#PJstories – Interview with Mihaela Grigore

Mihaela participated in the Training Course “Radicalization Stop” organized by PROJUVEN in Torremolinos, Spain

Hello Mihaela!

According to your opinion, what drives youth radicalisation?

Violent extremism and the underlying forces of radicalization are among the most pervasive challenges of our time. Factors that may contribute to vulnerability and extremism include: being rejected by others, faith or social group/family, conflict with family over religious beliefs/lifestyle/politics, identity confusion or a traumatic event. As radicalisation became one of the most important issue, it is now more crucial than ever to promote counter narratives and equip youngsters with skills and competences.

What can we do to protect young people from extremist influences in the online environment? What are your tips for staying safe online? 

Extremist groups rely on false promises of status and purpose, manipulation, conspiracy and divisive rhetoric to exploit young people online. In the face of such threats, young people need relevant and timely learning opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that can help them build their resilience to such propaganda. These competencies can be developed with the help of confident, well-prepared and respected teachers, who are in extensive contact with young people. The government should also play a more energetic role in reducing the demand for radicalization and violent extremist messages. For example, by encouraging civic challenges to extremist narratives and by promoting awareness and education of young people.

What is the most important thing you have learned during the training? How do you plan to share and use your knowledge?

I think the most important aspect of this training was not so much learning about the types of radicalization, but rather how to prevent, how to combat radicalization and how to interact with others. We were able to interact and trust each other as a team.  I left this training feeling excited about the next steps and thank each of my colleagues for the amazing week!

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