Youth Network for Equal Rights and Tolerance – Youth Net
The project supported by EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia
During 18 months, the project “Youth networking for Equal rights and Tolerance” is implemented in 8 municipalities of South East Serbia: Nis, Aleksinac, Sokobanja, Zajecar, Knjazevac, Svrljig, Bela Palanka, and Vlasotince: 2000 beneficiaries are included in the project, 17-25 years of age.
The aims of the project: strengthening interethnic and intercultural tolerance and understanding by raising the awareness of the youth to accept the differences and respect the human rights, especially the rights of marginalized groups; encouraging youth activism and empowering youth groups and local NGOs with the aim of promoting human rights, proposing the initiation, advocating the rights of marginalized groups as well as preventing the conflicts among different stakeholders; increasing youth participation in decision-making process which is significant for their position in a society and strengthening the communication with the institutions of local self-governments; forming the regional youth network for the purpose of creating joint platform promoting equal rights, tolerance and accepting the differences. The aims of the project will be implemented through many different activities, such as: youth training, preliminary research, round tables, campaigns, local actions and initiatives, network meetings, evaluative conference and final performance of the youth.
The trainings for 80 young people in total from 8 municipalities of South East Serbia are held at a resort at Rtanj, from 6th to 18th of April 2010. Ten young people from each town are included in the project. They gained knowledge in the field of intercultural education, tolerance, civil courage, advocacy, field research and action planning. Evaluation has shown that 98, 78% of all participants increased their knowledge from these fields and that 95, 95% are skilled at making action plans which are presented during the trainings.
Network meetings are held two times with the aim of defining and developing project activities in every detail as well as forming youth network for equal rights and tolerance.
Preliminary research is conducted in all towns included in the project and lasted from June until August 2010 with the aim of determining the degree of (in)tolerance and (dis)respect towards human rights. About 3000 subjects, who pronounced on the priority problems which they are encountering and way of solving them in every town included in the project, are involved in the field research. Data processing led to a conclusion that answers of the youth coincide in all eight towns and there is extreme sensitivity of the youth to the question of violating human rights and tolerance, but they are not familiar with the ways and possible solutions of these problems.
Summarized research results of the youth attitudes about human rights >>>
Round tables were held from October 2010 until January 2011 in all cities included in the project with the aim to present research results and identify priorities which youth teams will deal with through local initiatives in their communities, so as to reduce discrimination and promote respect for human rights.
The round table in Vlasotince was held on 1st of October on the premises of Technical School and attended by 22 participants. According to the presentation of research, that was implemented, and the discussion, it was concluded that the biggest problem in this city was the fact that civic initiatives, especially the youth initiatives, and youth organizations, that would motivate these young people to participate, did not exist. The following conclusions were adopted:
– Initiate the establishment of a youth organization
– Organize training for NGO management and project writing
– Realize the trainings and actions with the aim of promoting human rights, youth activism and volunteerism
The round table in Bela Palanka had been held on 3rd of December on the premises of high school “Niketa Remezijanski” and attended by 15 participants. According to the presentation of the research, the discussion at the round table led to strengthening the motivation of the youth to participate in the local community as well as empowering the youth activism and volunteerism, and the following conclusions wee brought:
– Work on strengthening the motivation of the youth for active participation in local community
– Organize training on volunteer management
– Implement actions with the aim to promote volunteerism reduce discrimination
The round table in Svrljig was held on 14th of December on the premises of the Municipal Assembly Svrljig and attended by 28 participants, who represented the School Parliaments, Center for Civic Activism “Denizen”, Youth Network “G17+”, Centre for Social Work and other institutions. After the presentation of research results and discussion on the priorities of this city, the participants finally agreed:
– it was necessary to work on strengthening the motivation of the youth for active participation in the local community;
– organize a mini job-fair
– Promote tolerance by means of sport, tournaments and form the teams consisting of Roma and non-Roma population
– Organize one-day training on volunteer management
The round table in Soko Banja was held on 15th of December on the premises of the Agency for consulting “Code” and attended by 16 participants. The mini project should focus on strengthening the motivation of young people in youth activism and participation and should include the following activities:
– Training for youth/high school pupils on peer education, human rights, tolerance and all other themes which the youth suggested
– Training for teachers and others who work with the youth
– Workshops in schools that will be held by the youth who are trained
– Establishment of a Youth Club (the educated youth gathered from all schools with the support of all trained teachers and other adults)
