Organised under the umbrella of the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech campaign supported by the EEA Grants, ‘Intolerance affects you too!’ is part of a wider project aimed at strengthening good governance through greater involvement of civil society and citizen participation. Run by APSD – Agenda 21 - in partnership with The National Agency of Civil Servants, the project has received funding of €70 686 from the NGO Programme in Romania.
The article below written by Andreea Tătaru was reproduced courtesy of Association Assistance and Programmes for Sustainable Development (APSD) – Agenda 21.
Covering four counties (Mehedinți, Suceava, Cluj and Tulcea) and the capital city, Bucharest, the campaign involved 25 volunteers, five local coordinators (all volunteers), ten NGOs, 20 local institutions and the main partner – The National Agency of Civil Servants. The aim was to promote the No Hate Speech Movement as well as educate people in the spirit of tolerance regardless of race, ethnicity, social opportunities or gender.
Street and social media campaigns, interactive training courses for young people, photo competitions, public debates were just some of the many activities organised across the five regions. All of those involved in the project proudly wore their No Hate Speech campaign stickers on 10 December, International Human Rights Day.
- In Bucharest, young volunteers created a brochure on the No Hate Speech Movement distributed to the public. They also organised an important debate looking at the challenges facing people living in underprivileged communities in Romania, bringing together students, politicians, NGOs, local government, journalists, teachers and people from deprived neighbourhoods to discuss problems and share ideas on solutions.
- In Tulcea County, two NGOs (Drumuri Dobrogene Association and Valori Dobrogene Association) in partnership with the local institutions organised a photo contest for young students and marked the International Human Rights Day with a local conference.
- In Suceava County, activities focused on interactive training for secondary school students, while in Cluj County, young volunteers organised a seven day local No Hate Speech campaign. On the seventh day, the young people went out into the streets of Cluj to publicise the campaign amongst the general public.
- In Mehedinți County, volunteers worked with teachers and local partner NGOs to promote the campaign through an art exhibition of paintings by secondary school students on the theme of No Hate Speech. The exhibition was held in the Water Castle, a well-known local landmark.
The key to the success of the whole campaign was the fact that all the activities were targeted at different people and that our message was spread through different channels, in five counties across Romania. Teachers, parents, students, young people, civil servants and ordinary citizens all became part of our campaign, sharing and promoting our initiative among their peers.
Intolerance affects you too! So, don’t stay away! Whether you are here in Romania, or further afield, gather your forces and promote tolerance among citizens in your community!
[Article written by Andreea Tătaru, project assistant, APSD – Agenda 21]