What are Erasmus+ and Make Europe Hate-Free Again?
Erasmus+ programme is a funding scheme to support activities in the fields of Education, Training, Youth and Sport. The aim of Erasmus+ is to contribute Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion. The European Commission is responsible for Erasmus+ policies and oversees the overall programme. The programme is divided to three so called ”key actions”. First one is about learning mobility of individuals. It’s about supporting mobility in education, training and youth sectors and it aims to bring long lasting benefits to participants and every organisations involved. Second one is about cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practises. Aim is to from different participating countries to work together, to develop, share and transfer best practises and innovative approaches in the fields of education, training and youth. Third one provides grants for a wide variety of actions aimed at stimulating innovative policy development, policy dialogue and the exchange of knowledge in the fields of education, training and youth. (EACEA 2019.)
Make Europe hate-free again is a long-term project under Erasmus+ key action 2 – capacity building in the field of youth. There are three main topics with this project: human rights education / no hate speech movement /creativity & arts. The project has started in March 2019 with kick off meeting in Georgia. It was preparation meeting with partner organizations. In May 2019 the trainers met in Bulgaria. It was focused on increasing the competences of youth leaders, youth workers and educators in the field of anti-hate speech activism and human rights education. (Mehfa 2019.)
After these two meetings were two job shadowing in Finland and in Bulgaria. Job shadowing is type of on-the-job employee job training where student observes a trained and experienced employee. It allows a student, employee, or intern to gain comprehensive knowledge what an employee who holds a particular job does every day. It provides a far richer experience than reading some descriptions and allows to observe and to see and understand the nuances of a particular job. (BalanceCareers 2019.)
First was meeting in Finland and it was focused on train the participants in organizing local actions against hate speech, giving them the knowledge and attitudes of human rights education, using art as the tool for HRE for youth exchanges. The second meeting was in Bulgaria and the participants were trained in organizing local actions against hate speech, giving the platform to practice facilitation skills and competences gained through tot. Also there was trying out badgecraft system for HRE. (Mehfa 2019.)
There are two youth exchanges during this project, in Armenia and in Georgia. Participants in both youth exchanges are from Finland, Armenia, Moldova, Bulgaria and Georgia. First exchange was in September 2019 in Armenia. It was focused on how the art can be used in human rights education and the participants practiced the gained knowledge and came up with new creative approaches. The exchange was based on arts and creative expression for human rights education. (Mehfa 2019.)
Youth exchange in Georgia 24-31.10.2019
In October 2019 was time for the second youth exchange in Georgia. This blogtext is piece of our exchange studies also. Our exchange is based on to practice the online badgecraft system. This will give young people competencies in human rights education and help youth work enter the digital world, but also have an eye on an online space. The main methodology of the youth exchange is non-formal education and informal learning. While this exchange we have done different kind of practices and next we are going to open few of the practices.
Hate speech gallery
Our assigment was to find from social media examples of hate speech and think possibilities of how to say those things without hate speech. Then we organized our own hate speech gallery. There we saw the variety of hate speech and also differences between our countries. We had time to explain in english each other what is the meaning of that hate speech, if it was in our own language. Our experience was that you need lots of time to discuss with other people about the hate speech what you’ve found.
Problem tree and problem forest
We were divided to groups and every group got one of the human rights. Assigment was to think about problems and issues of the human right we got. For example what kind of problems do we have in our countries and then pick one subject for the problem tree. We had to find causes and consiquences for this problem. After doing those trees we switched them and other groups assigment was to solve the issue. Last thing was to present own trees and hear other groups conclutions about solving the issue.
Intro to human rights
First we were discussing about human rights. We had a brainstorming activitate about human rights where we got to say things that came on our mind first. Then we were divided into groups by leaders and they chose randomly one human right for every group. We got some leading questions and then we searched information from internet about our subject and we made a presentation about that. For example we had freedom of education, freedom of expression, freedom from slavery, equality before the law, freedom of movement and freedom of religion or belief. We learned those human rights with participants languages and discussed about those rights and do they come true.
How we feel to be part of this youth exchange?
Miia; Experience in here has been awesome. I have learned a lot from subjects we’ve gone through, for example my knowledge about human rights and hate speech has grown a lot, especially I have learned english terms in this subject. Also I have learned much of cultural differences, for example everybody else speaks or understands russian, but its unfamiliar to finnish people. Also I discovered new things about myself so the time here has been in many ways educative and I really greatful for this opportunity to be here. This is my second exchange but first time in Georgia and first opportunity to meet people from cooperation countries. My favorite practises at the week was priviledge walk and role playing.
Sini; This exchange-experience has been amazing and everything has been new for me. The exchange has been my first ever. I was worried about my language skills, but during this week I have noticed, that it’s fine to work in this project. There have been many new terms, but I think that I’m going to need them in the future. It has been awesome to meet new people from other countries and cultures and share our experiences. Working with the new group was first very scary, but it got easier during this week. Our practices have been interesting and every time is possible to learn something new. My favorite practices in this week have been Hate Speech-gallery and Kahoot! game. Also it has been nice to learn use the badget crafts, because that was totally new thing for me.
Between November 2019 and April 2020 each involved partner will take the responsibility to conduct the workshops at the schools and youth centers. Theme of the workshops will be no hate speech and anti-discrimination. (Mehfa 2019.)
In April 2020 is going to be the seminar in Georgia. There the youth workers and youth leaders are going to share the practices from the local actions and evaluate the changes, introduce tools and effective methods of used art and digital technologies in human rights education, identify challenges and generate solutions shape the plans for the conference and dissemination of the project results. (Mehfa 2019.)
Between May 2020 and June 2020 every partner will be implementing the online campaign against hate speech, promoting tolerance and anti-discrimination. (Mehfa 2019).
In June 2020 is the seminar in Georgia. The results are presenting this seminar by the manual and videos made during this project. Also young people and youth organizations get the space to present their practices and how the work was conducted. The project ends in September 2020. (Mehfa 2019.)
Sini and Miia