Volunteering for Roma Participation: Overview

Photo by Attila Balogh-Hidvégi (RomNet)

Photo by Attila Balogh-Hidvégi (RomNet)

From January 2015 through June 2016, Phiren Amenca implemented a project entitled, “Volunteering – Citizen’s Tools for Roma Inclusion”, funded by the Europe for Citizens Program of the European Commission. The project aimed to raise a debate about volunteering as citizens’ key tool for Roma participation, and to strengthen the civic and democratic participation of particularly Roma citizens, communities and civil society organizations in the European Union’s life, debates and policy-making processes.

PA Volunteering for Roma Participation Connect

information for volunteers, potential volunteers, and organizations

PA Volunteering for Roma Participation Blog

browse posts of the Volunteering for Roma Participation project

Project details

The “Volunteering – Citizen’s Tools for Roma Inclusion” project, financed by the Europe for Citizens Program of the European Commission, aimed to raise a debate about volunteering as citizens’ key tool for Roma participation, and to strengthen the civic and democratic participation of particularly Roma citizens, communities and civil society organizations in the European Union’s life, debates and policy-making processes. The project addressed the question of how citizens can shape and lead Roma participation through volunteering and active citizenship in a bottom-up grassroots movement, and thus lead to a sustainable change in Europe through empowerment of citizens and communities, and strengthening intercultural dialogue. The project strengthened the engagement and participation of European citizens in the construction of values, culture, history and dialogue by embracing Roma minorities as an integral part of an inclusive European society that challenges and overcomes stereotypes, antigypsyism and racism.

Summary of project events

5 events (including the preparatory meeting) have been carried out within this project:

Event 1: Preparatory Meeting

Budapest, Hungary | 12/01/2015 to 14/01/2015

The preparatory meeting involved 15 citizens, including 2 participants each from Germany, Hungary, and Romania, and 1 participant each from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

The aim of the preparatory meeting was to bring together the steering team in order to share responsibilities for national and international actions.

Event 2: European Conference on Volunteering for Roma Inclusion

Brussels, Belgium | 30/03/2015 to 31/03/2015

The conference involved 31 citizens, including 6 participants from Germany, 4 participants from Hungary, 2 participants from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 7 participants from Romania, 3 participants from Slovakia and 1 participant each from Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France,  Italy, Spain, and Ukraine.

The aim of the conference was to bring together civil society organizations, volunteers, experts and stakeholders in order to raise a European debate about the importance of volunteering, as well as to share experiences and feedback on how volunteering can be a tool for active participation, especially among Roma communities.

Event 3: Consultation Meeting on Volunteering for Remembrance

Oravita, Romania | 29/04/2015 to 06/05/2015

The consultation meeting involved 53 citizens, including 4 participants from Albania, 3 participants from Czech Republic, 2 participants from Germany, 8 participants from Hungary, 2 participants from Italy, 2 participants from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 16 participants from Romania, 3 participants from Serbia, 4 participants from Spain, 6 participants from Ukraine,  and 1 participant each from Poland, Slovakia, and United States.

The aim of the consultation meeting was capacity-building of Roma and non-Roma youth leaders and multipliers, as well as their youth organizations, in their work on remembrance, Holocaust and human rights education, in order to challenge stereotypes, antigypsyism and racism. Participants reflected on practices, possible methods and tools for engaging young Roma volunteers in remembrance-related voluntary service placements, as well as ways for Roma and non-Roma organizations to involve young Roma volunteers in their work and programs.

Event 4: Roma Social Forum on Volunteering

Cluj-Napoca, Romania | 16/07/2015

The Roma Social Forum on Volunteering involved 159 citizens, including 15 participants from Albania, 9 participants from Austria, 11 participants from Bulgaria, 4 participants from Czech Republic, 7 participants from France, 16 participants from Germany, 2 participants from Greece, 4 participants from Italy, 8 participants from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 2 participants from Moldova, 7 participants from Poland, 2 participants from Portugal, 6 participants from Romania, 20 participants from Serbia, 12 participants from Slovakia, 14 participants from Spain, 2 participants from Turkey, 11 participants from Ukraine, 3 participants from United Kingdom, and 1 participant each from Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, and Slovenia.

The aim of the Roma Social Forum was  to empower citizens to frame the agenda and impact the European debate on Roma inclusion, as well as to promote the recognition of volunteering.

Event 5: Conference on Volunteering – Citizens’ Tools for Roma Participation

Budapest, Hungary | 07/03/2016

The conference involved 54 citizens, 2 participants from Belgium, 2 participants from France, 6 participants from Germany, 19 participants from Hungary, 2 participants from Italy, 5 participants from Romania, 2 participants from Serbia, 4 participants from Slovakia, 2 participants from United States, and 1 participant each from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Iran, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

The aim of the conference was to adopt the White Paper after the consultation process, and to give visibility to volunteering practices and to the outputs of the project outputs. The event also promoted and advocated conclusions and recommendations on the policy and civil society level, in a panel discussion involving members of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and the Hungarian Youth Council.

EACEA