The EPIC’s local communication campaign implemented by the Municipality of Sisak and JRS Croatia, aimed at promoting empathy among pupils at the Braća Bobetko primary school which hosts many asylum-seeking children in Sisak, Croatia. The campaign, entitled “Get to know me!”, is specifically designed to teach pupils the universal values of respect, solidarity and equality, and encourage them to support each other in their daily lives.
The aim was to highlight that people can be different in many ways but we should be open to get to know each other, and have fun together, without focusing on migration as the main issue. This was intentionally done to avoid putting migrant students as the focus of the activities, but addressing diversity from many different angles. The campaign encouraged equal treatment of all pupils, with migrant pupils equally participating in activities.
The school organised a series of workshops and activities to raise awareness of the importance of accepting, accompanying and connecting with migrant children. Around 100 pupils were invited to take part in the campaign, where they were encouraged to draw pictures and write messages reflecting the team’s presentation. These drawings became the basis of the campaign, and the positive phrases written by the pupils became the slogans for the campaign. The messages conveyed important lessons about helping other students in any way possible, about the importance of being accepted despite differences, and about developing friendships.
Working together, the Municipality of Sisak, JRS Croatia, and Braća Bobetko elementary School created a range of educational and communication materials for the campaign. These materials included digital cameras, puzzles, cards, sponges, ecological bookmarks and large posters with campaign messages and drawings.
They also created a software solution for virtual reality devices, the development of game mechanics, illustrations and animations. Two virtual reality devices were provided, as well as models of virtual classrooms. A new quiz game using VR glasses was also developed, in which students answer questions and gain access to new virtual classrooms each time they answer correctly.
A new virtual robot named Roby, who is itself different from the others, helps to achieve the main objectives of the project. The robot is, in fact, completely different from all of us – it can’t have a skin colour, because it doesn’t have skin, it can’t be a girl or a boy, because it’s simply a robot. These learning tools help students develop important skills and broaden their horizons.
The campaign received positive coverage in the local media, with the expectation that the messages of respect, solidarity and equality will continue to resonate with the pupils and the wider community.
Overall, the “Get to know me!” campaign is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and compassionate society. By encouraging empathy among students in multicultural schools, the campaign has helped to break down barriers and promote understanding between pupils from different backgrounds. The focus on universal values of respect, solidarity and equality has helped to reinforce the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their background or circumstances.