Name of the organization: Association for Civil Activism FORUM 16 – Bitola
Brief description of the organization
FORUM 16 was established in 2013. Its vision is to help citizens of North Macedonia to develop better lives through new initiatives that promote active citizenship and opportunities for engagement in civil society. The mission is to help citizens of North Macedonia in the realization of their ideas in the fields of culture, art, economy, education and social responsibility, and to motivate citizen involvement in ongoing programs, projects and actions. The objectives of FORUM 16 are (1) to encourage and support youth activism in the field of culture, economic development, local affairs, sports and education; (2) to promote and support civic initiatives which encourage social progress, European values and international cooperation; (3) to encourage and support the entrepreneurial spirit and strengthening of the ecosystem in North Macedonia for the formation of businesses, civil society organizations and social enterprises; and (4) to encourage and support volunteerism and non-formal education.
Problem addressed by the good practice
The initiative aims to break down and reduce harmful stereotypes, prejudices, and hate speech.
The target group is young people and adults.
Summary of the good practice
In August 2018, FORUM 16 started a new initiative: “Glasno sokache- Budno chikmache” as part of its ongoing efforts to break down and reduce harmful stereotypes, prejudices, and hate speech. Through pilot activities undertaken in Bitola during 2017, FORUM 16 identified common themes that promote negative stereotypes referring to women, youth, the elderly, Roma and other groups. Because FORUM 16 is a youth organization, the team decided to focus on prejudices that refer to young people as lazy and disinterested in their community.
This initiative is intended to encourage intergenerational dialogue and mutual respect through volunteer actions to create or restore interesting but overlooked public spaces where neighbours and passers-by might socialize together. The idea is that young and older people working together to improve neglected locations in their community – narrow or dead-end streets, benches, fountains, etc. – can help to promote an atmosphere of inclusion, tolerance, and understanding. The project models these desirable qualities in both its methods and its results.
Glasno sokache – Budno chikmache is part of FORUM 16’s (ST)ART program to promote human rights through the creative arts. It grew out of the Association’s past anti-hate speech and public art activities and was developed as part of a country-wide effort by the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) – Mission to Skopje to promote local anti-rumour campaigns. The mentoring element of the project is supported by the OSCE – Mission to Skopje. FORUM 16 is continuing the project on an ongoing basis in cooperation with the relevant institutions and organizations
Follow Council of Europe Intercultural Cities programme, in collaboration with Anti-rumours Global, for theoretical and practical introduction to the Anti-rumours Strategy.