SLAM

BRAVO – Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo)

Bosnian Representative Association for Valuable Opportunities (BRAVO) is non-profit and nongovernmental organization. The things that make this organization outstanding and ready to assume responsibility are core principles: tolerance, democracy, diversity, voluntariness and openness. Our teams are working in the following fields/topics: Human Rights, Anti-Trafficking, People with disabilities, Reproductive health and STDs, Gender Equality and Combating Gender-Based Violence, Sports on a daily basis, Audio and Video production, People with fewer opportunities, Organizing events, Entrepreneurship, IT and ICT, Technology, Humanitarian actions, National and International projects, Support in fight against Criminal and Corruption, Accelerating start-ups, Industry 4.0, Entrepreneurship, Project management, Refugee and Migrants, Creative Actions, but at the same time we are working on publishing books, brochures, newsletters, flyers, affiliations and other publications and a lot of others activities. Our general target group is youth within the age of 15 to 35, but we focus on all people in need of help and our support. Bearing that in mind, we say that we care for people from 3 to 103. The focus of our organization is on international projects, including all sectors and topics above, but at the same time working with people with fewer opportunities and taking care of European values and principles. We are working with institutions for people with disabilities such as institutions for Deaf and Blind people. Through our activities, in cooperation with institutions and organizations led by people with disabilities, we are teaching silent language and do sports activities with blind people. At our projects as coordinators or hosting organization, we love to bring participants in one of these two institutions and give them an opportunity to learn something totally new.

We are working on the following fields:
– Youth Empowerment
– Education and training
– Soft skills
– Public speaking and communication
– Employment Creation
– Teaching importance of the Reproductive Health and STD-s
– Combating Anti-trafficking
– Environment
– Youth and Non-Formal Education
– Arts and Culture
– Sport and Recreation

KOM018 – Serbia (Niš)

“Club for Youth Empowerment 018” (KOM18) was established in 2008 with idea and mission to empower young people through development and implementation of different programs to actively participate in the life of the community and solve their problems and needs in order to contribute to improvement of quality of life for young people and local community. Aims of the organization are capacity building of youth, promotion of intercultural values, education, democracy, human rights, with the special focus on children and women rights, as well as rights of youth, non-formal education, mobility, EU integrations, culture with specific focus on street art, inclusion of minority and marginalized groups in the society, economical empowerment of youth, healthy life styles and environment protection, as well as the active participation of young people on all levels of social life.

Mission of KOM 018 is to empower young people through development and implementation of different programs to actively participate in the life of the community and solve their problems and needs in order to contribute to improvement of quality of life for young people and local community.

Vision of KOM 018 – organization of strong resources as a reliable member of society and society where all young people develop their own potentials and actively participate in life of their community and general society.

Innovative character

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Innovative character

SLAM is innovative in the current landscape of Capacity Building Youth projects, in view of the following:

– SLAM identifies common challenges between the Western Balkan regions and Europe (mass media stereotyping of migrants and refugees as a legitimizing factor of discrimination and challenge to the establishment of more inclusive societies), carrying out a transnational cooperation wherein the insights from the past experience of West Balkans and connected with the shared challenge presently faced by both regions, extracting a common sensibility and approaches.

– SLAM is innovative in addressing mainstream Mass Media as stand-alone factors in shaping a setting favourable to discrimination and stereotyping against migrants and refugees, thereby providing a complementary approach to the traditional focus on digital media and digital hate speech.

– SLAM provides a model to empower transnational awareness-raising campaigning in the fields of mass media and migration by means of delivering a Seminar wherein mixed groups of youth operators and young people from different partner countries will interact and cooperate with each other to elaborate a coordinated online/offline Social Campaign.

In terms of concrete results, SLAM will produce the below innovation:

1) A Training Format allowing youth operators in partner countries and beyond to empower media literacy of the youth with a specific focus on contrasting mass media stereotyping against migrants and refugees as well as promoting a sensible/inclusive approach in mass media coverage.

2) A Social Campaign carried out at the national and transnational level providing a model for NGOs and civil society actors in Europe and the West Balkans.

