15 January 2018

TC- "Youth Hate=Hate Youth", Newcastle, England

As a regular participant of Erasmus project, quite experimented with non-formal techniques I usually have the tendency of becoming too technical and abstract disregarding my experience.

To begin with, the training course “Youth Hate=Hate Youth” took place in Newcastle, more precisely Whitley Bay town and as the name suggest it successfully offered new tools in dealing with hate speech online and offline to the involved participants.

However, what I really should point out was the attitude of the group and the professionalism and patience of the trainers, the activities were incredibly diverse combining the theoretical information, within every and each of participants’ national countries, fact that inevitably generated debates with regard to minorities, refugees, the importance of the language used in hate speech and how youth workers should act and react in certain contexts.

We found out that most our day-by day problems regarding hate and prejudice are universal and this really united us in finding solution, speak freely about what we taught and, eventually find solutions, personalized with our abilities.

I was particularly impressed by the “Journal technique”- as a tool of meditation which, personally, made me reflect and helped me shape an objective opinion, improving also my reasoning for the Project time-being.

“Wall of Hate”, “WHO ARE THE HATERS?”, “Hate on the STREETS” were the most representative sessions and truly exceptional, I say exceptional if it had not been for them the whole project would not have been the same. I feel more educated and certainly more aware of the premises and the consequences of hate and its stages, how it appears, develops, spreads and, more important, how to contain it.

The three activities that I have mentioned above were instrumental in the sense that I, as a participant I was put in front of different kinds of hate, all around Europe, and I had to understand how the phenomena appeared, who was the propagator and in which way was illustrated. Moreover, this whole learning process made me realize not only how important understanding the person and the issue, but also the fact that nothing is really what it seems to be, until you really experiment it.
As a political scientist, I could not help it and I brought into discussion the protest that change Romania ‘s face, transforming our generation into an example to be followed, and, I was more than proud to present how this awakening of the civic spirit was possible, what it unfortunately had taken and if it is applicable to the rest of the young people that were part of the training course to do the same in the future. This example was used as a possible solution to stop the vicious circle between politicians, hate-speech, media and social media and people, young people being the ones that have to be encourage to fight against hate with values and why not, love. The reactions coming from the public could only make me take pride in.

The intercultural exchange touched new standards for me after Intercultural night.

 It was an honor to meet our GEYC colleague, Andreea, one of OpportUNITY EVS volunteers, in front of “Wall of Hate”.

But nothing of these would have been possible without the great organizational skills of OpportUNITY and, needless to say GEYC, our dear sending organization. 
Cristina Ungurean
Dragoș Dănilă
Ilona Mocanu