Last 31st March and 01st April, AMeLiE project partners met in Timisoara, Romania for the first face-to-face meeting since the project kicked off in September 2020. Our Romanian partner EOS foundation was our kind host and made sure that the meeting runs smoothly and efficiently in a hybrid format as the representatives of our Greek partner HOU had to join in an online mode.
The meeting started reviewing the materials currently uploaded to the platform and their translation into partners’ languages. Since partners started with a selected number of work sheets translated into national languages, more materials will be translated and added in the coming weeks to make the selection of lesson plans for teachers even richer. Partners also reviewed and made a recap of the ongoing online discussions on Basecamp regarding the platform and its functionalities. Platform features, available sections and options were reviewed, and partners discussed how to change them in order to make them even more user friendly and intuitive for the teachers to use. The feedback of the initial users of the platform was taken into account.
Partners did a tour de table regarding the ongoing expansion of the virtual network, sharing feedback from the teachers involved. Some partners organised additional webinars for the teachers to facilitate their on-boarding on the platform. In Germany, teachers are very enthusiastic, but they are also very busy at the moment due to mid-term evaluations. To support the teachers in real time, the German partner set up a weekly help desk service, where the project manager is available at fixed times for at least 1h every week for a live chat or call with the teachers who need help with the platform or the implementation of the activities. ALL DIGITAL, whose role is to involve teachers from other European countries thanks to its pan-European network, involved teachers from Serbia and Bulgaria. The Bulgarian teachers have set the national Kind Speech Day to 14thApril.
Partners also discussed another important topic – the upcoming Kind speech day campaigns. Guidelines for the teachers were reviewed and finalised. They include numerous useful examples of on and offline communication activities that the teachers can implement with their students, ranging from creating videos, posting on the school website or social media page, to poster exhibition, role playing games and other. They will serve as an inspiration for teachers to organise the campaign in their schools, and thus, promote kind speech and the principles of the manifesto of non-hostile communication, to their local community. The most successful campaigns will be awarded, and the teachers will win a trip to a European capital (TBC which one), where their efforts will be recognised at an international event, and they will be able to meet their peers from the other countries. How are we going to select the best campaigns? This was also a topic for discussion and partners agreed to five criteria related to the outreach of the campaign (number of people involved and reached), the relevance of the campaign to the topic of online hate speech, the use of the Manifesto, and the visual appeal of the campaign.
The meeting ended with a social component – something that partners have been missing at online meetings – a guided tour to the beautiful city of Timisoara. Partners learned that in fact, historically, Timisoara is a meeting spot for many different ethnicities (Romanian, Serbian, Hungarian, German, Austrian, Bulgarian) and religions (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) and an excellent example not only of multiculturality, but also of interculturality, tolerance and mutual respect.