Young people from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities are often bullied as a result of misinformation

Young people from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities are often bullied as a result of misinformation

Many children from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities are dropping out of school because of bullying. Labeling them in the media because of the dire financial conditions and the work they are forced to do to survive has often affected the children. The young people of the three communities are facing bullying and stigmatization in schools, for which they give up even their education.

This was said in today’s training, where about 20 students and teachers of schools in Fushe Kosova were trained on media education.

Today also started the second phase of teacher training on the topic “Misinformation, disinformation and malicious information”, within the project “Media education for teachers of students from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities”.

16-year-old Olti Currolli, who attends the “Minatori” school, says that many of his peers have left school halfway through.

“There have been many cases that (media) come to us and take footage, but they don’t take footage of the good cases, they take footage of the children who go out to collect cans, and because of this, half of my friends have left school. They feel bad that someone who collects cans represents them and when they come to school they are told about the case they saw (those children who collect cans) and they leave school because of it,” says Currolli.

These cases are not few, says the English language professor at the “Minatori” vocational school, Skurta Sertolli.

“A bad visual picture is presented, then the picture is posted somewhere, thus the children are disappointed….they take pictures, because we have digitization tools, they take pictures of two or three children collecting cans where half of the children’s faces are shown. We are aware of the social situation, but it is not right to show it visually, it is a loss of trust and these pictures that are posted turn the communities two steps back. It is very harmful in general but also for other communities. It is not real because tomorrow that child can become a doctor”, she says.

According to her, children are being attacked with a large number of information, which in some cases are violating the dignity of children of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

Ensar Mustafa, who also attends the “Minatori” vocational school, says that such trainings help him to identify fake news.

“With a good analysis, we also pointed out some things about the media, about the radios. For me, they are very important because there are some who make fake news… There are young people who make videos on Tik-Tok or on Instagram, which they post and they make memes with those videos, where they don’t have much to do with those things and they put those people in a bad position. They are afraid to post a video because it becomes viral and when they go out on the street they are bullied”, he tells KosovaPress.

The project manager, Fadil Miftari, says that it is important for young people to be able to distinguish the real news from the news that are intended to misinform.

“This activity is the resumption of a cycle of trainings, which will be held in four municipalities of Kosovo. It starts with Fushe Kosova, continues with Mitrovica, Prizren and Gjakova. This activity is part of the project “Media education for teachers and youth from the communities”. The project aims to raise the awareness of young people of these categories on how to protect themselves against disinformation. As is known, disinformation has become a global concern not only in our society, all societies are facing a challenge with disinformation, because the Internet and the technology of the contemporary world has made it possible for anyone to post things however they want and whatever they want”, he said.

The students and teachers who participated in this training also improvised a news edition, with the main information of Saturday.

With the financial support from the American Embassy in Prishtina, the “KosovaPress” News Agency, together with the non-governmental organization “Young Community Leaders Center/YCLC”, is organizing these trainings within the seven-month project, which aims to raise the awareness of communities against disinformation, as well as strengthening the role of civil society activists from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

The project includes two phases. In the first phase, there are primary school teachers from the sixth to the ninth grade.

Whereas, the second phase will start from December, which includes professors and secondary school students from grades 10 to 12.

The project “Media education against disinformation for teachers, students and civil society activists from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities” is supported by the United States Embassy in Prishtina.

Lexo edhe