30 July 2020

On July 29th-30th, Sumy State University hosted classes of the international school-training "Public Advocacy" within the project "Together - we are the force, or I WANT to be a blogger", funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.

For two days, SumDU students discussed discrimination, its types, stereotypes, hate speech, as well as ways in which everyone can fight discrimination and use the mechanisms of public advocacy.

The project was coached by international human rights experts: Magdalena Świder (Poland) and Wiebke Eltze (Germany). The peculiarity of the school was that due to quarantine measures the coaches conducted the event remotely, using web conferencing technologies. Thanks to the technical capacity of SumDU, the broadcast was held at a high level.

Another advantage of the event was that it was attended by foreign students of SumDU, and, consequently, the issue of discrimination and advocacy was considered from different angles, analyzing the experience of Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and other countries.

“The issue of human rights has been a very sensitive topic for me my whole life. I plan to initiate a video blogging program in my city next semester, where we will work with like-minded people to address many issues related to discrimination. I am very proud to take an opportunity and take part in this educational initiative," - Millicent Marian Mbaama, a student of SumDU Medical Institute, shared her impressions of the event.

Another participant of the event, a student of Oleg Balatskyi Academic and Research Institute of Finance Economics and Management Harriette Borteley Alavanyo sees a number of perspectives:

"Many human rights are being violated today and each of us is asking ourselves - when will it stop? I see that this short course will be able to expand our knowledge of human rights and become a platform for sharing our ideas for the betterment of communities in the future” - she said.

The result of the school-training was that all participants, in groups, developed their own advocacy campaigns, which will soon be implemented with the support of the organizers.

The project "Together - we are the force, or I WANT to be a blogger" is implemented by Sumy State University together with the NGO "Youth Media Union (YMU)" in cooperation with German organization "Cultures Interactive", NGO "Human Rights Foundation" and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Germany.