3) A network of youth operators and young people connected across partner countries and regions, embodying national and transnational capacities of regular action on project topics.

4) A Guidebook in multiple languages instructing external organizations on how to replicate project process and providing the groundwork for its improvement and/or adaptation to different contexts.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently taken a foremost importance as a transit node for migrants and refugees seeking entrance in EU territory, a trend which the UNHCR (2018) recognized as exponentially increasing in 2018, from the 198 arrivals in December 2017 to the 666 registered in the peak month of March 2018. The strain posed on the local relief system by this surge has contributed to a growing sense of local unrest and discontent, which national mass media have so far been able to answer by providing the public with awareness and understanding circa the phenomenon, in many instances providing an amplifier to internal currents of distrust, hate and stereotyping.

From the European perspective, significant indications might be extracted from analysing media coverage about the reception and integration of migrants/refugees. The CoE in its 2017 Report “Media coverage of the refugee crisis: a cross-European perspective” underlines the role played by media in fuelling societal hate speech as consisting in an abetting/legitimacy factor to explicit hate speech brought about by shallow and sensationalistic coverage.

Against this backdrop, there emerges the opportunity of exploring the similarities, differences and potential synthesis among the different yet interrelated challenges faced by West Balkans countries and Europe within a transnational effort aimed at laying the grounds of a greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of the youth and, by extension, of society as a means to provide an antidote against phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.

Aims and objectives

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Aims and objectives

Structured Learning for Awareness in Media” (SLAM) aims at enhancing young people’s awareness and critical thinking on the role of Mass Media as a challenge and precondition for more inclusive societies towards migrants and refugees. The Council of Europe’s Report “Media Regulatory Authorities and Hate Speech” (2018) underlines the historical significance of media in enticing and feeding the climate of hatred and violence characterizing West Balkan’s turbulent past.

The Balkans are still a primary example of media consciously or even deliberately using hate speech for sensationalistic purposes, thereby supporting it and causing its recurrence and reinforcement at the societal level.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently taken a foremost importance as a transit node for migrants and refugees seeking entrance in EU territory, a trend which the UNHCR (2018) recognized as exponentially increasing in 2018, from the 198 arrivals in December 2017 to the 666 registered in the peak month of March 2018. The strain posed on the local relief system by this surge has contributed to a growing sense of local unrest and discontent, which national mass media have so far been able to answer by providing the public with awareness and understanding circa the phenomenon, in many instances providing an amplifier to internal currents of distrust, hate and stereotyping.

From the European perspective, significant indications might be extracted from analysing media coverage about the reception and integration of migrants/refugees. The CoE in its 2017 Report “Media coverage of the refugee crisis: a cross-European perspective” underlines the role played by media in fuelling societal hate speech as consisting in an abetting/legitimacy factor to explicit hate speech brought about by shallow and sensationalistic coverage.

Against this backdrop, there emerges the opportunity of exploring the similarities, differences and potential synthesis among the different yet interrelated challenges faced by West Balkans countries and Europe within a transnational effort aimed at laying the grounds of a greater media literacy and critical thinking at the level of the youth and, by extension, of society as a means to provide an antidote against phenomena of hate speech and a building block of successful integration processes.

Partner city – Niš

Birthplace of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, the city of Niš still embodies the combination of exotic East and elegant West.

Nis

Today a modern tourist centre with museums and historical sites that are on European must-see maps, the Serbian city of Niš has been a gate connecting the East and the West ever since it was established. Even nowadays, driving down the roads through Niš is the shortest way to reach the Middle East from Europe, or cities like Sofia and Istanbul from Vienna, Budapest or Prague.

This route has been called “Carigradski drum” (The Road to the Emperor’s city ie. Constantinople/Istanbul) since the Middle Ages. In its rich history, Niš was even the birthplace of a great emperor.

There was always something magical about Niš. Exotic and mystical East and reserved but elegant West are nowhere so well reconciled as they are here.

