NEWS

ONLINE MEETING UNDER THE WE SHANT TOLERHATE WSTH PROJECT
07.07.2021
On 07.07.2021, an online meeting of the "We Shant TolerHate" (WSTH) project consortium was held. This project is a 24-month strategic partnership, focused on promoting youth volunteering as an instrument to contrast discrimination against migrants and refugees among the youth categories and within the hosting societies at large, which brought together project partners from Bulgaria, Romania and Italy.

During the meeting the partners discussed the growing intolerance, stereotyping and discrimination against migrants and refugees represents one of the most glaring realities influencing political and civil society debate, particularly in the European polities most sensibly hit by the massive migrants and refugee flows from Africa and the Middle Eastern region.

Since 1989 until now, the tendencies of the migration processes in Bulgaria have been dominated by a significant outflow of emigrants and a relatively moderate inflow of immigrants. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of third-country nationals and EU citizens in Bulgaria was around 25,000 per year, with the share of EU nationals being lower than that of third-country nationals a total of 24,402 in 2007 and 25,327 in 2010. The number of third-country nationals doubled between 2009 and 2013, from 21,477 to 43,215. The highest share of citizens is from the Russian Federation (41% in 2009 and 35% in 2013), Ukraine (10,2% in 2009 and 8,2% in 2013) and Turkey (10% in 2011 and 17% in 2013). Next are the citizens of Macedonia, Moldova and Armenia, whose share is 2% to 3% of all GTS. The number of GTS from South and North America, Australia and New Zealand is insignificant and amounts to several tens to several hundred people. (Assessment of the integration of vulnerable groups of migrants in Bulgaria). The legislation on citizenship in Bulgaria is based on the provisions of the 1991 Constitution. It guarantees Bulgarian citizenship to anyone born on the territory of Bulgaria, unless he acquires another citizenship by origin or to whom at least one parent is a Bulgarian citizen (Art. 25, paragraph 1). According to the Constitution, persons of Bulgarian origin acquire Bulgarian citizenship under a simplified procedure (Article 25, paragraph 2).

The presented data show that our country is not one of the countries with strong refugee or migrant pressure, but it is good to be prepared with correct and effective tools for integration and socialization of refugees and migrants in Bulgaria.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES:
Research and identification of European good practices in contrasting radicalization and prejudice among young people through Storytelling, Sport and Art;
Selection of a cluster of 10 young people per partner country (5 of local and 5 of migrant origins) to take part in the process of educational empowerment delivered in the project;
Implementation of 3 Blended Youth Mobilities (1 per partner country) wherein partners will develop the knowledge, skills and competences of selected youngsters in employing unconventional instruments of Non Formal Education (Storytelling, Sport and Art) as tools for contrasting phenomena of racism and xenophobia among their fellow young people, as well as spreading positive values of inclusion and tolerance;
Implementing a set of local activities delivered by participating youngsters in each partner country towards an audience of their own peers (locals and migrants). The focus of the activities will be to convey the educational message of the project to youngsters in local realities;
Developing educational resources (Research Reports, Manual and Blog) in multiple languages allowing a wide accessibility and disclosure of project results and thereby producing a direct impact on the audience of youngsters and youth operators in partner countries and in Europe at large.

EXPECTED RESULTS:
1) Reports Achieving a comprehensive understanding of the landscape of existing good practices at the European level in the field of contrasting prejudices and racism among young people through Storytelling, Sport and Art methods. By achieving this result, partner organization will lay the grounds for the development of the educational format to be implemented in project youth mobilities as well as produce informational resources (Reports) for supporting the activities of external organizations and operators in the field, both in partner countries and at the European level. The Reports will be produced by means of a coordinated research on the existing landscape of good practices and the sharing of the existing experiences and tools of partner organizations. A total of 4 Reports will be produced: a sectorial Report per each category of non-formal learning explored (Storytelling, Sport and Art) and a Final Research Report summarizing the results of Research.

