Say No to Hate Speech: Youth Activism for Human Rights and Tolerance was our European Voluntary Service (EVS) project within the European Commission's program Erasmus+. The project aimed at protecting Human Rights and European values online. Through it, we engaged a total of 13 volunteers, 3 long-term and 10 short-term, from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and Lithuania.
The project worked in three main areas: online youth work, development of information and campaign interactive materials and presentations, and discussions with students and young people that increased their attention to the harms of hate speech on the Internet. The team of IOA reached remote and small towna in the country where, together with our international group of volunteers, it held various workshops for young people on the topic of tolerant online communication and engaged the general public at various summer festivals.
The volunteer training process was based on non-formal education methods through which we worked to increase their knowledge and skills, as well as those of young people who attended the various presentations and workshops to prevent and deal with the negative effects of using hateful messages online. The activities of the group of volunteers took place in Sofia and the small towns around the capital such as Pirdop, Mirkovo and Kostenets. The volunteers also participated in festivals in Vidin, Varna, Burgas, and in Stara Zagora and Dobrich they worked with children from vulnerable backgrounds on the issues of tolerance and the impact of hate speech online. During the half of the 2018/2019 academic year alone, we covered over 4,800 students in presentations at schools in the capital and the small towns and cities around.
This project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Commission's program Erasmus+, administered in Bulgaria by the Human Resource Development Center. The contents of this publication do not reflect the position of the European Community, the Erasmus+ program or the HRDC.