Meet up: Discrimination Zero

Almost one month ago, one of the most amazing projects of AEGEE-Dresden has come to an end. Discrimination0 was an exchange program opened to young people from 17 to 30 years old from Germany, Russia and Ukraine.
The first part took place from 2nd – 7th of October in the picturesque Lviv, Ukraine and gathered 40 enthusiastic people, eager to know more about one of the biggest issue in the society of nowadays – discrimination. In five days we had the chance to learn how people with disabilities deal with daily life, about feminism in the society of today together with invited, qualified trainers and guests.
The second part gathered again 40 participants, but this time in the beautiful city of Dresden, Germany from the 17th-22nd of November. We got the opportunity to take part in a civil courage workshop, visit a muslim community, a synagogue, cook together with people from Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and we talked about the issue of racial and confessional discrimination. The program also covered an exhibition visit to “The boringly normal man” at Riesa Efau, which aimed at displaying the role of men in modern society. One of the highlights of the project was the workshop about PEGIDA (a movement which encourages discrimination and which found its origin in Dresden). We thought it is a necessary topic to be discussed in the framework of this exchange program in order to raise awareness and inform young people about this issue. To conclude the intense five days of workshops and study visits, we had a discussion at the Saxonian State Parliament with representatives of the Commission for Foreign Nationals about solutions that are currently being implemented in order to solve the diverse problems that occur because of structural discrimination.
We strongly believe that Discrimination0 had an impact on our participants and they will feel enough informed and empowered to make a difference in their society and stand for values as diversity, trust and understanding. Furthermore, this exchange program accomplished to bring young people from Russia and Ukraine together. Despite the political issues between the two countries, we were able to create a safe space for discussions and to become one big family in the end, because friendship is diverse, borderless and non-political.
We want to thank the foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) , the Federal Foreign Office and the Robert Bosch Stiftung for making this project possible, as well as our beloved partners from AEGEE-Lviv and AEGEE-Moskva with whom we organized the exchange.