Phiren Amenca

Training for Roma Youth Leaders

As part of the Roma Youth Voices (RYV) project, RGDTS Nonprofit Kft organized a training between August 29 – September 2. 2019 in Varna, Bulgaria for Roma yoith leaders, who are also involved in the project and supporting local trainings, activities and advocacy work on national level.

As the youth leaders who are the country coordinators in the RYV project are having an important role in supporting the implementation of national activities run by RGDTS, it was important to bring them together and develop their campaigning and advocacy skills and to work together on a research concept on “Antigypsyism and hate speech affecting young Roma”.

As we believe it is important to synchronize the work with the consortium partners, we took the opportunity to work on the May 16 – Romani Resistance campaign but also offered consultations for youth leaders how to sustain their organizations or how to further develop their informal youth group into an organization, for instance. Moreover, RGDTS have gain knowledge and better understanding on the national contexts and the situation of young Roma people in specific countries.

During the training participants shared the context of countries from a Roma youth perspective from where they come from. We had youth leaders and the country coordinators from Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, France, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria.
We had an input by Pierre Chopinaud, who worked a lot on Romani Resistance and the main concept and idea of resistance comes from his national NGO, La Voix des Rroms and we clarified that even the historical facts of the day are questioned, we will use May 16 as a symbolic day for resistance in our presence. Bálint Jósa, who is involved as a coach in the project, and for many years he is leading European campaigns for the United for Intercultural Action network, lead workshops on campaigning: how a successful campaign looks like, how to create an effective massage to your target, what tools to use. We also had a ‘creative campaigning’ session where participants could brainstorm ideas and actions that they can take as part of the Resistance campaign.

As a second part of the training Simona Toroctoi shared a general overview of the draft concept of the research on the understanding on the impact of antigypsyism on Roma youth participation and together with th participants they have discussed and worked on the possible method to develop the research, its target, potentials aims and topics, and scope. In parallel with that, participants had a chance to have a personal consultation with the project coordinators and coaches related their youth work and organizational development. A questionnaire was shared before the training to better understand the needs of each participants/organizations.

On the last day we have visited the Social Tea House what is functioning as a social entrepreneurship and involve young Roma from orphanages.

The training was part of the Roma Youth Voices project, funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the DG Justice, European Commission.