Phiren Amenca

Challenging Antigypsyism through grassroots activism April 2016, Banska Bystrica, Valaska/Slovakia



Date: April 18-24, 2016.

Place: Valaska/Banska Bystrica, Slovakia (community house of Association of Young Roma)

Hosting/Coordinating organisation: Association of Young Roma (SK)

Partner organizations: Phiren Amenca (BE), Romano Centro (AT), Nevo Parudimos (RO), RGDTS Nonprofit Kft. (HU), FAGIC (ES)

Number of participants: 40, age between 18-30



Each spring and fall Phiren Amenca hosts in cooperation with member organizations, this time specifically with Association of Young Roma, a one week seminar for young Roma and non Roma youth leaders, youth workers, activists and multipliers from around Europe focusing on the exchange of experience and on Roma history, antigypsyism, discrimination, stigmatization, xenophobia, identity and culture; globalization and migration; as well as youth engagement and Roma initiatives in Europe. This seminar will be a key event in the network’s goals of creating opportunities for non-formal education, dialogue and engagement to challenge stereotypes, racism and antigypsyism. The seminar will also further enhance co-operation and learning among member organizations and external partners. Also the seminar will serve to further strengthen the network’s platform of volunteers and former volunteers, serving to strengthen their role as multipliers and promoters of voluntary service and engagement.

Based on various experiences and projects in the last years, antigypsyism appeared as increasingly relevant topic in the youth work of Phiren Amenca, especially regarding educational approaches and youth activism.




The seminar aims to raise the awareness and activism to challenge antigypsyism, by creating local, national and European campaigns around it, especially in the placements of our volunteers.

40 Roma and non Roma volunteers, volunteer candidates, youth leaders and multipliers will come together to challenge stereotypes and antigypsyism, to develop tools for creative campaigns and to engage in a public campaign for Roma rights during the seminar in Banska Bsytrica.

Main objectives of the seminar are:

  • To explore the concept of antigypsyism, its manifestations today and identify and develop responses through education and creative campaigns (for instance media, blog, art, music, street actions etc.);
  • Strengthening the development of critical thinking of the participants regarding antigypsyism and the situation of Roma in Europe, specifically in Slovakia by visiting local Roma communities there;
  • Sharing, developing, and training of innovative and creative methods and approaches of campaigning;
  • Engage in a public campaign for Roma rights and to challenge stereotypes, racism and antigypsyism;
  • Furthermore, by mobilization develop a critical thinking and activism against populist, racist and extremist movements in Europe;
  • Encourage the development of joint local follow-up activities.



Association of Young Roma in Slovakia is a civil association with a nationwide reach and years of experience in social work, social counseling and prevention, humanitarian, charitable and educational activities, established in 1999. Since then, the organization is gaining new experience in managing and coordinating projects aimed at mitigating the effects of social problems (poverty, unemployment, social exclusion) and improving the living situation of people directly affected by these issues.

AYR‘s mission states: The principal goal of Association of Young Roma is to unify intellectual potential of Roma young generation and directly help with social and work inclusion in society. The philosophy is based on systematic and long-term influence on Roma population through various projects and programs.


Present will be Roma and non-Roma volunteers, former volunteers, volunteer candidates and youth leaders who are active in Roma communities and experienced in working with Roma communities and/or Roma youth.

All participants must also:

  • be able and committed 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 Roma youth
  •  be motivated to develop their competences in anti-discrimination work, human rights education and youth work and to share their experiences with other participants
  • be aged 18 – 30 (exceptions are possible)
  • be committed to attend for the full duration of the course
  • be able to work in English, or check with the coordination office that translation can be provided through other participants or team members
  • be resident in one of the partner countries: Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Spain





18th April (Monday) 19th April (Tuesday) 20th April (Wednesday) 21st April (Thursday) 22nd April (Friday) 23rd April (Saturday) 24th April (Sunday)
Arrivals 09:30-11:00

Getting to know each other, the program and AYR



Grassroots activism

Create strategies to challenge antigypsyism


Open stage / workshops by participants

Plenary / visiting a Museum in Banska







12:30 Lunch in the city

                   11.00-11.30 Coffee Break                     Coffee Break

Team Building



Invited guest: “Not in our town”

11:00-13:20 Discuss the strategies 11:00-13:00

Open stage / WS by participants

       13:00-15:00  Lunch                                           13:30-15:00 Lunch

Situation of Roma in Slovakia




Antigypsyism in Banska Bystrica


Free time in Banska Bystrica

15:00- 16:30

Holocaust in Slovakia


15:00 – 16:30




16:30-17:00 Travel back to Valaska

                    Coffee Break

Coffee Break


Examples from Slovakia, the story of Valaska



Antigypsyism in our own realities/countries


Preparation for a commemoration

17:00-17:30 Reflection groups


17:30-18:30 Evaluation / Closing


Reflection groups



Reflection groups


Reflection groups

19:00 Dinner

Dinner in town

19:00 Dinner

Welcome evening – introduction  


Welcome party


Movie Night

Evening Out


Las Valas

Good bye Party







Arrival: 18th April 2016 (Monday)

Departure: 24th April 2016 (Sunday)


Participants should organize their travel (arrival and departure) for these dates. The organisers will pick up groups from Budapest or from Bratislava with buses and take them to Valaska. So you can organise your flight/train to these cities, from where we will travel together.



The seminar program will take place in the Valaska Community Centre.




For this activity there is NO participation fee.


Reimbursement of travel costs:

The accommodation and food is covered by the organisers of the seminar. The reimbursements of travel expenses (based on economical prices, Apex, student price, special price) will take on the spot during the week in Euro or by bank transfer after the activity. Participants should bring with them original invoices to prove the costs of travel as well the tickets.

To be reimbursed participants should take part at least 80% in the activity.


Maximum amount for travel costs / country / person:

Austria: 80€
Belgium: 170€
Hungary: 80€
Romania: 80€
Spain: 170€



Write to us at [email protected] or directly contact:

Juraj Vozar (Association of Young Roma) at: [email protected] or

Marietta Herfort (Phiren Amenca) at: [email protected]