Through international voluntary exchanges with people of different social, economic, national and cultural backgrounds SCI creates an intercultural setting in all its projects,
meetings, trainings and seminars. In 2016 there were specific projects and activities that had intercultural dialogue and exchange as their main theme. One of this year's highlights included the project “Erasmus for All, Erasmus for Inclusion”, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, which gathered 14 coordinators and activists of the Youth and Unemployment Working Group to evaluate the season of Inclusion 2016, to work on the improvement of tools, methods and practices, to elaborate on new possible opportunities for cooperation on the topic of inclusion. YUWG partners (SCI branches from Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Catalunya, Serbia, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Hungary) gathered in Bulgaria from 11th until 16th of October.
Many local activities were also organised by YUWG’s members, highlights include:
CVS Bulgaria organized the “refugee project for a 7th year, working on a weekly basis with Refugees in the biggest Refugee centre in Sofia. Nowadays it has more then 60 volunteers, working with refugees in all three Refugee Centres in Sofia, delivering workshops in English, Bulgarian, Sports, Arts, Bakery, Cooking and covering other needs and requests that refugees have. CVS also held, in 2016, two preparation meetings for two outgoing groups of youngsters with fewer opportunities – a whole day workshop preparatory meeting.
SCI Catalunya's local social inclusion group called Petjada Jove created a new local youth group called Ravalució and an antiracist campaign! The Ravalució group organized the preparation of Raval's summer festival (with a non-discrimination campaign).
SCI's branch in Greece, SCI Hellas organised workcamps involving YUWG participants and also a workcamp with cooperation of LGBTQ community and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflict zones.
VCV Serbia organized workshops on sustainable development, with a special focus on developing skills of young people: cooking vegan, making compost, sewing, knitting, making food for the winter as well as a training for young people with the aim of developing solidarity and skills for organizing humanitarian actions for and with vulnerable members of the population.
SCI Germany and SCI's SAVA Working Group (focusing on the Balkan Region) organised a seminar on fighting hate speech in online media called "Haters wanna hate - We spread respect!" in Berlin, Germany, November-December 2016:
"An increasingly brutal public discourse and open hate speech throughout social and established media have led to the rise of rightist populist & extremist movements. Their presence allows for some hate speech to shift into the daily vocabulary. On the other hand, the new dynamics of social media enable hate speakers to spread their opinions widely. So we want to give tools to recognize and speak up against hate speech especially in social media.
The seminar gives space to share the different perspectives on the refugee influx and compare public reactions to it in Germany and the Balkan countries. In order to fight misinformation fueling prejudices and hate speech, the seminar revisits the basic developments of the refugee migration in Germany and Europe, giving examples of solidarity between refugees and Germans and promoting them creatively."
The No Hate Speech Campaign part of the project “Young People Combating Hate Speech Online” by the Council of Europe was presented as part of the seminar.