32 youth workers from 9 European countries meet in the splendid setting of the eco-village “Fiori di Campo” to discuss and experiment together what it means to be active citizens in the real and virtual world: this is what the international training course iCitizen – Citizenship education and media literacy as tools to prevent political extremism on social networks was all about.

The training course, held from 9 to 14 September, aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • To improve youth engagement skills, promoting active citizenship and media education.
  • To develop the critical thinking of young people, their literacy skills and analysis of information and communication sources, with a particular focus on social media.
  • To learn new techniques for the creation of textual and audio-visual content, and their strategic use in the context of online campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • To strengthen organizational skills through the planning, design and implementation of the final event of the project.
  • To share good practices between national and international realities and the creation of networks between European organizations and youth workers.

Through activities based on non-formal education techniques and methods, which stimulated the sharing of ideas and opinions and peer learning, participants have been involved in 3 thematic areas that characterized 3 learning phases of the week:

  1. Active citizenship
    Participants reflected on the topics of citizenship education and the common values of living together; extremism; online hate speech and media literacy and the link between them, reflecting on how the internet and social networks can be protective factors but also potential vulnerable factors in the process of radicalization.
  1. Critical thinking and media literacy
    Participants experimented activities and techniques to stimulate their critical thinking and to analyse different sources of information and the hate speech on social media, learning how to act as active citizens in the real world and in the virtual one, fighting  against extremism and promoting positive narratives based on the values of democracy, mutual understanding and respect.
  1. Development and launch of an online awareness campaign
    Participants analysed and reflected on the most important elements for the success of an online awareness campaign and experienced themselves, working in groups, the creation of textual and audio-visual contents targeted on three different social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The participants were finally involved in a visit to Moltivolti, the restaurant/co-working which represents a tangible example of successful social enterprise based on multiculturalism and  of diversity; during the visit they had the opportunity to listen to the testimony of Claudio Arestivo, one of the main exponents of Mediterranea Saving Humans – a project carried out by different realities of civil society engaged for more than a year in operations of monitoring, reporting and rescue at sea of migrants in situations of danger.

The online awareness campaign created within the project has as its theme the respect for diversity and understanding of the other.

Using the hastag #inyourshoes the participants wanted to convey the message that to understand and accept the others, you just have to try to put yourself in their shoes, know them and find out where they come from and where they want to go!

During the final day of Saturday 14th September, the participants launched their campaign in the centre of Palermo.

The campaign continues on our social networks…follow us!

To learn more about the iCitizen project, stay tuned: a final video and a public report describing the activities carried out during the week will be published shortly.

iCitizen – Citizenship education and media literacy as tools to prevent political extremism on social networks is cofunded Erasmus+, KA1 – Learning Mobility of Individuals – Mobility of youth workers.

The project partenership holds together 9 organisations:

 

For further information, please contact Antonella Alessi, antonella.alessi@danilodolci.org.