Bonding Beyond Borders
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‘Bonding Beyond Borders is a Belgian student-led campaign created to counter intolerance and discrimination. We created an interactive and fun board-game to stimulate a genuine understanding of each other's daily situation. The analogue board-game, supported by digital content on smartphones or tablets, tells you the story of very different people.’
Somewhere mid-February we had our first meeting. All we knew back then was that we were going to participate in the P2P: Facebook global digital challenge. The assignment was simple – simply formulated anyways: start a project to counter hate and extremism.
It was trough a notification on Toledo (the online platform of my university) that I found out the KULeuven wanted to form a student team in the P2P challenge. I decided to join, along with a friend of mine. I don’t have a very specific reason for participating, while some of my fellow team members are writing a thesis about radicalization or something very related to ‘hate and extremism’. To me, it just sounded like a nice challenge and a good cause. I remember that I was doubting, would it be a good idea to take another extra responsibility besides university? And was it even meant for me? Usually master students do these kind of project and I am just in my second year. I am glad I decided to do it anyways. We are with a team of five students and a supervisor of the KULeuven. It took lots of brainstorming to figure out what we wanted to do and it takes even more work to do it. However, only a few months later and we created this amazing campaign!
The name of our campaign is Bonding Beyond Borders. We want to counter intolerance and discrimination by preventing stereotypical thinking. As a target group we chose children and youth between the age of 12-18 years since it is then that stereotypical thinking is formed. This we try to do by a board game we developed. The board game is meant to support teachers in talking with their class about more difficult subject such as the refugee crisis, migration, religion, etc. We identified these subject by doing in-depth interviews with teachers. The board game also helps providing information and establish ‘contact’ with people from various backgrounds trough the photo and video content of our game, which can also be found online on our site and social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram). To gather this content, we interviewed people who wanted to share their own stories, somehow related to the themes of our game. At this moment, we are finishing the game as well as doing test-versions of it in schools. Also the promotion of the game is on our agenda. We of course want to reach as many teachers as possible and hope that Bonding Beyond Borders will be played in many schools but with our social media we try to reach a larger audience as well.
I personally think reaching as many other people as possible is very beneficial. Not only for Bonding Beyond Borders itself, but also because the project is a good example of what a student-led campaign can accomplish. What we can do, other young people can do too! Whatever it is you are passionate about, whatever opportunity you see passing by: know that it possibly turns out in this amazing project that will change your- or even other people’s life.