We work with young people to sensitize them against growing extremism in Slovakia. More than 250 young people at various high schools will be able to "read" the human books/the people from various backgrouds and minorities with their unique story. The project will bring the opportunity for the young to reasses their own attitudes, it will fight stereotypes as well as empower the minorities living in Slovakia.
We live in the information era, surrounded by facts and pseudo-facts. It is not easy to distinct them. 50% of the people aged 18-24 in Slovakia voted for the extremists during the last elections. The Human Library Project is about real stories of real people. The youth does not meet usualy with the members of the minorities. The people who tend to discriminate against minorities are the ones who have never met anybody from minorities. Direct contact is the most effective way to change prejudices
The young will face their stereotypes via direct experience. They will turn from passive recipients of information to active readers. They will be able to perceive people as individuals instead of members of a group. The storytellers are empowered when they experience acceptance by the majority. They will be trained to share their story in order to be able to face the unpredictable situations in the class. The librarians will be given the skills to facilitate the process of storytelling.
The sustainability of the Human libraries is strengthened by educational activities organized by Amnesty International at the selected schools. Then the Human books and the librarians are given the skills and knowledge to organize the Human books without Amnesty International's support. The teachers gain the confidence to react properly on any demonstration of hate, extremism and racism at school. There will be a positive impact on the youngs behavior and on the understanding of human rights.