my first seminar experience with Phiren Amenca

“Beyond Roma and Diversity!” Study Session report by Phiren Amenca volunteer Melinda Szabó

DSCN8572This seminar was my first seminar experience with Phiren Amenca! It was a good opportunity to learn new things about the seminar topics, such as discrimination and how to deal with it, Roma identity and stereotypes, Human Rights as a framework for fighting discrimination and Human Rights Education as a tool for doing that!

We also improved our knowledge in order to be able to act as multipliers in youth work on the themes of anti-discrimination and promotion of human rights with Roma young people, for the benefit of Roma communities and youth. We had all kind of activities that motivated us to develop our competences in anti-discrimination work, in human rights education and youth work and to share experiences with other participants through non-formal education.

On the fourth day, we talked about intersectionality and we used Forum Theatre as a tool! We were divided into groups and we shared personal experiences, we related situations where we felt oppressed. Everybody had at least one such an experience one moment in time! I felt very good and comfortable because we all were talking openly about the feeling of being oppressed. That brings people closer to each other!

‘Inter-culturality’ was visible in a large way due to visible differences existing between all participants, and extraordinary interaction and collaboration between us. We all were volunteers so we came from different placements and we volunteering in different fields. We all had a lot to say about this topic and the most important thing is that we came here with the interest to get to know each other, to network, and to share our traditions and cultures. Through the intercultural evening, we had the opportunity to get to know each other much better, to build friendships in a pleasant environment, and strengthen the bonds that had been formed between us.

On the free evening that we had, we took the change to consolidate these relationships and went to visit this amazing city called Budapest! We danced together and enjoyed traditional Hungarian drinks like Hungarian wine and pálinka. We visited Buda Castle, taking in a view of the town that we found to be absolutely amazing. I think we all have dozens of photos just to remember this until our next meeting.

Conclusions

I am happy that I met supportive people and patient trainers which were so open to us, talking about Human Rights and explaining the notions around this topic for each of us on different levels.

I think this seminar was especially effective as we had non-formal activities which helped us to improve our skills in encouraging youth education for dialogue and engagement to challenge stereotypes and racism. I am happy that I could share with the other participants’ my experience of being discriminated and I found out that we all experienced that at least once, but in different ways and manners.

I am happy that I met supportive people and patient trainers which were so open to us, talking about Human Rights and explaining the notions around this topic for each of us on different levels. We all had different levels of understanding, especially because of our different English language skills. This fact definitely helped to develop our understanding of the topic in order to fight discrimination.

I wish to participate in as many similar seminars as possible, as I feel I need to know more and am only at the beginning of my journey through EVS.

DSCN8486Topics of the study session

Day 1

  • introductions

Day 2

  • Experiences of Discrimination and Ways of Dealing with it;

Day 3

  • Roma identity and stereotypes;
  • Gender & Sex, Sexism, and Sexuality, Masculinity & Femininity (terms);
  • Gender-based violence & discrimination – personal stories;
  • Roma boys movie; Movie night: ,,White cat, black cat’’

Day 4

  • Intersectionality;

Day 5

  • Human rights as a framework for fighting discrimination and human rights education as a tool;
  • Activism – Getting to know organizations and initiatives fighting gender based discrimination and promoting equal rights;
  • Guideline for a voluntary service connected to gender;

Day 6

  • Finalize guidelines;
  • Follow-up initiatives;
  • Evaluation;

 Objectives of the study session

  • Share and map the participants’ experiences in different forms of discrimination;
  • Analyse and understand the multiple facets of identity, and how different forms of discrimination intersect and (re)produce specific patterns of exclusion;
  • Develop understanding of Human Rights as framework for fighting discrimination;
  • Explore practices of different organizations and initiatives combating gender-based discrimination, including LGBTIQ;
  • Familiarize participants with the resources, tools and methodologies of the Phiren Amenca Network and the Council of Europe, including the Roma Youth Action Plan;
  • Develop guidelines for volunteers how to work on the topics of gender identity, intersectionality and multiple discrimination;
  • Encourage participants to build alliances with other organisations fighting gender based discrimination;
  • Suggest follow-up process on fighting gender based discrimination by Phiren Amenca
“Beyond Roma and Diversity! Phiren Amenca Study Session on Gender, Multiple Discrimination and Intersectionality” ran from March 16 – 22, 2014 at the European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary.

“Beyond Roma and Diversity! Phiren Amenca Study Session on Gender, Multiple Discrimination and Intersectionality” ran from March 16 – 22, 2014 at the European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary.