SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

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INVITATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE “DIGITAL GARDENING – IMPLEMENTING STRATEGIES TO COUNTER HATE SPEECH ONLINE” INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PROGRAM TRAINING


website

Do you want to…

… be an ambassador of change?

… gain the knowledge and skills to recognize, decipher and counter hate speech online?

… become part of the international coalition to counter hate speech?

Sofia Development Association invites…

teachers, mentors, social workers, trainers, representatives of non-governmental organizations, public institutions, educational institutions and people actively involved in learning processes, at a one-day interactive workshop "Digital Gardening - Implementing Strategies to Counter Hate Speech Online".

What will you learn?

Social media occupies a very large part of our daily lives, and for adolescents and young people it has become a main way of communication. More and more often we witness verbal aggression directed at someone/something. The training aims to present the different aspects of hate speech in the internet space through interactive methods to help you deal with this challenge more easily.

Where?

SofiaLab – a cozy but also dynamic space where you can learn, but also teach; meet interesting people, but also bring together interesting people; to look for creative solutions, but also to work for their implementation in real situations.

Address: “Serdika” Str. 1, 3rd floor

Conditions for participation:

The event is FREE, including interactive training in the Bulgarian language by mentors representing the program, materials for work during the seminar, coffee breaks and lunch are also provided, as well as a certificate of participation in the program.

The program does NOT cover costs for overnight stays and transportation for participants who would like to join the training, but do not live in the city of Sofia.

How to get involved:

We are attaching three entry forms to this call, with three possible dates that you can join.

One participant can participate in only one of the specified dates!

The seats are limited!

23.02.2023 - https://forms.gle/zfxAUdzdnijtPyaKA

24.02.2023 - https://forms.gle/2e8zKM8Wv7xMKMwi9

25.02.2023 - https://forms.gle/WjnbNACeGq1qpUMt8

By filling out this form, you are declaring your desire to participate in the seminar, and the Sofia Development Association team will confirm your participation by email and send you additional information.

Registration deadline: February 10, 2023.

The training is part of the LEAD - Online project, which through education, information and empowerment, helps young people and their teachers to better understand the phenomenon of 'online hate'. The project seeks to reveal the roots of stereotypes and prejudices, of hostility against the digital "other", in order to change the attitude and position of "digital passive witnesses". Sofia Development Association is the coordinator of the project, which includes six other organizations and institutions from all over Europe. 

For more information about the LEAD - Online project, visit the website of the Sofia Development Association and read more about the seminar program, which is attached to the invitation.

PROGRAM OF THE EVENT CAN BE FOUND HERE!

The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.

HATE SPEECH ONLINE – 7 COUNTRIES SHARE EXPERIENCES IN A DISCUSSION ON THE LEAD ONLINE PROJECT

2023 01 25 7Ignoring hate speech messages or simply blocking the user; responding to hate with more hate; supporting restrictions to what we can say online yet arguing that everyone should be free to express themselves and leave it to the readers to decide if any content is offensive. These are some of the results of the online self-assessment tool on hate speech (HS-SAT) that partners in seven EU countries conducted from September through November 2022. The project Advisory Board members joined the partner organizations to discuss the test results at an online meeting on 25 January 2023. The HS-SAT is part of the education and awareness-raising activities in the LEAD-Online project, coordinated by SDA.

Over 3500 users - school students and teachers, civic activists, and journalists, took the HS-SAT until the end of November in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Romania. The findings indicate similar trends in the seven countries when it comes to the usual targets of HSO, namely, migrants and refugees,ethnic minorities such as Roma, the LGBTQI+ community,and women. Over one-third of respondents also believe that young girls are most often the targets of online hatred. Close to 30% of all test users admit that they have used hate speech themselves in online communications. More detailed analysis per country and statistics are available in the national reports and the comparative report, which will be published shortly.

Currently, the project partners are in the process of developing an interactive online game, Hate Out!, with real-life scenarios that will let users recognize and decode hate speech and then choose the most adequate way to respond. The first release of the game is planned for May 2023. To find out how to be one of the first to play the game and how to become a champion of tolerance and non-discrimination among your peers, follow us.

The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.

       

SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION AND THE BCAUSE FOUNDATION ARE ORGANIZING AN INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR ABOUT THE EASI STRAND OF ESF+

Webinar 09.02 KV

On 9th February 2023 between 10 AM and 11 AM SDA and Bcause are organizing a webinar on the subject of the Employment and Social Innovation strand of the European Social Fund +, as well as the Informational center of the EaSI in Bulgaria.

