Do. Not. Bully. Me! Project KA105

JASNA IDNINA Do. Not. Bully. Me! JASNA IDNINA Do. Not. Bully. Me!

2020-3-МК01-КА105-094476 Do not bully me!

 

Summary of the project

 

Bullying is a hostile behavior towards others expressed in a number of forms: physical, psychological, verbal, non-verbal, teasing (a combination of several forms), sexual, social, etc. Very often, young people may be projecting what violence they have observed and learned at home at school or elsewhere. Recent studies suggest that bullying in childhood and adolescence can have more severe long-term effects on young adults’ mental health and on their development as an individual in later life. Since there is an increasing number of children, teens, adults, parents and teachers who struggle with bullying almost on a daily basis, and in a multitude of settings – from the home to the computer screen, the need to prevent such abusive behavior and learn good coping mechanisms is increasing from day to day. Bullying does not stop, but it evolves with the advancement of technology and nowadays it has become much easier since social media and the internet in general offer full anonymity to bullies. Bullying may not have been a topic explored extensively in the past, but in the present-day world, bullying is a topic taken very seriously, so seriously that countries and the EU have devised entire strategies and support systems. This is the case because bullying goes against the principles of equality, inclusion and basic human rights of all the citizens of Europe. More importantly, bullying happens for a variety of psychological and emotional reasons and responses, and both the bullies and the bullied have permanent consequences in their life as adults as well which may be manifested as prolonged harassment, victimization, depression and even suicide. Education-wise, bullying affects the life of students negatively and reports say that although there is not a single trend and a common manifestation or reasoning behind it, varying percentages of students are bullied on a daily basis, the majority have been bullied at least twice in every term, and there is a serious percentage of students who miss school for fear of bullying. As we said, the numbers vary depending on the country and the reasons for bullying, however, the trend is not subsiding pushing us to take action and do everything we can to counteract bullying. COVID-19 and the lockdown have contributed to increased domestic violence and online bullying, so action must be taken promptly and raise awareness first on the damaging long-term effects of bullying, and then to take concrete measures in cooperation with relevant state institutions and others in the fight against bullying. Bullying of any form is a huge setback to the EU not only because it demotes human rights and principles, but also because it hurts education on the long run. The EU 2030 Strategy promotes, among other things:

– prevention of early school leaving;

– going into higher education;

– and lifelong learning.

The fact that bullying is most expressed at school, and that it affects students directly (many of which decide to miss classes to avoid being bullied), hinders the realization of the Strategy and goes against Article 2 of the Treaty. With our project, we will contribute to the fight against bullying and also to the achievement of the 2030 Strategy.

 

The youth exchange took place in Struga, North Macedonia in the period of 13th to 20th September 2021. Young people from North Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece and Belgium took an active part in the activities. Among them, there were many who had experienced several forms of bullying and some lived with bullying on a daily basis.

The methodology of work was non-formal using participatory methods, role play, teamwork, research, discussions, presentations, creative writing, Forum theatre, self-reflection, problem-based approaches and collaborative learning, etc. During the workshops, the participants were able to exchange their experiences, views and share their ideas how to fight bullying. The group dynamics was amazing and further helped the work in the sessions.