International Peace Day was celebrated on September 21st in MultiКулти over desert. The event was part of the project You are Welcome, and the local community could see the outcomes of the project such as the 2 educational videos, the results from the research How We See Each Other, play board games on the topic of refugees and their journey, see the exhibition of photos of the transit center in Tabanovce, talk about hate speech and share positive messages on peace, tolerance and human rights.
The campaign was created with the main aim to raise awareness on the importance on combating Hate Speech and the propaganda against refugees, as well as making the locals aware on the hardships that refugees are going through and the importance on supporting their integration.
The event lasted for 2 hours and had the following flow: presentation of the project You Are Welcome and the outcomes; the presentation was accompanied by information on the refugee situation in the country; launching of the 2 educational videos, followed by a discussion on their importance and comments on their usefulness; presentation and discussion on Hate Speech and how it is tackled in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (definition of terms, how it is regulated within the legal framework of the country, what are the mechanisms that the country uses to detect it, reported cases on hate speech/crime in regards to the refugees); socializing over a small cocktail, sharing No Hate cookies with messages on peace, tolerance and human rights; playing board games designed to follow the journey of refugees, and exhibition of photos from the transit center Tabanovce.
Throughout the whole event, the present guests had the opportunity to take photos with the No Hate hearts which were created into several languages (Albanian, English, Macedonian and Turkish) and spread their message against hate.
The event created a safe space for the interested locals to familiarize themselves with the refugee situation in the country as well as how hate speech affects it. They felt free to ask and share information on their prejudice and knowledge that they gained from the media mainly, but also to give their own overview on how it would affect the condition of the country in general. Playing the game, the participants stated that it was very complicated and that it would take days for them to figure out how to even play it which they reckoned it demonstrates how difficult the journey of a refugee is and the numerous obstacles that they need to cross in order to find a better future. Everyone was very delighted with the sweets with No Hate messages and started posting them on their personal profiles and spreading the message.
More photos from the event can be viewed here.