On his way human has created the standards that dictate how to live, how to act and even how to think. Human race always strives for perfection and excellence. Only by following those rules one can be considered as normal. We live in the world where being different is not appreciated and welcomed. Usually, being different means being in a cell full of limits, doubts and fears. Unfortunately, human continue to stand up for that “ideal”, be afraid of acceptance of new and unknown. Realization of this issue led to the implementation of the idea called PRIDE “Promoting Diversity and Inclusive Youth Work Practices”. That’s where the paths of Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and More Mosaic NGO (Sweden) crossed.
May 2018, 3rd stage of PRIDE. In the framework of the project, it was the second time that APY hosted youth workers, trainers and educators from all over the world. The objective of the TC was to develop diversity orientation in their work with young people and build their competence in diversity management.
Little reminder: During the second stage of PRIDE, the participants organized local events and activities to share the knowledge that they had gained during the first stage of PRIDE. Therefore, the 3rd stage has been the perfect time to publicly present the results and achievements of their local events and activities. “Presenting learning achievements and local activities” was the public event during which the participants had the opportunity to present the activities that they had implemented back in their counties. The participants’ speeches and little presentations were contrasting and really inspiring.
Irina Novac, a 18 years old student from Romania, told us about her experience, “I went to the 5th graders of my school, and played a game about privileges. I gave each one a situation. Some kids had to play a role of someone extremely privileged and others conversely of unprivileged. I asked them 10 simple questions, that made the existence of privilege really obvious (yes-a step forward, no-a step backward, neutral-do not move). After the exercise, we had a discussion, in which all the kids shared their feelings. Then, they had 5 minutes of self-reflection and analysis of what they had learned from the activity. At the end, we tried to find solutions in order to involve everyone and treat everybody equally”.
PRIDE was not all about learning but also about having fun and getting to know Armenia and its history. Visits to Armenian Genocide Memorial, Blue Mosque, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Khor Virap Monastery helped the participants to learn more about the religious diversity and to explore historical monuments of Armenia.
Later Korcan Yakşi told us about his cultural experience, “Armenia was a closed box from my perspective as a Turkish. There are significant social, cultural and physical isolations between two countries and it was a very precious journey for me. I had a chance to be in our neighboring country, to be able to explore Armenia by myself and have my own opinion and not to stick to things that I was constantly taught. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I was in Armenia, have my own experience leaving out the prejudices and “one-sided texts”. Moreover, I am happy I made new friends”.