During the day you can visit its numerous museums and sites of great historical importance, like the Mediana archaeological site (remains of a luxurious Roman settlement), the Niš fortress (best preserved Ottoman fort in this part of the Balkans) or “Ćele kula” (“The Skull tower“, a unique structure built by the order of the Ottoman Hursid pasha using the skulls of Serbian soldiers killed in the Battle of Čegar during the First Serbian uprising), and then, by night, listen to some music at Nišville jazz festival or watch a movie at “Filmski susreti” (Cinematic meetings) film festival.

It was the Celts that have named this old city, and they did it after the river Nišava that still runs through it. In their language, its name is Navissos – the Fairy’s river.

According to one of the legends about the foundation of Niš, it was built “in time before history” by the rocks brought from a nearby Humska čuka (the Hilltop of Hum). But the most glorious in the city’s history was the Roman period.

During that time, Niš was a major cultural, economic and military centre, and the birthplace of Emperor Constantine the Great, who has proclaimed religious tolerance throughout the Roman empire and was the first ruler of Rome to convert to Christianity.

Anyone interested in history and ancient Rome should visit the remains of emperor Constantine’s palace in “Mediana” and revive the time of its fame.

Modern-day Niš is an important centre in Serbia. With a population of more than 250.000 people, it is the third-largest city in the country.

Besides numerous historical sites, you shouldn’t miss walking down the city’s main street nor tasting the Serbian cuisine and having lunch in one of its well-known “kafanas” (Serbian traditional taverns).

Get ready for a wide variety of flavours, great barbecue and abundant food portions with a lot of meat and spices but also don’t miss the local “burek” (a kind of cheese pie), a speciality that has its own festival – “Days of burek” – held every September in Niš.

Niška banja (the Spa of Niš) is located just 10 km far from the city, and Sićevačka klisura (the Sićevo gorge) is also near.

When in the city, you can easily arrange an excursion to a natural environment, relax with friends and enjoy the beauty of the area. If you don’t want to organize it yourself, some of the local tourist agencies will do it for you.

How to get to the city of Constantine the great?

Niš is at a crossroads. It is on the European route E-75 which comes from Hungary and branches in two directions: in the south towards Macedonia and Greece (E-80) and in the west through the valley of Nišava River, towards Bulgaria, Turkey and further towards the Middle East. In Niš, the roads separate to the northwest and southwest of the country.

By plane, over the Podgorica airport with “Montenegro airlines” to all the large European destinations: Frankfurt, Moscow, Dusseldorf, Rome, Vienna, Zurich, London and Paris.

Niš is also well connected through railroads with Serbian and European destinations.

All regional and international buses come and go from the main bus station in the vicinity of the Niš fort.

When you are already here, don’t miss…

Walking along the quay next to Nišava, and coffee in the thick shade of the Niš Fortress.

The main street will take you to the monument to Stevan Sremac and Kalča, where you should definitely turn into the cobble street “Kazandžijsko sokače”, and fell the spirit of old Niš.

Don’t miss talking with the people from Niš and experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the southerners.

Partner city – Sarajevo

Its idyllic mountain setting and diverse heritage make Sarajevo one of Europe’s most intriguing cities. Yet it is its indomitable spirit that makes it truly special.

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If ever a greeting has momentarily filled my head with mixed emotions, it was the one offered to me the other day by a smiling young taxi driver at an airport. “Welcome to Sarajevo,” he announced, and then he sped me off to my hotel in Baščaršija, the city’s cultural and historic heart.

Although Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a name that might seem inextricably linked to war and tragedy, the passing of 20 years has done much to heal this remarkable and resilient city, and tourism is now sharply on the rise. The reason is obvious. Sarajevo is beautiful.

The city is tucked inside a long, thin valley and surrounded on all sides by forested mountains, and almost every crossroads and street corner provides at least a glimpse of an idyllic picture-postcard backdrop. During the worst moments in the city’s history, when its inhabitants were targeted by snipers, this dramatic geography proved to be a terrifying drawback but, thankfully, the spectacular natural beauty of Sarajevo can again be admired and enjoyed.