The event will be held online and will help participants to better understand the ESF+ and its opportunities. Registration for the webinar is available here.

The EaSI National Contact Point project is funded by the European Commission and has a duration of two years. (2022-2024).

EN V Funded by the EU POS

HARDCORE GAME JAM 2023 – PART OF GLOBAL GAME JAM

Sofia Development Association will once again host at SofiaLab an exciting event organized by Hardcore Game Jam, part of Global Game Jam.

“The GGJ is the world's largest game creation event taking place around the globe boasting tens of thousands of participants (jammers) at hundreds of physical and virtual sites in over one hundred countries around the world.
A game jam is similar to a hackathon where people come together for a short period of time to create games around a central theme revealed at the start of the jam.” (Global Game Jam Official Site)

Hardcore Game Jam will be held from 02.02.2023 to 05.02.2023, as on 02.02. meeting point will be the "Raven and Cannonball" bar, and on 02.03. we will be waiting for you at SofiaLAb, 1 Serdika St., 3rd floor, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The event is held with the support of Sofia Development Association/SofiaLab, Incineration Productions, Coca – Cola HBC Bulgaria, Sofia Game Night and Next Level Gaming

NEW PARTNERSHIPS FOR INTEGRATION OF REFUGEES

SDA is one of nine local civil society organizations in Sofia which have been invited to become an official partner of UNHCR for 2023 to work on integration of refugees and persons with temporary protection from Ukraine.

At a joint meeting with all partner organizations on January 20, 2023, the UNHCR Bulgaria Representative Ms. Seda Kuzucu outlined the priorities for integration in Bulgaria, noting that continued efforts are needed to respond to the multiple crises that marked 2022 and to ensure that everyone in need receives adequate care and protection. Communication, dialogue, collaborative efforts and sharing of expertise will guide the integration agenda in the coming months. SDA welcomes the opportunity to continue cooperating with UNHCR and other public and private stakeholders to solidify the results achieved over the past years. Most notably, SDA will seek to expand the operations of the municipal Bureau for information and services to third country nationals, which has already proven to be a key point of service for migrants in the city as well as for coordinating the efforts of the many organizations that provide essential support and long-term integration pathways to all those who have chosen to stay in Sofia in search of a better life.

Read more about the project on our website and social media channels.

      

   

THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND AND DEVELOP IN 2023

Infographic Connectin BUREAU eng 2.2

Since its start in October 2021 the Bureau for Information and Services for Third Country Nationals has been open to every foreign citizen, who needs assistance with information or different kinds of services regarding their integration and way of living in Bulgaria. Almost a year and a half later, the center can proudly announce remarkable results in regard to its services towards third-country nationals who have sought help from the specialists there.

Since October 2021, the bureau has been visited nearly 1,500 times (1,150 in the first year alone) by refugees and migrants seeking information or various types of services. On average, more than 100 people cross the threshold of the center per month, seeking assistance. This is shown in a REPORT ON THE ASSESSMENT OF THE CENTER'S ACTIVITIES SINCE ITS START IN 2021. The most requested services during this period are related accompaniment to various institutions, legal assistance, referral to other organizations, as well as financial assistance.

The average assessment of the bureau's work by its users is excellent - they rate the service received with 4.5 on a 5-point system, and the attitude and competence of the staff receives an enviable rating of 4.7.

The Bureau's online platforms are also enjoying a large interest – with over 1,500 unique users and a total of over 2,200 visits in the first year, the service center's website is an online center for help and assistance to foreign nationals.

Visitors' recommendations for improving the work of the office are related to the presence of more employees in the center, more opportunities to accompany refugees and migrants to different institutions, health, school facilities and others, as well as more frequent offering of legal aid as traditionally the most requested service.

The Bureau of Information and Services for Third Country Nationals continues its activities in the new year, looking for new ways to help refugees and migrants with services and information to help with their integration and way of living.

The bureau’s program for January is accessible here.

The bureau and its activities are a part of the CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, that is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. It was established and has been operating since October last year with the joint efforts of the Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, Bulgarian Red Cross, with the support of Pazari Vazrazhdane and UNHCR, co-financed by the EU through the AMIF.

  

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