EmpowerMe: Media and Digital Literacy for Inclusion and Diversity- Guimarães, Portugal

11-18 July 2022| Guimaraes, Portugal

Núcleo de Inclusão

During 11-18 July, members of our organisation were part of a youth exchange in Guimarães - Portugal, organised by Núcleo de Inclusão and supported by the Erasmus + Programme. The name of the youth exchange was EmpowerMe: Media and Digital Literacy for Inclusion and Diversity”. The youth exchange gathered 45 participants coming from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

The youth exchange programme aimed to understand how social media platforms affect intolerance and stereotypical behaviours in society and how we, as a civic society, might be a "place for articles of voice". We reflected on the subject of misinformation and prejudice in the media and social networks during current young mobility.

The initial stage of the youth exchange focused on getting to know one another, developing teams, and exchanging cultures. Together, we first formed the reflection technique and came to an understanding of the group learning principles. The discovery of the fundamental, most significant, and pertinent concepts—such as diversity, inclusion, and the components of these concepts—in the theoretical and practical context of digital media literacy came next.

The participants were given instructions at the start of the project to identify and debate terms like diversity, human rights, inclusiveness, digital media, and fake news. Together, the participants assessed the results and worked with them to deepen their grasp of these complicated subjects. Theoretical inputs were presented after these definition exercises. Participants gained knowledge of the visible and unseen news framework. This functioned as a technique for coming up with answers and creating transformational abilities and resources to approach issues in a constructive manner to bring about a good change in the neighbourhood. It also served as a technique for analyzing the situation of digital media today and distinguishing between fake and real news on social media.

Specific objectives of this youth exchange project were to encourage learning and skill development through non-formal and informal dynamics and the promotion of intercultural and diverse dialogue. Reinforce common European values and eliminate conscious prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination, and/or bullying.

During this youth exchange, facilitators had experience working with youth and people with disabilities. They shared interesting facts about their experiences and brought practical tools for the participants to understand and work with them. Participants gained knowledge of various websites and tools and how to make digital media literacy accessible to persons with disabilities. Different group activities helped to find solutions of current problems in the world regarding the topic of fake news and the accessibility of digital media to disabled people.

On top of that, participants had an opportunity to have intercultural exchanges, taste sweets and snacks from different countries, and present their countries. Also, they had the chance to do different activities such as cultural tours, hiking and dog walking in Guimaraes.