Within the framework of the European Union Solidarity Corps, the XeNOphobia Discussion Club project was launched, which calls on indifferent people to unite against xenophobia and discrimination and learn to find commonalities rather than differences that can divide.
Project was implemented during 6 months from May 1 till October 31, 2019 in Riga, Latvia.
Once a month for 6 months, active volunteers from the Cultural Association Alternative Reality, as well as young people at risk from social exclusion groups, organized open information events. Young people were involved at all stages of the project development process, from conception and theme selection to organization and publication, which promoted the integration of young people into society and the development of active citizenship, especially for those at risk of social exclusion.
Project purpose: To promote the elimination of stereotypes in society about intolerant and discriminated groups through education and information activities, to promote European values, to reduce xenophobia and discrimination.
Xenophobia in the literal sense of the word is the fear of something else, the unknown, the stranger. Many use xenophobia as a psychological term. This is not quite right – most often we talk about xenophobia as a negative attribute using the political or political meaning of the term.
What does it mean?
Let’s say you’re walking in the woods. A scary unknown monster appears in front of you. You are scared – this is the instinct you need to survive. But when we are in the community and we encounter something unknown, we are often awakened by the same instinct and we wake up – we are afraid of the unknown. This is also xenophobia. But in today’s society, we are protected enough to make decisions, not at instinct level, but with reason. When you are told that xenophobia is bad – it means that people do not have to be judged by appearance. Always analyze, evaluate human qualities, think critically. Then what seemed scary and unknown can turn into a positive, interesting and perspective.
During the project, young people gained in-depth knowledge of European values; the importance of combating xenophobia in today’s society; developed their communication skills and learned how to work in a team; Developed entrepreneurial skills through activities and responsibility; became full and active members of society.
The project was implemented by the NGO Culture Association “Alternative Reality”.