peace dayThis year CVS-Bulgaria celebrated the International Day of Peace by adhering to the “Action Day countering Hate Speech against Muslims”, promoted by Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement. Together with our EVS volunteers we created two activities: an action in Sofia and a workshop in Vlahi Nature School.

“Action Day countering Hate Speech against Muslims” in Sofia 

Emanuele Bertucco

We thought that a good way to fight against ignorance and prejudice towards Muslim people would be to spread peace messages around the city of Sofia on 21st September. Our messages aimed to target the stereotypes that see Muslim as intolerant towards other religions, or as immune from terrorism, or again, as radical and extremist people. We tried to explain, for example, that Muslims are the most affected by terrorism, that also in many Muslim countries there are progressive movements that fight for human rights and for justice and that the widespread vision that connects Muslim to extremism is completely wrong.

You can see our peace messages here: No hate speech action 21st September 2017 messages


This experiment resulted to be very interesting and we were able to have a conversation with many different people about the topic of tolerance and non-discrimination. Unfortunately not all reactions were positive and some people refused to talk to us. This is an alarming sign that warned us about the necessity to not underestimate the danger of intolerant attitudes and to continue promoting intercultural dialogue and fighting against prejudices and xenophobia also in our daily life. On the other hand, the words of support and the gratitude for our action coming from some other people were very encouraging and make us hope that with the effort of everyone who defend human rights and the dignity of the people is still possible to counteract and defeat the ignorance and false fears.



Workshop on the topic of forced migration in Vlahi Nature School

Mireia Figueras Alsius

The next day, 22nd September we made a presentation on the topic of forced migration in Vlahi Nature School. Our audience were 14 students, teenagers  from 11th School “Hristo Botev” in Blagoevgrad. We started with explaining the origins of the International Day of Peace, hoping to inspire the students to create an action on their own next year. We continued with a discussion on the concept of peace, marked main terms connected with the topic of forced migration and described the refugee situation worldwide and also in Bulgaria, focusing on children and youngsters, our audience counterparts. We spoke about the future challenges and received a lot of questions from the students which fueled the discussion further. We spent a great time together and very interesting opinions and reflexions came out, proving that the work with youngsters is very important in order to fight intolerance and discrimination in our society. We are hopeful to continue creating and leading workshops with young people around Bulgaria in the framework of the Tolerance project and future initiatives who will be aiming to counteract false rumors and prejudices.

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*the actions are part of the EVS project “The Refugee Project: integration in action 2”, financed by the Human Resource Development Center, Erasmus + program.


 Posted by Kathy at 15:27 Volunteer activities

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