Another online meeting of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on February 24th, 2021. The participants – guest colleagues from Center for Study of Democracy (CSD); representatives of BFPA, Know How Center for Alternative Care of NBU, BYRC, SAPI, Re-Act Association, ASC Foundation, NNHM and IOM – reviewed the progress of implementation of the so called ‘small projects’ in the frame of LAP. The short video representing the work of LAP was discussed and approved for use.
The special guests of the online meeting presented the campaign ‘Find Another Way’, directed against radical messages and actions of young people in internet. Safe Internet Center and Center for Study of Democracy, worked on the initiative for three years, presented results and conclusions from their online communicational campaign.
The main target groups of the project were young people 14-19 in Bulgaria. Their main goal – prevention of violence, connected with the extreme-right messages and reducing the vulnerability of young people towards extreme-right messages and propaganda. From CSD strived to work for reducing anti-minority attitudes and messages and violence against minority groups, they tried to present other, different points of view and to involve young people in constructive alternative causes via narratives for stimulating critical thinking and identifying fake messages.
More on the initiative could be found here (in BG):
It became clear that prevention of radicalization is poorly expressed in our country. In the frame of the project were tested extreme-right messages and statements, connected with anti-minority, supremacy, anti-Islamic, anti-democratic and anti-system attitudes. Anti-Roma messages are leading in approval (up to 74%). Anti refugees statements have over 60% approval.
The attitudes among young people reflect the overall picture valid for our society. Stereotype statements have been studied, as well attitudes to liberal values. More general formulated statements meet comparatively high approving, more narrow formulated have drastically less support.
Two groups are identified from the tested attitudes towards extreme content on the Internet: passively approving violence and a small group stating readiness for action. Happily these attitudes are not deeply rooted.
Besides research and campaign, project included conduction of focus groups with young people, in which elements of the theory of change were included. Increasing the critical thinking, skills to contra react against manipulation, opening worldview towards alternative ways of understanding consequences of violence, giving possibilities and skills to engage with civic and social causes in a constructive way, finding community and support are used for reaching the goals of the project.
One of the interesting conclusions: not to be manipulated is a high motivation among young people. In this sense sowing a seed of doubt in any young person about someone willing to gain from him/her even via insignificant action like impulsive sharing a publication – is of high importance.