Experience of Babken from Armenia, participant in JS activity in Alternativi International

Hello dear everyone,

my name is Babken and I’m coming from Yerevan, Armenia. I arrived on 1st of June in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria to participate in a job shadowing visit hosted by Alternativi International as part of long term capacity building project “Make Europe hate free again” funded by Erasmus+ program. Our hosting organization has prepared interesting and various activities. On our first working day we focused on our main task – to come up with a program for the next stage of the project “Make Europe hate free again” – a youth exchange in Georgia.

On the next 2 days each of the participants of the job shadowing had the opportunity to lead a workshop in front of a group of 20 short term volunteers coming from different countries to Bulgaria to combat hate speech. Part of the activities we implemented are “Millionaire” game and a workshop called „Octagon”. I lead a session involving role play as a non-formal method of education focusing on human rights. This 2 days were a good way to practice our skills and gain experience.

During the job shadowing Alternativi International has also organized different meetings on local level in Blagoevgrad and national in Sofia. In Blagoevgrad we visited the office of the regional ombudsman who is working with civil complaints of violation of their right. In Sofia we had official meeting at the National agency of Bulgaria for Erasmus+ program. Furthermore, we visited 2 organization working in the human rights and hate speech field. We got to meet “Human in the loop” founding member and learn more how they help refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria to integrate and defend their rights. The second organization we gave a visit was the coordinator for Bulgaria of Council of Europe’s “No Hate Speech movement” campaign. I learnt a lot and got inspired of their work for combating hate speech. Those were tiring but fruitful activities which though us a lot.

In the remaining time we worked on the youth exchange program by gathering information and preparing the different session. We used our time rationally to develop rich and diverse schedule that would fulfil project’s goals and please participants.

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