24 May, 2017

“awareness day” in Verbania Italy

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Category: Uncategorized
Menno Ettema
8 am

Youth center 7bisOn 14 May a group of 16 Students from Verbania, Italy, were invited to attend the PACE sessions and learn more about the Campaign at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg. Their initiative to sensitize young people about every type of bullying won the competition for best awareness raising school project organized by the Italian representative of the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance. Below a short interview report:

Please describe yourself?

  • We are a group of 16 students, 6 girls and 10 boys, attending the graphic design class at Ferrini Franzosini technical school in Verbania. We worked with our graphic design teacher: Maria Chiara Tomasi.

How did they learn about the project?

  • Our teacher, Chiara, read about the project about cyberbullying called “No Hate Speech” on the site of Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione. She suggested us to join this project. She was so excited that we accepted to participate.

Why did they decide to participate?

  • We decided to participate because we think that it’s important to sensitize young people about every type of bullying (and hate speech) and we also wanted to test our creativity in accepting this challenge.

Can they describe briefly the content of their project?

  • We organized an “awareness day” in our town: we divided Verbania in five parts. We placed different stands with different activities in each part. Each stand represents a social network: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube. The last stand it’s called “On Security”, where we explain to teenagers how to defend themselves against bullies by a peer to peer comunication. However, we always hope that young boys and girls won’t need our advice. In fact, we hope that they will not need to fight against bullies.

How long did they work on the project?

  • We worked on the project for 8 hours a week for 2 months.

What did they learn from the experience?

  • We learned a lot of things that we treated a little too superficially before, like the importance of human rights. But first of all we learned how to work in a team. Working in a team it’s also useful to fight bullying and hate speech.

What was the biggest challenge in this experience?

  • The biggest challenge of this experience was to transfer an abstract concept to real life and it was the first time we participated to a national contest.

What are their impressions of their visit to the Council of Europe?

  • We were very well welcomed by the kind staff. We attended a plenary assembly of Council of Europe about human rights on the last afternoon of our staying. We realized that Italy is a real body and authority in the council of Europe. We were very impressed by the accurate coordination of the structure and of representative’s work. Everything was planned in every detail.

Have any students expressed a particular interest in carrying out other projects on Hate Speech or other subjects in relation to Human rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law?

  • After having attended this competition and having opened our minds to this new topics we would be really happy to participate to other contests that are about such interesting issues.

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