May 7. 2021. online
The networking meeting of the Phiren Amenca International Network in 2021 started in the morning with heartfelt greetings and some ice-breakers suitable for online in order to set a joyous mood for the rest of the day. Member and partner organizations were happy to see each other after such a long time, even if only online.
In the next hour or so each organizational representative had the chance to share heir updates with the group. The focus of these summaries were coping with the global pandemic and challenges we have faced; ongoing projects- their types, participants, and locations; future plans in terms of project applications; and updates about the European Solidarity Corps Quality Label application/renewal process. All the updates have also been recorded on an online platform which remains available for all participants, so they can look for partners and their contact details.
In sum, all member and partner organizations were forced to make changes to their international project plans, and especially to the dates because of travel restrictions and the general insecurities. Some decided not to partner with organizations outside of the EU in the coming period as obtaining visas and entering Europe have become quite difficult due to the emergency measures.
A dilemma also came up during the discussions, whether some organizations being able to continue volunteering activities during the lockdowns when young people were not able to execute their normal tasks but had to invent online activities was a good thing. This prevented them from building meaningful connections and acquiring intercultural competences, but most of the organizations still managed to involve them in their work meaningfully.
After the updates, the Phiren Amenca coordination office presented their plans for the near future and assessed the interest in a Quality Label writing workshop for the organizations present. We agreed that in the second half of the year, another two networking meetings will be held focusing on recruitment methods for mobilizing and engaging young people with fewer opportunities in international mobility projects; and on successful methods and cooperation for disseminating project results and successes among the wider public.
After a short break, an extensive amount of time was spent with discussing the organizations’ plans to apply for a quality label, and the rules for the next seven-year period of coordinating and taking part in European Solidarity Corps volunteering projects.
In the final part of the meeting, new organizations from within and outside of the European Union joined us, presented themselves. In smaller breakout rooms, all representatives could spend time with planning future cooperation, sending and hosting volunteers from each other. We hope that more and more young people will get the chance to take part in the Network’s life as a result of these new partnerships.
- Participating organisations were:
- FAGiC (ES)
- CSD Valdese (IT)
- Amaro Drom e.V. (DE)
- VISA-AD (FR)
- Roma Active Albania (AL)
- Association of Young Roma (SK)
- RGDTS Nonprofit Kft. (HU)
- Nevo Parudimos (RO)
- European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (DE)
- GAIA-Kosovo (XK)
- Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative North-Macedonia (MK)
- ERGO Network (BE)
- Youth Agency for the Advocacy of Roma Culture (UA)
- INEX-SDA (CZ)
- Volonterski Centar Vojvodine (RS)
- Romaversitas Kosovo (XK)
- VJF Germeny (DE)
- Egyesek Association (HU)
The meeting was part of the Roma Youth Voices project, coordinated by Phiren Amenca, and funded by the European Commission’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the DG Justice, European Commission.