The round table in Zajecar was held on 16th of December in the library of Technical School and attended by 15 participants, the representatives of schools, NGOs, institutions, etc. Starting from the results of research, the round table discussion was led about the advancement of women, identified as the most vulnerable group. In this sense, the following conclusions were made:
– organize training on gender equality
– work on advocating for women’s rights and strengthening the civil courage
– establish a municipal commission for gender equality
The round table in Knjazevac was held on 23rd of December on the premises of Timok Club and Office for Youth, and attended by 27 participants. After presenting the research results of research and discussion, the following conclusions were reached:
– Organize training on human rights and civil courage
– Organize media campaign
– Record and play the educative movie on human rights
– Organize street performance on civil courage
– Organize meetings/round tables with the representatives of local authorities and institutions
– Initiate/advocate for the opening of an office or workplace of Ombudsman
The round table in Aleksinac was held on 28th of December on the premises of Youth House and supported by Association for Development of Creativity. The round table was attended by 26 participants, the representatives of the civil sector, schools, youth networks within political parties, media, the Office for Youth, etc. After the discussion based on the presentation of research results, the following conclusions, regarding priorities related to the needs of the youth, especially the youth from marginalized groups, have been reached:
– Work on strengthening the motivation, civil courage and Youth Activism
– organize the training on human rights, discrimination and civil courage
– organize the training on writing a CV, an interview with the employer and
– Strengthen the communication between the media and schools
The round table in Nis was held on 25th January 2011, in the conference room of the Municipality of Mediana, and attended by 33 representatives of the NGOs, institutions and media. It was agreed that local media did not pay much attention to the youth and youth programs, therefore, did not promote youth activism and the work of organizations dealing with the youth, as well as civil courage as a measure against violence and discrimination. As the first step in promoting the youth activism and solving problems of the youth from marginalized groups, the participants chose recording the programs for the youth on the local media and sending a request to the local authorities to broadcast these shows on the television that has been financed from the budget of the city of Nis.
After discussing the research results, the following conclusions were brought:
– Influence the youth to change the awareness on peaceful resolving of conflicts; promote civil courage, because large percentage of the youth supported or participated in various forms of discrimination and violence;
– Send the initiative to the city administration to enable a free term on the local television where the show, that will follow youth work, will be broadcast, what will directly contribute to better exchange of information among the youth and encourage them to active participate in the community;
– Send a request to National Newspapers for enabling a column or part of the page that the youth will edit and thus inform the public about the problems of young people, discrimination, violations of human rights, etc.
– Send the initiative to the local authorities for establishing a Council for Youth Employment that will support the National Employment Service in the implementation of their programs and employment of young professionals.
LOCAL INITIATIVES – YOUTH NET
Local initiatives/local mini-projects were implemented from February until May 2011 in all cities included in the project, aiming at encouraging youth activism and empowering the youth groups and local NGOs to promote human rights and tolerance. Also, these local initiatives were supposed to contribute to greater involvement of the youth in initiating the actions for advocating for the rights of the marginalized, and the prevention of conflicts between different interest groups, by means of training and support to local actions and initiatives of formal and informal youth groups;
Nis – InterCOOL
Local project in Nis lasted for 3 months, included 43 direct and indirect participants, through the organization of 8 workshops and educational and recreational programs for children of Roma and non-Roma population. Intercultural workshops were held on the premises of the Open Club and the Roma settlement “Red Star”. One-day program was organized for 40 participants of the intercultural day in the resort Lipovac, on 29th of May 2011.
Aleksinac – Youth for Youth
Mini project in Aleksinac included the following activities: training of the youth in the field of journalism; preparation and writing the liner for the shows, recording and broadcasting per 3 TV and radio shows dedicated to the issues and problems which the youth from Aleksinac encountered. At first, 15 young people have finished a short journalism course, and then with the help of journalists – supervisors and project consultant, prepared and broadcast the shows that were watched by the youth from Aleksinac.
Soko Banja – It is IN to be KIND
Local project in Soko Banja included: preparation and organization of 2 trainings, one on tolerance and human rights, and the other about the importance of civil society for community development; publishing The Guide to Youth Organizations and Youth Activism in the Community. Promotional materials and guides were distributed during the two actions, firstly, in front of the school and secondly, on the main promenade in the center of Soko Banja. On both occasions, the information on the activism and civil sector, what can contribute to the improvement of position of young people from rural and underdeveloped areas, were disseminated.