The best way to do this is to find the highest vantage point possible, and with the recent reopening of Sarajevo’s iconic cable car, a trip up the mountainside has, once again, been made easy. A short walk from Baščaršija brings you to the shiny new cable car station in the foothills of Mount Trebević, one of the peaks which played host to events in the 1984 Winter Olympics. For a return fee of 20 Bosnian marks (approximately £10), this must-do cable car lifts you more than 1,100m in seven minutes, providing breathtaking views every second of the way. At the top, the perspective shifts and changes like a kaleidoscope. In the short space of time that I was on the mountain, I saw the cityscape swelter beneath me under a clear blue sky and then quickly become obscured by twirling strands of mist that seemed to appear from nowhere.

It’s a view which defies comparison with most other European cities. Mosques and minarets decorate the skyline along with the Romanesque towers of Catholic churches and the onion-shaped domes of Orthodox ones. And that is another thing which makes this city so fascinating: it’s a place where east and west meet. On the main pedestrian thoroughfare, Ferhadija, this cultural equator is marked for posterity on the pavement and a sign encourages visitors to take a photo looking first one way up the street and then the other.

The contrast is stark. Austro-Hungarian architecture and a mosaic of western shop signs can be seen in one direction, while, with a simple turn of the head, the outlook abruptly transforms into a Turkish bazaar. On one side of this line, people sit and drink beer at tables on the street, while on the other, there isn’t a drop of alcohol to be found. Instead, you’ll find open-fronted cafes offering strong Bosnian coffee and also, perhaps, a puff on a hookah pipe.

Following Ferhadija in the direction of the coffee will wind you into the heart of Baščaršija and, inevitably, to the enjoyable hubbub nicknamed “Pigeon Square”. My first visit here was to the accompaniment of Bosnian folk music being blasted loudly through outdoor speakers and provided the odd spectacle of several dozen tiny parked cars which looked like vintage Fiat 500s but were, in fact, Yugoslav Zastava. Like the views from Mountain Trebević, the drama in Pigeon Square is ever-changing but one constant is the wonderful ice cream being sold by street vendors in an alluring range of flavours. One scoop will set you back as little as 1€.

For a wider choice of refreshments head for Gazi Husrev-begova, the narrow street walled on one side by the indoor marketplace known as the Old Bezistan. Cafe tables squeeze the street even tighter and a cup of coffee here lasts as long as you can linger over it. A good choice is Café Ramis, which sits on a corner and attracts locals and foreign visitors alike. With windows that open fully onto the street, it actually makes little difference whether you choose to sit in or out but there is something rather lovely about relaxing inside, surrounded by Ottoman geometric patterns and happy people munching cake. The cakes reveal as much about Sarajevo’s diverse heritage as everything else does in this city. Viennese Sachertorte is offered alongside krempita kolač (a Bosnia and Herzegovinan custard slice), as well as something that looked to me very much like a rum baba. Whatever you choose, you won’t be rushed.

Sarajevo has such a good vibe that it can be extremely difficult to grasp the terror of what happened here as recently as the mid-1990s. But the truth is that you don’t need to look far for evidence. Any building which predates that time is likely to be pockmarked with bullet holes, and a memorial garden in Veliki Park, opposite one of Sarajevo’s busiest shopping malls, quietly commemorate the 1,500 children who lost their lives during the 44-month long siege.

Even without factoring in its incendiary role in the first world war, the history of Sarajevo can seem impossibly sad. Despite that, it doesn’t feel like a sad place to visit because when you come here, you get the sense that the city is now looking to the future. And it does that with dignity, resilience, an indomitable spirit and hope. If you want to discover somewhere remarkable, then make your way to Sarajevo.

Mladiinfo Montenegro – Montenegro (Podgorica)

NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro (m!M) is a voluntary, independent, non-political and non-profit organization. It was founded on 30 March 2011. Our seat is in Podgorica, but we have offices in Niksic and Berane too. The main objective of the association is improving the situation of young people, informing, promoting volunteerism, active participation in society, as well as raising public awareness of the issues and problems that concern young people. m!M strives to provide the conditions for young people to fulfil their goals and needs, as well as to express their talents and abilities and all that with the aim of the wellbeing of the entire society.

