Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance "Amalipe"

combating anti-Roma stereotypes among young people

13.03.2014 - Romania. The first peer-training in Romania

16.03.2014-Romania-1st-trainingOn March 13, 5 volunteers of Youth is Tolerance RO, shared the enthusiasm and comfort of tolerance the first peer-training with high school students.



The famous writer Edith Wharton stated in one of her books “There are 2 ways in which one can share light: to be the candle or the mirror which reflects it”. As the mirror actually works in both ways, the participants had the chance to look in the mirror themselves, to “reflect” upon their own thoughts and beliefs and also to “be reflected” by it, asked to deal with fictive situations inspired by reality and switching the roles to being the minority. The volunteers tried to enliven the antidiscrimination class trough interactive games that generated the discussions. The last game called “The Bus” put them in a less common situation. They were asked to imitate the increasingly uncomfortable moves of “the drivers” of the antidiscrimination bus. Destination? Tolerance! Asked why they accepted to imitate the foolish moves improvised by the volunteers, they seemed rather surprised by the question and answered “You told us the rules of the game”. But who should actually establish “the rules of the game”: us or our entourage? Without being pressed to answer these questions, the participants could look for the answer themselves in the mirror of reflection. Asked what the antidiscrimination class contributed from their point of view, the students answered that they will try to accept as normal something which is simply different.

“The volunteers from Youth is Tolerance succeeded in making us more curious, encouraging us in an interactive way to stop being reluctant and discover a piece of the society we are living in, that we choose to ignore. It was amazing to remark at the end of the class how  our ideas and some words written on the blackboard  triggered exciting debates and answered some questions that we didn’t even know we had.” (Bianca, participant)

Author: Codruta B., volunteer Youth is Tolerance