2) Educational format Developing a specific educational programme partitioned in different thematic stages (respectively Storytelling, Sport and Art education) for the comprehensive development of the knowledge, skills and competences forming part of the profile of a youth volunteer working to contrast prejudice, racism and xenophobia among the youth, at the same time promoting the values of tolerance and respect for diversity forming part of a concrete European citizenship. The educational format will be developed building on the results of project research and of the exchange of experience and good practices among partners. In the context of 3 Blended Youth Mobilities, partner organizations will employ the format for training 10 young people per partner country (5 local and 5 migrant youngsters) as volunteers.

3) Local Activities testing the learning outcomes achieved in the project and spreading project impact at the local level in each partner country. The local activities will focus on spreading the values of rejection of prejudice and xenophobia against migrants and refugees and spreading positive values of European citizenship among local and migrant youngsters. The activities will be implemented by participants involved in project Blended Youth Mobilities, with the support of the sending organization. Each cycle of local activities will involve 30 youngsters (locals and migrants) in each partner country. The results achieved in the activities will be integrated in project Manual and Blog.

4) Learning Outputs (Manual, Blog, Web Platform) spreading awareness, access and usability of project results among the audience of youth operators, youth organizations, NGOs and stakeholders in partner countries and in Europe. For achieving the mentioned results, 3 tangible learning outputs will be produced, as follows:
Manual "Inclusion of Diversity though Bottom- Up Volunteering". The Manual will contain a detailed outline of the activities implemented during the project at the European and local levels as well as the methodology of Non Formal Education employed as references for external youth operators and organizations interested in having a model for their own activities in the field. The Manual will be released in multiple languages (each partner's plus English) and made available as an OER on partenrs' Website and project Web Platform, with a view to maximaxing its visibility, usability and diffusion;
Blog "Incl-Hub". The Blog will be developed by participants in the first Blended Youth Mobility in Romania and serve as an open-access, real time diary of the learning process throughout the duration of the latter (from the Blended Youth Mobilities to the local activities). The Blog will include a chat system allowing interested youngsters and external users to engage in direct communication with participants and will be kept operational and animated by participants themselves after the project (for instance, sharing information and ideas regarding their own follow-up to the learning outcomes achieved in the project). Shortcuts to the Blog will be integrated on project Web Platform and partners' Websites;
Web Platform "Contrasting Intolerance Via Youth Volunteering": The Web Platform will store information, pictures, videos about the project and will integrate digitalized versions of project outputs (Reports and Manual) as well as shortcuts to the Blog.

5) Multiplier Conferences spreading awareness about the project and its attainments within the audience of youngsters (locals and migrants), youth operators, NGOs and stakeholders (educational institutions, migrant shelters and associations, public authorities and Municipalities) in partner countries.

3 Conferences will be implemented in the final stages of the project (1 per partner country).

PARTICIPANTS:
Participants in the project will be the representatives of partner organizations taking part in project Transnational Meetings and the young people involved in the Blended Learning Mobilities and in the upcoming local activities. Participants in the meetings will be project leaders from each partner organization (2 project leaders per partner per meeting), who will take part in a total 3 Transnational Meeting. The same participants, save cases of substitution for qualified reasons, will take part in all the meetings, as a means to providing continuity to the coordination/planning effort. Participants' age will be 25+. The selection of participants will take place through direct appointment by the sending organizations in compliance with their own internal decision-making procedures.

The youngsters participating in the Blended Youth Mobilities will be young people aged 18-25 from each partner country (5 of local and 5 of migrant origins), in playing an active role in contrasting stereotyping and discrimination against migrants and refugees among their fellow youngsters. A total of 30 participants will be involved in the whole partnership (10 participants per partner organization). Selection of this target of participants will take place at the level of each partner country (local/regional level) through a selection procedure coordinated by the sending organizations. The role of the applicant and coordinator in this phase will be to proceed to selection in Romania and monitoring compliance with the requirements of a fair, non discriminatory and transparent selection procedure.

"We Shant TolerHate" (WSTH) is co-funded under the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.