieves, bigots and love vodka, Turkish who loves tea and get angry quickly.
3:00 PM. We divided ourselves in mixed groups to draw a poster about how are defend human rights in the hate speech context, which are the institutions at local, national and international level we can address when our rights are violated. We find new interesting things.
8:30 PM. Polish night. Let’s see who knows Poland well, so start the quiz. Challenging quiz about Poland, but we did it, pfuu hard pronunciation in Polish. Could we ever learn some words? Of course….tak – yes, nie – no, Jak sie masz? – How are you?
8:30 AM. We wake up excited because today is going to be a different day: we are going to be Targoviste’s town hall meeting the local authorities and the mayor!
9:30AM. We depart to the town hall and when we arrived the local authorities are already waiting for us. We spend the morning discussing about the challenges that minorities and immigration pose, about hate speech, the situations of the minorities in our countries, the stereotypes about our countries, and the current challenges we are facing and how local authorities take action. Interesting discussion. We concluded that some challenges are common to each country and community.
3:00 PM. O nooo…. It's raining outside, we have to postpone the city game. So, after conclusions and discussions about the visit to Targoviste town hall we will have a socializing afternoon. It is the time to know better each other and discuss more about the topic of the project. Great afternoon!
9:00 PM. Spanish night starts half an hour late, because, you know, it is Spanish night. We learn some cultural things about the country (is Madriz written with Z?). We also proof our flamenco skills and break a couple of bottles because toreo is really exciting. We were fighting to win Ň Factor, challenging contest. Who will be the winner?
8:30 AM. We really enjoy the project. Lack of sleep starts to show off. Let’s have a coffee and get life back. Yuuup!
10:00 AM. What an interesting activity. We all belong to Sunnyville. We had to pretend to be local authorities- mayor, representatives of political parties, citizens, minorities, representatives of minorities, vocal citizens inciting to hatred against minorities and do role-play. Everybody was holding strong own position, good arguments. The vocal citizens are playing great their role….come on guys you take your roles to serious…. In the end the rights of minorities were respected, the local community vote to build the Cultural Center for immigrants. We should celebrate.
Look some questions to reflect on: Why hate speech rise among citizens? What is the cause? Hate the person who incite to hatred a specific profile?
3:00 PM. Prevention methods prevent. Preventing. Prevented. We prevent you from hate speech, we prevent you all! The power of prevention. Yep. We find interesting methods to fight against hate speech. Let’s take action starting right now!
8:30 PM. Turkish night. Hilarious. We ended up having a brown mark in the palm of our hand… is it typical? It was a really interesting night knowing Turkish culture - Henna night. Who wants to get married? Bear in your mind this moment. We assist the ceremony of henna night. The girls when to the bride and come with her, dancing around her, having their hands painted with henna and carrying a candle on their left hand. We ended up dancing traditional Turkish dance. We forgot to mention the Turkish coffee and Turkish delights…yummi, yummi. We want more! Do you have, please?
8.00 AM Oh my God! Today we woke up earlier because we are going to Dambovita! We are really excited about it!
9:30 AM Big fancy bus waiting for us, fell like a diva. Let’s keep going!
10:00 AM Big monastery. A mass. Nice sights it was great to meet different traditions, to know more about the Romanian culture. Second stop- Viforata Monastery. A noun told us the story of the monastery. Do you believe in miracles, wishes? It is said if you visit for the first time a monastery or church you can make a wish and if you pray for it comes true. Let’s try.
The third thing we visit was the Bulgarian minority and Bulgarian museum. We had a warm welcome and we find out which is the situation of minorities in Targoviste and Dambovita, also why they are called Serbs and not Bulgarians. Than we stopped at Tony Bulandra Theatre. We stepped into a fancy building…the manager really has good tastes – now we really feels like diva. We want a photo in that chair, stop please. We had the occasion to see the actors’ life behind the stage. Interesting.
