School education

“Great program. The educators did a good job of latching on to what the students said and moving the discussions in that direction. Even though they sat quietly and discussed for two hours, they were able to hold the students’ attention all the time. It was great that they had so many relevant examples that the students were familiar with. Many of the students gave the classes good feedback, and it was nice to see that even ‘quiet’ students were engaged.”

- Teachers, junior high school in Bergen

Schools are a good arena for awareness-raising and preventive work to counteract outsiderness, combat negative social control, and help the boys and girls form their own attitudes.

Imagine being taught that you have to protect your sister. That it’s your responsibility that she doesn't do anything wrong. Your responsibility that she doesn’t do anything to jeopardize the family’s honor. In many cultures, it's a brother’s responsibility to make sure the sister lives in accordance with the family’s values and norms. Nobody should protect someone against something they don't want to be protected against. You can't force someone into doing something they don't want, and that is why we fight for the right to make your own decisions. If you are going to stand up for others, you first have to feel strong enough to stand up for yourself. And first you have to be aware of what you stand for – and be able to talk about it.

In 2019, Support Not Protect and the Rafto Foundation launched a discussion-based teaching program. Since then, this has been a part of the education program that the Rafto Foundation offers all schools in their network in Western Norway. Our program focuses on freedom, trust, family relations, and negative social control.

Support Not Protect’s own film, produced by Mer Film, has been the starting point for the education. Here we meet those have been a part of this since the beginning. They talk about how difficult it is when sisters don’t get support from their brothers, and how much support means.

In the education, you will hear stories from some of our participants, which will open up for many discussions. But we also use them as a starting point to highlight other dilemmas. In the course of three lessons, we encourage reflection around challenges related to racism, outsiderness, friendship, and family: Who are we in relation to our surroundings?

The education program and the campaign has become an important school subject related to democracy, social citizenship, and life skills. Tariq Arshad, one of our educators, wrote an article in VG – A Brother’s Story.

Several hundred students in the Bergen area have been visited in their classrooms by Support Not Protect. We are currently developing the program further with the company Fremtenkt. Fremtenkt is a social entrepreneur based in Bergen that among other things develops innovative programs for students. The education program will be available digitally.

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