Young people to bring about positive messages
Podgorica, (MINA) – Young people have the capacity to bring about positive change in their communities, it was stated at a training titled “Identifying and Deconstructing Extremist Narratives”.
The training was organized by Forum MNE, as a part of a three-year project “Communities First: Creation of civil society hub to address violent extremism—from Prevention to Reintegration”.
The aim of the training is to recognize extremist narratives, create positive messages and campaigns to promote democratic values, tolerance and respect for human rights.
The participants are young people, high school and university students, representatives of youth organizations and organizations for youth from Montenegro.
The training stated that young people should be more active in order to respond to extremist and anti-democratic narratives existing in the media.
It has been said that on the road to a positive campaign, it is necessary to identify the problem, investigate it with facts, not with guesswork.
Darko Ivanović, executive director of the NGO 35-millimeter, said that the goal of the training is to present the younger generation to campaigning in a way that is appropriate for the 21st century and which significantly deviates from the narratives of political parties.
“Political campaigns have now been transferred to a new battleground, the Internet, and are suitable for younger generations because the younger generation likes to use them,” Ivanović said.
As he said, almost 80 percent of people daily get information from the Internet.
“The battle for the campaign has shifted to a new field where messages are transmitted much faster. Campaigns must carry one or two messages that essentially reach consumers much faster.”
According to him, what is being forgotten is that campaigns against violent extremism must also be positive.
“No message that ends without ‘join us, it concerns you’ is a good message,” Ivanović said.
Ivanović stated that violent extremism concerns everyone, and it is not only tied to one nation, to one religion, but it appears in almost all nations, especially in the Balkans.
“The obligation is to present to young people that violent extremism is all around them, and that they fight it first through information, then by acting and finally by associating and sending a message,” Ivanović said.
Project Trainer at the Forum MNE, Jelena Fuštić, said that their goal was to involve all actors in society who they believed would contribute to building resilient community to violent extremism.
Fuštić said they worked with over 120 representatives of civil society, the media, professors, teachers and young people.
“Today we are working with young people, on who we have put special emphasis, when it comes to this program,” Fustic said.
She said that this is because young people are often recognized as a particularly vulnerable category when it comes to the violent extremism phenomenon.
“We are especially pleased that we served as a motivation, an inspiration to young people to tackle this topic themselves,” Fustic said.
According to her, young people who are in the role of peer educators have already passed the acquired knowledge to their peers through educational workshops.
The training, which began by presenting examples of good practice, stated that on the way to a positive campaign, it was necessary to identify the problem, investigate it and examine whether everyone concerned was familiar with it. Existing research should be used and new research should be carried out if necessary.
The Forum MNE is implementing a three-year project in partnership with the Center for Legal Civic Initiatives (Albania), Hope and Homes for Children (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Partners Kosova – Center for Conflict Management (Kosovo), Center for Common Ground (North Macedonia), and Cultural Center DamaD (Serbia) with financial support from the European Union and the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro.
Impressions of the training participants:
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