Combating Hate Speech — Latvia


ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course

Venue: Riga, Latvia

Dates: 2—10 February 2023

Czech team: Jakub Čeřovský, Karolína Straková, Vendula Žůrková, Jakub Nevrlý

Please read the info-pack.

Hosting organisation: Youth Association BIID

Participating countries: Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania

Project report:

Hi, my name is Jakub and I am about to describe to You our erasmus+ project Combating Hate Speech in Riga. It was wonderful week from 2nd February till 10th February. I am gonna divide my report in parts, so its easier to navigate.

Traveling to the place of the project

It was up to us what type of travel we choose, but most convinient for all of us was to use planes. Organizators sent us detailed instructions of how to get from the airport to the hotel, where the project took place. They even made a short video of how to navigate from baggage reclaim to the bus stop where we got on a bus, which took us most of the way. The only con of this manual is that the organizators didn´t mention that we can change buses and we can get off really close next to the hotel. Me myself I didn´t care, I have been sitting whole day and I took the opportunity to take the 20 minutes walk (you see much more on foot than from bus). So in my opinion this is just a slight detail.

The project

The projects topic was Combating the hate speech. This include all hurtful ways of communication between people, e.g. racisim, sexism, homophobia etc. I expected a lot from this project, mostly an interesting way of informal learning. Needless to say, the project met all my expectations. It wasn´t just boring listening to one person explaining the topic, like we are used to in schools. The majority of the project was group work. Most of the time we were divided in different groups, in which we completed given tasks and later we disscussed our results in the main group. My favourite detail was that the groups were never the same. Everytime it was different number and people, always random. This contributed a lot in connecting with other participants and helped us to get to know eachother better.

We set our goals separately, every person on their own and it was up to us, if we seeked to achieve them. My goals were to get better understanding and knowledge of hate speech, being able to potentionaly react better towards it and and to be able to settle disputes, in which hate speech is used. For myself I have to say that I achieved my goals, which makes me really satisfied with the project and I would definetely recommend it to anyone.

The only difference – which again, only served for better good – was in timetable. Our schedule didn´t comply at all (a little at most) with the schedule we have been sent. In my opinion it was only better, because we had more free time than i thought. The original plan was to have sessions from 9:00 to 22:00 with breaks for food of course, but during these 1-1,5 hours long breaks u can´t do anything else. The reality was different. We had sessions from 10:00 to 13:00, then lunch, then again from 15:00 to 18:30 and then we had free will to do whatever we want (with exception of 2 cultural evenings, which is cool anyway). One day we had free afternoon and after an agreement of spending more time on sessions the previous day, we had the last day of project (not the departure day of course, that is after the last day) completely free. So it wasn´t only about work and sitting in some room, we also had enough time to go and explore Riga, which made me really happy.


Food: Food was amazing. Breakfasts were large, all you can eat type and even though you came in 10 minutes before it was over, the staff always refilled the food, so you still had all the choices. For lunch there was always atleast one type of salad for taking, again always refilled and delicious (in my case only one salad wasn´t to my liking). The course itself was always good and if the portion wasn´t enough, there still was the salad. My critique comes with diner. The food was delicious again, but the portions were desperately small (im big guy, I eat a lot, but even girl 1/3 of my size didn´t have enough sometimes). Usually there was no salad and to get more food You had to be lucky for the staff to have extra portions (didn´t happen often + my short attention span didn´t let me wait for everyone to have their diner, so I always left). For most of the nights I had to buy more food somewhere else (there was a shop literally next door to the hotel). Anyway if anyone would have sweet tooth of would be hungry during sessions, there were boxes with cookies there, all good, some typicaly Latvian, so that a huge plus.

Accommodation: We stayed at a hotel. It was a four story story building. We stayed on floors 3 to 5 (actually 2 to 4, because in Latvia there is no ground floor, they start from 1). There were 2 elevators, so stairs weren´t a problém. The rooms were differently big, the bigger the more people stayed with you. I stayed with roommate from Czech republic in kinda small room. The room had everything You would need. It had its own shower and toilet – the hotel provided towels – there was a fridge in all rooms and we had (i don´t know if others too, probably yes) a portable heater. It came in very useful, because the hotel didn´t turn heating on much often and it could get really cold there, especially in winter.

City: The organizators provided many tips and councels on where to go and what to visit in Riga. On one evening we were offered a treasure hunt for those who wanted, which was nice, because we got to see interesting places in fun and competitive way. On the free afternoon organizators organized a trip/walk around Riga with more intersting places. And on completely free day there was an opportunity to go to neighbouring seaside city. The best thing if that these all were voluntary. If You have Your plan, You are free to go on Your own, but for people like me, with 0 imagination, this was wonderful opportunity.

In conclusion, everything about this project was almost flawless, only two small details of small dinners and cold, which, lets be honest, organizators have practicaly no ability to change. I would definetely recommend to go to Riga for any project, organizators were helpful and friendly and the place where we were was absolutely fine. I am looking forward to more projects like this one. Thank You

Jakub Čeřovský

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