31% of people aged 11-17 admit to having seen hate messages online targeting people for their skin colour, nationality or religion. (1)
“94% of young people in the EU make daily use of the internet” (2) ”where they may be exposed to potentially harmful content, which may create dependency, anxiety or aggression” (2)
Youth work can help to prevent and counter hate speech and misinformation online among young people. But due to the rapid pace of social interaction in the digital environment, it can be a big challenge to keep up with what young people are engaging with and being exposed to.
The Erasmus+ funded TOGETHER project aims to provide youth workers with training opportunities on innovative youth work methods and practice, responding to their need to be better equipped in managing youth programmes for media literacy, prevention of hate speech and promotion of tolerance online.
The project is run by a partnership of organisations from Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
The main target group is an intergenerational and intercultural group of 24 senior, junior and young volunteer youth workers. The project will also directly benefit the partner organisations, who will have the opportunity to align their youth work practices and methods, creating an enabling environment for a stronger and more stable cooperation among them.
Young people themselves will also benefit from an enriching participative learning experience that will increase their resilience to hatred and fake news online and, it is hoped, will foster an attitude to actively counter these phenomena and promote tolerance narratives.
The project methodology is based on the following steps:
- Innovative design of youth work activities/methods,
- Prototype and testing of good practices,
- Assessment and fine-tuning of the good practices,
- Dissemination and networking for capitalisation of the project results.
During the project, which runs until January 2023, three transnational mobility events will be organised. Youth workers will be invited to each of these four-day events to develop and share effective practices and methods, which they can learn and get inspired by. Short videos of the methods and practices shared will be produced, to aid wider dissemination of the results.. Young people and youth workers can help in making our society healthier, more welcoming of differences, more tolerant and safer for all. But we must promote high quality youth work initiatives, and dedicate resources to the professional development of youth workers.
1. ‘Backgrounds, Experiences and Responses to Online Hate Speech: A Comparative Cross-Country Analysis’, PRISM October 2015
2. ‘Being young in Europe today – digital world’, Eurostat July 2020
Further information and contacts
The Erasmus+ funded TOGETHER project provides youth workers with innovative methods to manage youth programmes on media literacy, prevention of hate speech and promotion of tolerance online.
Erasmus+ is the European Union's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life. https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/about_en
The ‘TOGETHER To Get There’ project partnership is composed of organisations in Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
Project Coordinator: ProgettoMondo Mlal, Italy Marina Lovato and Federica Manfrini email@example.com
Gryd Ltd, United Kingdom Peter Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
Asociación Madre Coraje, Spain
Suedwind Association for Development Policy and Global Justice, Austria
Association For Supporting Youth Initiatives “CZ-ART”, Poland
Open Education Centre Foundation, Bulgaria