Project under Erasmus+ ; Zagreb, Croatia
Discrimination is as old as humanity is, it is one of our fundamental flaws which has only gotten worse as we progressed and achieved the pinnacle of civilization; the western civilization. This issue is especially important in the new, globalized, world where borders and distance have contracted and all but disappeared which gives individuals a greater responsibility in regards to fellow humans of other races, nationalities, religions, sex, gender, social class etc. The main problem now is whether we are aware of this or not about this responsibility!? Soo many of us have dealt and received discrimination at some point in our lives and gone on without giving it a second thought or glance. This is unacceptable, especially in the New Europe we are building through cooperation of a myriad of different groups of people. That is why we sought to, above all, raise the awareness about discrimination amongst the youth of Europe so that they may recognize it, act against it and help build a more accepting and integrated society, not necessarily the failed multiculturalism, but an egalitarian society in which all would have an equal opportunity for happiness and success without passive or active discrimination from other groups and individuals.
This is why we envisioned, prepared, organized and successfully brought to an end the youth mobility project activity “Stop disCRIMEination”. The project has been created under the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union with the patronage and confidence of the Croatian National agency. The central idea and message of the project is recognized in its very name, discrimination is a CRIME! We have brought this message to our 24 participants, youth from all over Europe, Asia and Africa, through the use of non-formal education, lectures, workshops, and outdoor activities such as flash mobs, direct contact with local community and other methods. Our trainers motivated the participants to think about discrimination as a crime, showed them examples and most importantly of all, guided them through the creation of tools and methods for fighting this crime.
The days of written media as the main means of disseminating information are past. We live in a modern, interconnected world where the lifeblood of our societies, information, flows through virtual veins of the internet. Therefore, there is no better way of reaching out to others, especially young people, than by means of social media, the foremost of which in the West is Facebook. Our participants created fb social campaign to spread awareness about discrimination, in fist week fb page reached more than 600 likes and posts were reached in more than 2000 views, VoVo is sure that big attention to this social campaign will be in future.
Flashmob STOP disCRIMEination !
In order to involve the local community in our project and raise general awareness about discrimination and other relevant issues we organized a flash mob at the Zagreb Student Centre. The concept was to place little messages about discrimination within balloons which would then be destroyed by everyone taking part in the flash mob thus revealing the message inside.
The flashmob was a resounding success and during our one hour stay in front of the Student Centre during lunch time we popped over 200 balloons and reached at least ten times that number! The students and others that took part in our flash mob very genuinely interested in our work, the project, discrimination and more importantly, in youth mobility and what the EU can offer us all.
Photo Campaign; STOP disCRIMEination !
Throughout all of our project we always strive to endow our participants with a variety of useful competences and one them are certainly digital competences photography and videography. With this in mind, our trainers instructed the participants in ways how to approach different and important issues through photo and video. To fight discrimination through a photo campaign is to give it a whole new meaning, when we read about it is not the same as seeing it. The image of humanity failing in accepting everyone equally burn and lasting image in our conscience, the one thing which is most important in the fight against discrimination!
Our participants showed how through helping discriminated we can change perception from black and white to more colourful and in final to bright future for everyone.
Representing things through marks and pictures is old as humanity is. A central part of our programming is to draw links and connections between disparate things and ideas. This is how we enhance our learning process, facilitate memorizing and recollection and also, this is how we can keep a hard and uncomfortable but important issue alive and actual.
This is why our participants created different logos about discrimination which were then printed on T-shirts in anticipation of our outdoor activities. These T-shirts will serve to carry the torch of responsibility and awareness wherever we go! We are very proud of the imaginative and powerful logos created by our participants and we will gladly provide an identical T-shirt to everyone willing.
Youth from all over Europe and the World came together during this project, all glowing with the same wish to learn, share, accept and breathe in other cultures and customs. We brought them all to the most beautiful country on the planet so that they may surpass petty differences and borders. But, despite all its natural beauty, are the people of Croatia as wide and accepting as their homeland?
To find out our participants conducted a little social experiment, a type of „hidden camera“ where random local persons were approached by them and asked for help. What do you think they found? A will and drive to help or dismissal; find out in our video!
The results of this training course are very actual and applicable to all our societies and it will be made available to everyone interested in this topic. We hope that the results, both photographic and videographic as well as social media campaigns, will raise awareness about the issue of discriminations and that through this raised awareness we would all contribute towards a better World. If someone is aware and perceptive about discrimination, they will be more qualified to cry out against it, to recognize even the most benign instances and thus help raise the awareness of others. This is the effect we want this project to achieve, a snowball effect which will compound and exponentially propagate through all layers of our societies.
In the end, we should all look at ourselves first, are we truly inclusive and accepting? Do we do enough to improve the situation or do we turn our head and continue on with our lives in blissful arrogance? This is the cowards methods and none of us should resort to it, especially not the youth of the New Europe which is based on values that are anathema to discrimination; responsibility, awareness, tolerance and active citizenship!