In my memories, I am unable to forget the start of the refugee crisis in Macedonia. Completely out of any relevant information, we were driving on the highway around August 2016. People in columns walk on the highway and are completely tired. There are so many people, what is happening! We research on the news and here are the information. A big treat for Macedonia, unforeseen circumstances, refugees will stay in Macedonia, a big fight in the refugee camp, refugees fight with the police, refugees you are not good for Macedonia, all of this, ALL OF THIS ON MEDIA! NOT EVEN ONE STORY ABOUT HOW THESE PEOPLE LIVE! Not even one part of the news dedicated on education of the citizens about the process of becoming a refugee, about asylum seeking, about this people and how we can help them. Fear from this people is the first feeling we are facing. Then, researching more about the topic, I saw the other side of the story, a new perspective about the society influenced by media that we live in. This is the point when I decided to do something and create “Be the change”! And I am truly glad that this project was truly that, A CHANGE!
June 1st 2017, 6am, the minivan departs from the office of GET INNOVATION to Struga where we are welcoming our participants from 5 countries, all of them ready to work on the project activities and to be the change. First day completed, all people are here and we proceed with the program on June 2nd. People are open and ready, they researched and tried to find information, we explore basics and we learn that media do not teach us anything about what is a refugee, what is asylum seeker, why are we in crisis and who are the people who need help. We learn the path of migration from BBC online tools and we do many practical exercises. We are into the topic and we all face our own fears and expectations, our stereotypes, and we learn about the closed box that we live in. Watching videos about the crisis, sharing information with the people who worked in refugee camps and looking at success stories of migration in Europe has changed us. We changed ourselves and we managed to free ourselves from the linear information we receive. And then, we decided to make a bigger change and to raise awareness in the society! We created a flash mob and info materials, so people can learn.
European youth was changed. This was the biggest achievement. We become aware, we leaned that we are completely influenced by the media world, but we also learned that we need to free ourselves from irrelevant information and search deeper.
I said to myself, I need to go on, there are 40 people here who changed their mind, and they are going home this June 9th 2017 ready to change their society further on.