Be online! Get in Anti-Discrimination NET

This week (15-23 of April) we had the privilege to take part in a youth exchange in Silivri, Turkey. Our team consisted of 6 participants who were actively involved in the project activities. Besides us there were participants from Greece, Turkey, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria; 36 in total. With the help of amazing techniques of our facilitator Alexandra, through the methods of non-formal education, we could explore deeply the terms No hate speech, Discrimination, Online Campaign etc.

We learnt how to take initiative for starting a campaign, how to record and edit videos; how to accurately take photos and many other different contents. Apart from the full agenda and many tasks, what made us especially satisfied is the opportunity to visit one of the best cities in the world – Istanbul. Well organised by the host of the project, we had the pleasure to explore and visit the most famous touristic attractions of the city as “Saint Sofia”’, “The Grand Bazaar”, “Galata Tower”, “Bosphorous”… During the last 2 days, we were focused on finishing the campaign “Spot it and Stop it” with a song, blog, Instagram and Facebook profile and the video message as final products. The good weather and perfect accommodation were just contributing to the positive vibes that were constantly present in the meeting room. After this week we feel richer with one more experience making us better youth leaders. We hope that we will have the opportunity to participate in another European project like this very soon…

One of the words that we became familiar with while enjoying our journey in Istanbul: Turkish culture is like the Pandora’s box that everyone desires to open at least once in a lifetime. Fortunately, we were lucky to experience this. Where to start… Istanbul? The streets, the air, the people, the buildings… everything seems to be the perfect mixture of a mess and a perfectly organized place. It’s the city where while you are enjoying your nargile and pouring on black Turkish coffee in the background you can hear the hoca’s voice echoing calling for prayer. Lost in the crowd, you can still find someone who understands a language of positivity and offers you a smile. Walking down the crowded chaotic streets, appealing aromas attract you from different corners and you can’t avoid entering some. It’s the place where modernism tangles with old traditions in every single point even the buildings. Fascinations, craziness, breathtaking views… there are not enough words to express our feelings about this amazing trip.

Maria Tancheva

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