- Better understand than hate

Exchange of experiences is useful when combatting racism and hate speech in Europe. The Norwegian-Polish project "Better understand than hate» was initiated this spring, and the aim is to increase understanding and tolerance. The project is financed by the EEA Grants and the Polish NGO Programme.

Last week, three English teachers from Poland visited Norwegian People's Aid (Western regional office). The polish guests were presented with different tools applied in anti-racism work, such as the "human library", "racism free zone" and the Norwegian People's Aid campaign "Prejudices stupify". On the programme was also a 'Diversity and Dialogue' course. Young representatives from the Norwegian People's Aid Solidarity Youth participated actively during the three days and shared their work against prejudices and racism. It is crucial that youth are involved in the work against hate speech, especially since they are the most avid users of social media. In addition to presentations and discussions, the polish guests were able to see parts of Hordaland county. The three guests were showed around in Bergen and could experience the food and culture. They were very satisfied with the visit and hospitality, and invited the Norwegian partners to a visit in their home town of Now Sacz in October.

From idea to project
The project started with the Polish Foundation «Foundation for Promoting Science and Creativity» contacting Hordaland county in order to identify a Norwegian partner for their anti-racism project.

The polish contact person found Hordaland County through a German partner in Thüringen -European Career Center Erfurt. Hordaland County Council signed a partnership agreement and was a partmer in the official EEA Grant application. They then started looking for an organisation that had practical experience with working with youth and hate speech. Norwegian People's Aid and the Solidarity Youth showed interest in the project and after a few Skype meetings, a study visit for three Polish teachers was planned. In the fall, three people from Norwegian People's Aid and the Solidarity Youth will visit schools in Poland. The EEA Grants will cover the travel and accommodation.

Original artical written by Barbara Harterink and published on Hordaland County Council's website.


Article published on 24 August 2014
This article has been last modifed on 27 August 2014