2.00 PM PIZZA! PIZZA! Yayyyyy. Generally it was good but Italians didn’t really like it...as well, we are not in Italy.
3.30 PM City game.
Following people in the street for interviewing about hate speech and opinions.
The experience was great, we felt like a journalist for few hours. But it was not so easy, we met people who didn’t want to speak with us, people who were friendly and told us their opinions. For more information just watch the videos. Don’t forget to give us a big like.
Life goal 43 accomplished!
18:30 PM Conclusion about the thematic visit. It was sad to conclude that some people are not well informed about hate speech and they can become easily targets of this king of speech. So is necessary to take action and inform people.
8:30 PM We have free night. It is the day. We are going to have a socialization evening.
8:30 AM. Wake up again!! Breakfast. It seems to be a sunny day. Yes!!!
10:00 AM. Start a neeew activity. Italians are going to energize us. Today we will create some ads and make a campaign to fight hate speech. We guess it will be quite interesting.
12:00 PM. After some group discussions we have the task to make a poster and a video to show people how hate speech works and to fight against this phenomenon. Let’s brainstorm ideas. It was hard at the beginning.
3:00 PM. It is confirmed, finally a sunny day hurrayyyy!! Let’s work outside.
5:30 PM. We finished everything. We had a lot of work but the results were quite nice and awesome. We learned a lot. How to design a poster and also how to edit videos. The materials are really powerful, we hope that will have impact on a large number of people.
7:00 PM. Italian Night starts with the dinner!!! Carbonara, pesto and parmigiano. We also had some tasty appetizers. Viva L’Italia!
8:30 PM. Let’s start the Italian night…. “Lasate mi cantare”…. and other famous Italian songs introduce us in the atmosphere. Thanks Andrea for these songs. After the presentation we had an Italian Quiz. It was similar to the other thematic nights. But still good!!
9:30 PM. Mooooore games!! Seems like an amazing night.
8:30 AM. Wake up!!! It is the last days of activities. Some of us are going to cry, soon we are going back to home.
10:00 AM. Start the activity. Today we are going to evaluate the whole mobility. My God! Do we remember everything? Of course, we do. The tasks are the following: to write an article about the mobility - easy task, to describe the days of the mobility - yay we have to refresh our mind, to make a video about the activity and the website. Ups, who has IT skills, hands up please!
3:00 PM. Come on, we are close to finish our work. Here is the result, everybody is laughing watching the videos, nice jog guys.
5:00 PM. The mobility evaluation is going further. We are reflecting upon the 8 key competences developed and gained during this week. Group leaders please help us.
8.30 PM. Ending ceremony. We hope that we will not cry. So let’s say some words to these awesome people. Hmm….when we feel that there are not enough words to express our feelings. Where are you words? We need your power now…. Great experience, awesome people, hope to see you again in future projects. Viva Erasmus+ programme.
POWER OF WORDS - DISSEMINATION OF LINKS
- television news:
- local and national press news:
- Impact Statistics website dedicated to the project - Download
-Statistical Impact Facebook Video Campaign - Download
7100 people impact
-Statistical Impact Youtube Video Campaign - Download
Tudor - Romania: ”The project “Power of words” helped me a lot! I learn many things in a few days. First of all my english language has improved a lot. Not only the language has improved but also the knowledge about other countries culture. I had a project at my univeristy, about the Catalan Independence, and one of my roommates was from Barcelona. In the time that we spend there, he told me the truth about everything that happend there, so this helped me a lot with the university project.”
Helena - Spain: ”Now I never share information about hate speech on the social network. Also, if I see something conected with it, I report it to the Network's responsables.”
Cristian - Romania: ”Daily activities.”
Gabriel - Spain: ”Mostly in interpersonal context and with less frequency in my professional context.”
Iga - Poland: ”I can easier communicate in interpersonal relations an react when I am a witness of hate speech's action”
Janseri - Turkey: ”Destroying my prejudices. I am not afraid of different cultures.”
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