Bela Palanka – Wake Up and Be Active
The project in Bela Palanka included: training of the youth on volunteer management and training on human rights, as well as two local actions that were held in the centre, in front of the Cultural Centre. The first local action aimed at promoting youth volunteerism, especially in working with the vulnerable groups and assisting those in need. The second action was dedicated to anti-discrimination and promoted equal rights for all people, with the aim to influence the citizens’ awareness and change the attitudes towards the vulnerable social groups.
Svljig – Let’s Respect the Differences
Local project in Svrljig included: the organization of workshops on human rights for the youth from High School; publication and implementation of competition for the best multimedia on tolerance; an exhibition of submitted works and simulation of decision-making process. The activities have included hundreds of youth and citizens. The exhibition of selected works and simulation of decision-making in the House of Culture in Svrljig, on 28th of April 2011, in the presence of the representatives of local authorities, institutions and organizations represented the end of this three-month project
Knjazevac – The Youth and Human Rights
Mini project, which was created by the youth from Knjazevac, included: creative workshops and round tables in the field of discrimination and respect of human rights; public actions in schools with the same themes and the action in the city center. While designing the promotional campaign, the youth prepared a short drama, which was performed in front of a large audience, pupils and teachers of two high schools in Knjazevac.
Zajecar – The Street of Equality
Local initiative in Zajecar included: the training on gender equality during the workshops for the youth; a research on the life and work of famous women in Zajecar; an exhibition of photographs and documents and the street action on the same subject in the center of the town. During the research, the youth collected plenty of materials about famous women, who have contributed to the development of both Zajecar region, and the whole Serbia.
Vlasotince – Youth Club „Sparks“
Within the local project in Vlasotince, the youth association entitled “Sparks” was established and 4 trainings were held: training on human rights and tolerance for the youth from secondary schools, the training in the field of computer skills, writing a CV, blind typing and active looking for a job was held for the youth from the Roma population, people with disabilities and unemployed and the training on project management and strategic planning for the members of the newly established organization. Youth Club “Sparks” was officially opened on 20th of April 2011.
FINAL PERFORMANCE “YOUTH NET”
The final performance was organized within the program of celebrating the Europe Day in Nis, on 6th of May 2011, from 16:00 to 19:00 p.m. at the Amphitheater on the quay next to River Nisava. Youth Network for equal rights and tolerance, which brought together hundreds of participants from Nis, Aleksinac, Sokobanja, Zajecar, Knjazevac, Svrljig, Vlasotince and Bela Palanka., was symbolically presented in front of numerous spectators. The performance was opened by the Mayor of Nis, Mr. Milos Simonovic, the Head of EU Delegation, Mr. Vincent Degert and the Director of the Open Club, Olgica Beba Bajic. After the opening ceremony, the play “Invisible”, which pointed to the problem of exercising the rights of undocumented persons, was performed. The Performance “Youth NET” was finished by the music program in which Oliver Katic and the group “Childspoilers” participated.
Evaluative conference was organized from 13th until 15th of May 2011 in hotel “Zdravljak” in Soko Banja. It was attended by 45 representatives of youth teams, associate NGOs and schools, who, after the presentation of all activities, worked on evaluating the results, both on the project level and the level of each local action. Also, the participants discussed the sustainability of the network and planned its future work through the possible formalization and expansion at the national level. In this way, not only the plans for future work of the network were made, but also the cooperation of network members from all municipalities was strengthened by the exchange of experience on the project activities. A complete evaluation, that confirmed the successful realization of the project, was done.
|Location:||Nis, Aleksinac, Sokobanja, Knjazevac, Zajecar, Svrljig, Bela Palanka and Vlasotince|
|Target group:||Young people from eight cities in South-East Serbia, ages 17-25, representatives from local offices and advice for youth, representatives from NGOs and schools|
|Activities:||Youth trainings, preliminary research, round tables, campaigns and TV shows, local actions and initiatives, network meetings, evaluative conference and a final performance by the youth|
|Number of beneficiaries:||400|
|Period:||December 2010 – June 2011|
|Donor(s):||EU Delegation, EIDHR|