Let’s Meet Each Other, Let’s Tolerate Each Other
December 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018
This project is part of the broader project funded by the British Embassy in Belgrade “Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Threats in Serbia through Community-Based Early Warning and Preventive Engagement”. The latter is aimed at establishing and consolidating a foundation for efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization that can lead to terrorism (VERLT) in Serbia. Preventing and countering VERLT is recognized as a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the global fight against terrorism to which the Government of Serbia is committed. The project encompasses three themes of research, in specific: support to community policing/municipal safety councils (MSCs), intercultural education and civic participation and engagement (civic education).
This specific project, the implementing partners will be the Organization for Development and Democracy Bujanovac. The partner will work with 24 young people and engage them in an initial 4-day training, discussing tolerance, stereotyping, inequality and other topics, to learn how they view and frame these issues, seek their ideas on how to improve their community and stimulate their development into future trainers and activists. The partner will develop an online game on the topic of nationalism; promote a messaging campaign on these issues in town centres; and organize discussions on diverse local cultural traditions, including local languages, flags and symbols and cultural practices such as marriage. Based on these events the partner – together with participants – will develop and present conclusions in a joint study, including recommendations.
South Serbia has a mixed community of Albanians, Roma, Serbians and others. However domestic and regional politics often serve to divide, spreading hateful messages through media and political discourse. Openly discussing the topic, and identifying ways young people can ameliorate the situation, can break down negative stereotypes and also enhance critical thinking skills needed to ward off alienation and violent forms of expression.