Having worked consistently on EU projects in the area of integration, countering hate speech, media and information literacy and inclusive education – Positive Messengers, INTEGRA, IN-EDU, CONNECTION - SDA has accumulated knowledge, skills and experience that are recognized and valued by others. Hrant Dink Foundation, a leading human rights and peace building NGO in Turkey, invited SDA to hold a webinar for Turkish NGO practitioners, media representatives, social workers and activists in the realm of refugee and migrant integration and countering hate speech against this group.
On June 17, 2020 Sevdalina Voynova lead an online workshop for 20 Turkish trainees selected via applications, on trends, approaches, available resources and skills-building to recognize and counter online hate speech. The event was a great opportunity to share and transfer our knowledge but also to learn both with and from our peers across cultural contexts and national borders. The Positive Messengers project was of particular interest to participants – a proof that a creative and well implemented project can continue to bring sustainable results almost two years after its completion!
The Balkan Youth Forum participants organised a workshop for detecting hate speech and countering mistrust in this region of Europe. Thirty young people, aged 16 to 21, from twelve countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro developed together their skills how to recognise stereotypes and combat biases.
“The change of what we say about each other is a change of the region”, “If we establish a culture of mutual respect, the Balkans will be a region people do not eat to flee from but see future in it”, “Individual societies thrive if the whole region is a realm of peace and tolerance” - these are among the hotlines of the young Balkan messengers joining the Coalition of Positive Messengers to Combat Online Hate Speech.
The awareness campaign of the project “Coalition of Positive Messengers to counter online hate speech’’ continues with the participation of the students of 2nd High School and the 6th Primary School of Kamatero.
On the 9th of May the Department of Social Policy of the Municipality of Agii Anargiri- Kamatero implemented an experiential workshop about ‘’Positive Messengers against Hate Speech’’with the collaboration of the 6th Primary School of Kamatero (Greece), the Association of Parents and Guardians, the federation of parents.
"Fighting Hate Speech We Are Fighting for the Souls of Young People."
The poignant words of the Vice-President of Bulgaria, Ms Iliyana Yotova, from her speech to the participants in the international conference Living Together Online: Positive Messengers Promoting Tolerance, best capture the spirit of the 2-day event held in Sofia on June 21-22.
The UK celebrated a successful social media campaign for Positive Messengers. Time to coincide with, and support, Refugee Week 2018, the campaign was joined by Counterpoints Arts (the organisers of Refugee Week), the British Council, Stop Hate UK, Hope Not Hate, Renaisi and many individual supporters. See www.beapositivemessenger.eu for details!
The conference, organized by Sofia Development Association in the framework of the project Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech, co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, took place in Sofia on June 21 and 22, 2018. It gathered together around one hundred participants and speakers with 10 countries: Bulgaria, Great Britain, Greece, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Rwanda, Croatia and Czech Republic, among whom the Vice President of Bulgaria Mrs. Iliyana Yotova, Sofia Deputy Mayor Dr. Todor Chobanov, the Deputy Ministers Mrs. Monika Panayotova and Mrs. Denitsa Sacheva.
Happy childhood without hate
The message was sent by the children from kindergarten "Winnie the Pooh" with whom we celebrated the International Children’s Day - 1 June.
“Living Together Online: positive messengers for tolerance” is an international conference to discuss methods to counter online hate speech.
How hate speech originates, who the offenders are, when hate speech crosses the border between digital and physical, how false news can cause tension and even violence, what the hate speech victims experience? These are some of the questions we will discuss together with a Rwanda genocide survivor, a founder of the most massive public campaign for Culture without Hate in the Czech Republic, with hate speech researchers, journalists and experts from Greece, Great Britain, Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany and Bulgaria.