Other goals of this Organization are:

– Improving student awareness about opportunities to study abroad,

– Creating space for activities for students and graduates,

– Raising awareness of non-formal education,

– Promoting volunteerism and its importance both for volunteers and for society,

– Promoting active citizenship among young people,

– Promoting other cultures and countries,

– Increasing multicultural sensitivity,

– Creating a space for discussion on important issues, especially on global issues and

the European Union,

– Encouraging the exchange of ideas and experiences, mutual understanding and equal

rights and opportunities among young people.

Our website: www.mladiinfo.me

                    

BSDA – Bulgaria (Sofia)

Association for the Development of Bulgarian Sports was established in 2010 and is a non-governmental organization in public benefit, dedicated to the development of Bulgarian sports and the promotion of sports culture in Bulgaria!

The main objectives of ARBS are:

1. Sustainable development of physical education and sports in Bulgaria;

2. Modernization of the existing sports infrastructure, as well as the construction of a new one;

3. Development, application, implementation and coordination of national, municipal, budgetary, European, international and other projects and programs for the development of sports, sports infrastructure and physical culture;

4. Improving the health, physical capacity and sports culture of the nation, with youth issues having priority;

5. Optimization and mobilization of human and material potential in the field of sports;

6. Creating a favourable environment for sustainable and effective sports management;

7. Development of education in physical culture and sports and through sports, continuing and non-formal education in the field of sports, professional realization;

8. Protect the rights of athletes, coaches, sports figures, and sports organizations;

9. Development and enforcement of transparency in sports;

10. Development of prevention through sports.

The ARBS team is young, creative and full of innovative spirit, which works on the initiative for the development of Bulgarian sports and raising the sports culture in Bulgaria with desire and motivation. Membership in ARBS is voluntary, and the association can include both individuals and legal entities who are willing to support the sport with time, ideas, effort or financial support.

Y.S.C. – Albania (Tirana)

Y.S.C. is a youth NGO that works to promote the human development of youngsters with fewer opportunities as people that have value and need equal opportunities. We have started as an informal youth group that was eager to bring positive changes to the community.

Our Mission: To protect and promote the rights of disadvantaged youngsters by offering to them support and social inclusion in order that they can be empowered to participate actively in society. We work in three main pillars: Human Rights, Youth empowerment and Social Inclusion. During these years of our work, we had created youth groups who are involved in our activities as volunteers. Y.S.C.  has worked at the local level with approximately 200 young people. activities as volunteers. Y.S.C.  has worked at the local level with approximately 200 young people.

We trained them to understand and face cultural shock, and how to interact and participate in a multicultural environment. We also helped and facilitated them to organise among their peer's short information sessions, sharing examples and exercises that they learned from the activities that they participated in. With 15 youngsters from this group, we are working on increasing our capacities in project writing and management.

We were partners in nearly 60 activities organised under YIA. We trained the participants before going in these activities, providing the above-mentioned skills and helping them with the travel. The participants organised at the return short information sessions, which served also as a post-evaluation on their learning outcomes.

Mine Vaganti NGO – Italy (Sassari)

Mine Vaganti NGO is a non-profit organisation established in Sardinia in 2009, whose services encompass Education and Training, Project Design and Development, Thematic Research, International Mobility, and Consultancy – in Youth, Adults, Education and Sport sectors. MVNGO has 3 offices in Sassari, Olbia and Tempio Pausania impacting the North of Sardinia and reaching out with its operational branches to many other regions in Italy, around Europe and beyond. 

MVNGO promotes and develops European and transcontinental projects in all sectors, intercultural dialogue, social entrepreneurship, social inclusion through Sport, Formal and Non Formal Education including disadvantaged targets as migrants and people with disabilities.

The members of MVNGO operate in dedicated teams to create, develop and implement international projects in research, innovation or exchange of good practices sometime reaching the target via seminars and/ or training courses.