One of the most emerging issues in Europe – equality & human rights education – was being intensively discussed in Kobuleti, Georgia on 2-9 December. 37 people from Spain, Italy, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine gathered in Georgia in order to participate in the project “Be equal” and to find and propose the most effective ways of planning grass roots initiatives for development of European local societies.
Motivating youngsters (aged 18-30), whom are aspire for human rights issues in their home countries, took part in this project. There also were people present that had direct work experience with artistic recreation & street festivals. These people are mostly employed as youth workers or social workers into artistic or human rights oriented organizations/ associations. People like these enriched our project. They were sharing their insights on human rights, since they had hands-on experience into the project’s topic.
“ We must not accept anything less than gender equality at all levels.”
– V. Tsillas, organiser
During these 8 days of “Be Equal” youth exchange, participants had the chance to discuss on equality issues, tolerance & human rights, they shared good practices from their local societies and promoted intercultural dialogue.
During this mobility project, several artistic workshops has been implemented such as: video making & editing, theatre of the oppressed, non formal educational methodologies have also been employed as social café, group assignments and public speaking sessions. The outcome of the project, a hands-on tutorial with good practices from the human rights field, has been uploaded to the web.
Furthermore, a short theater performance (flashmob), took place at the promenade of Batumi city. Participants of the Be equal project, had the opportunity to visit local governance stakeholders, youth centers and cultural organizations from Adjara region. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to visit an organization who is having an active supportive structure, into the IDPs / refugees’ field.
Finally the project’s participants have prepared this blog and they have also created all project-related digital material, which have been used for dissemination of project’s results (D.E.O.R).
During one week of intensive Erasmus+ mobility of youth-workers (youth exchange), the strategy for employing non formal educational methodologies at the youth field, has been debated.
The organizers of the project also evaluated these ideas as very promising and having huge potential in order to include social economy methods into the labor market. One of the participants of the project, Maria Chacon from Lucena, Spain was particularly happy with experiential learning techniques that she gained:
“Some really great ideas of the social economy sector were presented to the plenary. Furthermore, the educational methods which has been deployed during the project, will become a valuable asset for my organisation, who is working with vulnerable people of Cordoba”.
– Maria Chacon from Lucena, Cordoba
Indeed, mass media is usually choosing the negative rhetoric on migration and human rights issues, however, not everything is only black or white. Of course, there are problems caused by violation of human rights, but at the same time there are hidden potentials into multicultural – cohesive societies. Therefore, all participants of the project agreed on the fact that using hate speech in public, is drawing a widespread attention and condemnation from the international community.
Hate speech against LGBT people continues to be a problem in several European societies, emanating from both religious and extremist groups as well as populist politicians. It should also be noted that in general, several national or regional authorities let hate speech offences go unpunished, instead of qualifying them within freedom of speech. Violation of human rights, especially during a civil war period could be a crime towards humanity, bearing unpredicted consequences, if we were completely blind about it. This was the main idea that was delivered during the project.
Project’s Logo (designed by the Spanish group leader):
Our Spanish partner Association cultural Selpia (AC Selpia), had a rather promoted role during the project, conducting artistic workshops for project’s participants. The project’s beneficiaries have participated into creative workshops as, painting, make-up, sculpturing and body-painting.
Additionally, the project’s partner have conducted two grassroots initiatives promoting the topic of the project, to the local society of Lucena, Cordoba. These two events promoted the project’s outcomes and evoked awareness of youth mobility opportunities. Below these two events, are briefly described:
- Exposition ΄΄Colectivo Metra – El Hilo Rojo΄΄. The project’s delegates have prepared a paint exhibition, into the topic of human relations, equality & cultural diversity.
- Exposition & painting workshop ΄΄ Active Women of Navas del Selpillar΄΄ in cooperation with Association of Active Women.
Our main partner EuroSud, from Puglia, Italy wrote about the 3R project:
For the ones who missed this opportunity , ”Be equal!” project has been a Youth Exchange hosted in Georgia ( Kobuleti ). During this youth exchange, representative Youth Organizations, coming from six countries throughout all Europe, participated to this multinational mosaic. A total number of 30 participants, discussed for the advantages, the benefits and the challenges of non-formal education, which is the crucial part, of the “Erasmus+” program.
Participants had opportunity to share their experience, present the best- off their practices, express their concerns and contribute to an open- dialogue cultural diversity & gender rights.
– Adriano Difronzo, CEO of EUROSUD, Bari, Italy
YiA 18 youth initiative ΄΄Be equal΄΄ gave the opportunity to EUROSUD young activists to share their experience in the field of creativity.
