Respecting Diversity is IOTC’s major educational programme against school bullying and racism. It is based οn workshops, which are carried out with the use of tablets, addressing the issue of bullying, in all its expressions. Through this programme, the IOTC has chosen to point out the issue of bullying, one of the most widespread forms of human rights violation among students. IOTC attempts to educate young people on how to respect diversity and how to address bullying issues, when they face them.
With the use of experiential techniques and the active participation of Olympians acting as role models, who can penetrate children’s souls in the most effective way, the programme aims to familiarize schoolchildren in primary and secondary education with notions such as conflict resolution, tolerance, equality and non-discrimination, in order to eliminate the phenomenon of school violence. Since children are a special kind of audience who cannot be easily approached by typical teaching methods, the Olympians, popular and admirable as they are, make for the ideal living examples. They are the ones who can make the values of Olympism easier to be conceived by a youngster’s mind and soul.
During the time they spend with the schoolchildren, the Olympians have the chance to share experiences that they have gained over the years, stories with their fellow athletes of different origins, and incidents that occurred during their coexistence in the Olympic village. This usually draws kids’ attention and creates interaction with the initiation of discussions during which the kids make comments and observations. On a practical level, the Olympians share with the kids, their sport techniques and actively participate in workshops. The “Say No to Bullying” digital competition is part of the Respecting Diversity Programme, which is co-organized with the British Council of Greece since 2013.