On April 7, 2016 as part of the Youth 3.0 project, 24 youth workers from Ukraine, Italy, Macedonia, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Azerbaijan came to Gdańsk-Sobieszewo to exchange experiences in the use of social media by non-governmental organizations and learn ways to conciously promote this method of communication.

Nowadays, social media is an extremely important unit that must undoubtedly be included in the planning of organizations’ activities. Although they are not a mandatory channel of communication for everyone, we should be aware of their potential and strength. Wrong communication techniques through social media may bring certain risks, therefore the choice of this communication form should be well thought out and supported by a planned strategy.

During the 10-day training the participants, using non-formal education methods, discussed what social media are, what the participants’ role in media is and how the social media are used in their corresponding organization and countries. Together, we analyzed the social media environments, ie. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Internet websites, indicating their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the possibility of using them in our activities. We looked for similarities and differences in online and offline campaigns taking examples of good practices from each country and the European campaigns, eg. No hate speech. The theoretical knowledge we gained was used to prepare projects of joint Internet campaigns, including topics on safe internet, wasting food, sex education. Working in international and intercultural groups helped to understand the principles of creating a European campaign that responds to common needs but at the same time respects the values ​​and traditions of each culture individually.

On April 13, 2016 in Gniew, the participants took part in the international conference “Social media for the development of participatory democracy”. The meeting with young people, representatives of non-governmental organizations and decision-makers was an opportunity to get to know each other, exchange of good practices and further discussions on principles of shaping bilateral communication using social media.

During workshops in international groups, online campaign plans were developed:

  1. #internetsecurity addresses the problem of insecurity online and an easy access to content that shows violence, pornography, violation of privacy. The slogan of the campaign is: “Tomorrow will be late”.

  1. #againstnewaddiction responds to the increasing level of Internet and new media addiction, the assumed activities are a Facebook campaign, a short promotional movie.
  1. #sharenotwaste aims at making young people aware of food wasting problem and trying to prepare activities enabling the transfer / sharing of food.
  1. #sexualeducation addresses the insufficient number of actions on sexuality and lack of sexual education targeting people under 25 in many countries. The campaign recipients are people from rural areas where sex is a taboo subject and is perceived by young people as commodity. The campaign also concerns the problem of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women, especially immigrants.

The participants left the training full of ideas for further activities, new partners, internet campaign plans, knowledge about building Internet campaigns and… a new Snapchat account.

Project partners:

  • Green Cross Society (Lviv, Ukraine)

  • Associazione Elios Acireale, Italy)

  • Baskent Genclik Hareketi Egitim Kultur Sanat Spor Gezi Ve Yardimlasma Dernegi (Ankara, Turkey)

  • Zdruzenie Mladniski Sovet Bosilovo (Bosilovo, Macedonia)

  • Akto – Human Rights and Democracy (Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Asociacion Juvenil Intercambia (Malaga, Spain)

  • Modern Youth Public Union (Baku, Azerbaija)

The project, under Erasmus+ Program, was funded with support from the European Union