The exchange aimed to offer an opportunity for young people to combine entrepreneurial skills and artistic techniques and learn how to improve their own lives and also serve as a good example for their peers.
Moreover the project aimed to encourage Young People in revitalizing the cultural heritage and using them as a tool for putting their skills into business, thus reducing the level of unemployment and increasing their self-confidence. This will help not only the participants from rural areas to find comprehensive ways of entrepreneurship, but also help in rehabilitation and preservation of cultural heritage of participating countries.
Some of the participant’s feedback :
“I was told about this project by a friend already some time ago but I actually have decided recently to participate in it. Maybe the reason is that now I’m in such a time in my life in which I really need it.
Now I’m in the moment of my self-development and waiting for a change in my life. I’m working on myself now, I finally have time to get deeper into myself, to participate in some artistic workshops, to get to know myself better, to change some of my “wrong” behaviours… and it makes me feel really well.”
– Matteo Sorbi –
“I wanted to try something new, to get some new skills. I was thinking to find my own style. I got informed about this project from my friend who invited me to join it.
I thought ” I will learn something new, get new skills, meet new people.” Besides the topic seems to be extremely interesting to me: linking manual activities like designing, video editing, preparing a performance, with self-expression. I was always looking for unusual clothes not to show off but to express myself by what I wear.
– Beatrice Carradorini –
Check our Youtube Channels or Facebook Page for all the videos created during the project
Video #1: Created by the Greek delegates
Video #2: Created by the Moldovan delegates
Video #2: Created by the Spanish delegates
Our participants, coming from CNTM, Republic of Moldova wrote about the Be equal project:
Once again it was proven to me that a week in this kind of project can surpass our experience from the academic field. Everything is very intense….you meet a lot of people from different countries and cultures, you participate in many name games, energizers, workshops. During the evenings there were the intercultural events during which you have the possibility to share with the others your culture and traditions.
Being in this project was a very nice experience. We travelled in a beautiful country, we met a lot of beautiful people and of course, we learned a lot of practical things about the topic. Our future is very demanding and we must learn how to face these difficulties by improving our competencies. This is what this project gave us. One of the ways we can make a difference is learning how not to waste our free time and to become active citizens.
After participating in this project I am more and more aware about the importance of cultural diversity. This is the reason why in my hometown I have some classes for kids – craft workshops during which we use a lot of recycling materials like carton, plastic & glass. Coming back home I was able to introduce some of the information learned in this project during my classes and also I added some new crafts in the portfolio.
I recommend this kind of experience to everybody!
My teammates had also a nice experience during this project. Here are some words written by them:
“It is a fact that conflicted zones of interest puts at risk the social cohesion of our communities. Tolerance, equality and empathy are three major pillars of the human rights education. The “Be equal” project aimed to raise awareness for social issues and also promoted responsible behaviors.
Although the theoretical knowledge is important, the project didn’t stopped to human rights education, but we also had good practical workshops about current problems.”
Nicoleta Damian, Republic of Moldova
“From my point of view, this experience helped me to become more aware, into the human rights topic. Furthermore, I made new best friends and some of them came to visit me twice already. I can say that this was one of the best experiences in my life”
Nadia Cojocari, Republic of Moldova
You can find project-related material here:
- Participant certificates (YouthPasses) can be found HERE
- Wondering how all the awesome videos were created for the project? Check the ABC for Amateur Film-makers HERE; and the guidelines for video creation HERE.
- Want to join other Youth initiatives yourself? Go on an EVS! Find a project that suits you HERE.
- Human Rights Watch
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations
- European Convention on Human Rights
- European Institute for Gender Equality
- Gender Equality in external cooperation programmes
The Erasmus+ project ”Be Equal” has been funded with support from the European Commission.
Media About US
It is hard to follow all the project’s coverage on the Internet; however, here are some examples (list is being constantly updated):
- #be_equal hashtag
- Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality & Diversity
- Youth for Equality
- Associacao Projeto Be equal
- The website glamourlucena.es wrote about the exposition ”El Hilo Rojo”
- Metra Colectivo facebook page
- Dissemination of project results & good practices from Spanish delegates: Active Women of Navas del Selpillar
- IL PORTALE DEI GIOVANNI: Open call for participants, for Be Equal Erasmus+ youth project
- Dissemination of project’s outcomes, applicant organization: Open call for participants, for Be Equal Youth project
- The Italian delegates, have created their own report for the project: Italian Delegates reporting on Be Equal project
- Human rights practices, in Moldova
The list is being updated still.