Organizer: Middle East Political and Economic Institute
Project title: “Understanding religion, removing stereotypes”, youth exchange
Period: 17-26 October
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Participants’ profile: young people between the age of 18-30
Nr of participants: 7+1 leader (gender equality)
Accommodation: hotel + 3 meals/day - 100% covered by Erasmus + program
Transport: up to 100% covered by Erasmus + program, within certain limits (based on the travel distance)
Participant countries: Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey
Working language: English
The aim of the project “Understanding religion, removing stereotypes“ is to increase the level of communication, understanding and acceptance among young people with different religious and cultural background by eliminating stereotypes and prejudices.
This project started as a desire of the young in knowing and understanding other religions, interact with other young people and produce a positive change in the mindset of people around.
Partner organizations in this project are: Middle East Political and Economic Institute (Romania), Orenda Foundation (Bulgaria), La insola che non c'e (Italy), DeM Turkey | Experiential Training Center (Turkey). They contributed together with the young people from MEPEI in writing the project and assumed accountability for achieving the objectives of the project:
1. Involvement of 32 participants in daily educational non -formal exercises, using intercultural teams, thus reducing the number of stereotypes and prejudices and developing intercultural dialogue.
2. Making short videos together with the 32 participants on topics such as religious discrimination, gender equality, stereotyping and intercultural communication.
Since the project focuses on the personal development of the 32 participants, we also shaped the learning objectives:
A. At the end of the project, 32 young participants will know the differences and similarities between the major religions of the world, the basics of assertive communication and the negative effects of stereotypes and prejudices, focusing on eliminating them.
B. At the end of the project, the 32 young participants will develop their skills in teamwork, to conduct a questionnaire, to promote intercultural communication and interact with new people by preparing, developing and distributing the short videos.
C. At the end of the project, 32 young participants will develop an inclusive attitude in relation to other cultures and religions, will develop a desire to express their culture and religion and develop non - discriminatory attitudes.
To achieve these goals, we prepared a program of activities that is based on non -formal learning and chose it as a means o create four videos on the topic of religious discrimination, gender equality, stereotypes and intercultural communication. In order to produce these materials, participants will get expert supported trainings in the media. These videos will be viewed by young people from four partner schools in dissemination seminars. Within these seminars the topic of religious discrimination will be addressed - thus raising a question about the daily behavior of high school students: do they discriminate?
Our belief is that young people are able to produce “the change” within the society the belong to. Even if this project initially seemed a little step in producing any intercultural unity, we then witnessed the enthusiasm and the multitude of ideas received by our team members, so we realized this can be indeed a first step, a pilot-project to be implemented at a wider scale in the future. Moreover, by carefully selecting our partners and counting on their multiplication capacity, we assume that this project can direct us to young people in high schools and the online environment.
We are committed to promote social inclusion, solidarity and non-discriminatory attitudes by starting with religion. Social inclusion represents one of the most important objectives embedded within Erasmus +, so our future projects will continue to follow this objective, by widening the approached topics.