“Young Voices of Europe” project promoting Volunteerism
In January 2011, three of our young adults, that share the common background of having grown up in the AMURT and AMURTEL homes took part in the “Young Voices of Europe” project . The project promotes and celebrates the role of voluntary active citizenship amongst youth, especially Roma and other minorities, in furthering values of human rights, social inclusion and intercultural understanding within Europe. YVE is a project of Pakiv European Network, that brought together around 45 young people from Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Romania for joint learning, exchange, reflection and cross border action. It was an opportunity for our young people to meet positive models of Roma people, and to understand the roots and culture of the Roma. This was particularly valuable for the AMURTEL participants, as many of our young people either are Roma themselves, or grew up with other Roma young people. The project also helped to increase their self-esteem and sense of identity, as well as inspiring them to work together as active citizens.
The Romanian team created a video about volunteering, which you can watch at the follow links:
During the project, the participants received training in how to use new multimedia tools such as blogs, making videos, and radios, to promote causes related to intercultural understanding, social inclusion and human rights.
They constructed the story step by step, building on their own experience of being excluded in their childhood or throughout their lives. The experience of creating the story, selecting the songs, and sharing their experiences was a very special. It was an emotionally releasing experience, and it visibly increased their confidence.
Now the ones with Roma background are proud to be Roma, and to be called Roma, and the others are more positive and accepting, having questioned the prejudicial stereotypes of the society. Another very positive aspect that these young adult volunteers from AMURTEL gained from this experience was a better understanding about Roma history, and in particular, the Holocaust. Also, through the interactions between them, they were able to learn a few words of Roma language, as well as from the other languages of the participants.
Other creative expressions of our three volunteers together with the other participants from Romania, were a skit performed for the participants, as well as a collective painting and poem about Roma issues in Europe, as part of the Roma Day on the 8th of April 2011.
All this you can see it at the following link: