A drawing of pigeon Mirko sending the message Turn on brain. Turn off hate is part of an online campaign signed by members of the Be a Man clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, and the Smart kolektiv, which has gained great popularity on social networks in a very short time.
The campaign is implemented within the project Young Men Initiative II (YMI): “Promoting Healthier Lifestyles among Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Challenging Gender Stereotypes II”, which is supported by the Swiss Government, Oak Foundation, Austrian Development Agency and CARE International Balkans Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to peer educator and youth coordinator of the Association XY, Asjah Galijatović, the new campaign is intended for young people with the aim of breaking stereotypes that cause extreme behaviors, and was created in the last few months. “Through conversations with young people, we realized that they were very bothered by constant divisions and emphasis on diversity and that this was one of the problems that needed to be overcome by working together to create healthy and safe environments for growing up. The main goals of this campaign are to break stereotypes that cause extreme behaviors, to establish and promote positive values and behaviors, to create a safe space for young people in which differences will be overcome and in which understanding, promotion of prosocial behavior among young people and strengthening of social connections and friendships will prevail”, explains Galijatović.
“The mascot of the Turn on brain. Turn off hate campaign is a pigeon called Mirko. We all know that the pigeon is a symbol of peace and that is why young people chose him as the bearer of the campaign. Mirko is there to reconcile differences and show that there are many things in which we are the same, although we may differ from each other in many ways – we are of different genders, sexual orientations, but we all want to love and be loved, we are of different religions, but we all pray, we are of different ethnicities, but we all follow sports, we love fair play and we cheer passionately. Hate is by no means the solution for Mirko, and his strongest and most powerful weapon is knowledge because it has the answer for everything”.
“With this campaign, our members want to show that the acceptance of diversity is the acceptance of the person as a whole, and diversity gives a special charm to society. We need to get to know each other as well as possible because we will learn something new and improve ourselves. We are all very different, that is the beauty of the world, but we are also the same in many ways. That is why it is very important that we lend a hand to each other and go together towards a healthy and safe environment for all young people to grow up”, said Asjah Galijatović.