“Discrimination0”, the project organised by AEGEE-Lviv, AEGEE-Dresden and AEGEE-Moskva has already come to its end. The project consisted of two parts which took place in Ukraine and Germany in the format of youth exchange. The main goal of the event – promoting tolerance and unity for building a society free of any kind of discrimination and stereotypes.
The first part took place in Lviv on October 2nd-7th. During the week, every day was very different from the others and very intensive. The first day of the project was devoted to finding the definition of discrimination and discussing some controversial points about it. Then we talked about the discrimination of disabled people and got acquainted with the international sign language. We also had a day devoted to gender discrimination and meeting with representatives of the League of Women’s Rights Protection “Harmony of the Equal”. They shared with us some important information about gender discrimination in Ukraine and the ways it can be revealed. We also learned some legal aspects of this problem. As Lviv is considered to be one of the oldest and the most beautiful cities of Europe, our organisers also included an excursion part to the programme. So, we had a city tour with an amazing guide who let us in on the city secrets and a trip around three old castles situated in the Lviv region. It is also worth mentioning the informal part of the project – communication, games to know each other, evening walks and parties!
The second part of the “Discrimination0” project took part in Dresden from the 17th to the 22nd of November. Due to our amazing organisers, the second part was mostly focused on the themes that weren’t discussed before. So, we had a reflection workshop with a long conversation on privileges in society and empathy towards other people. We tried to understand the phenomenon of PEGIDA, to find out the real ways to react against discrimination, to develop a civil courage and understand the main problems of the muslim community. A gender issue was also present in our discussions, but not in a way we were used to; an exhibition, “The boringly normal man”, dedicated to masculinity made us think about this social construct. What does it mean – being a man in the XXI century? Which problems are men usually faced with? Now almost everybody agrees we must fight against gender inequality, but without understanding the nature of femininity and masculinity it would not be possible.
“Discrimination0” has come to its end. To sum up, the Dresden part differs from the Lviv one on its topics and on the questions we were trying to solve. But that’s the most important thing! Two countries having a different background and different experiences uniting against the mutual problem, trying to learn from each other and to understand each other. Reacting against discrimination is very important, but the first and the main thing our action can start with is a feeling of empathy towards somebody and understanding of the situation. We strongly believe that “Discrimination0” had an impact on the participants and they will feel now informed and empowered enough to make a difference in their society and stand for values as diversity, trust and understanding. We want to thank the foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ), the Federal Foreign Office and the Robert Bosch Stiftung for making this project possible!
Written by AEGEE-Lviv