Good practices, to overcome the Roma stereotypes among the young people, showed volunteers from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Hungary on the project ‘Youth is Tolerance’ with leading organization Centre ‘Amalipe’. Youngsters – high school and undergraduated students from Roma and non-Roma origin were gathered in an exchange visit on the Chalkidiki peninsula, Greece in the days between the 15th and 18th July. There they presented their activities until that moment, shared experience, made a campaign for more tolerance, had the opportunity to get to know each other better and to find new friends, regardless of skin colour, ethnos, religion and gender.
From Bulgaria took part representatives from the 6 clubs of ‘Youth is Tolerance’ from Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Vratsa, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv and Shumen. They made posters with which they presented part of the realized campaigns. One of the campaigns which the youngsters showed was ‘Life is like a mirror, if you smile, you will receive a smile, too’. With this campaign, which took place in the 6 regional Bulgarian cities on the 20th February 2014, the volunteers opposed to the language of hate, intolerance and the implantation of interethnic pressure, which escalated after what happened in Plovdiv on the 14th February.
(More information about the campaign can be found here: http://youthtolerance.eu/index.php/bg/novini/118-21-02-2014)
The voluntary club from Greece presented a short film made by them. The youngsters shared in it with what Roma stereotypes they have faced with and how they tried to change them through role models, campaigns, trainings and discussions.
The voluntary club from Seged, Hungary showed some of their Facebook campaigns organized during the last year. One of them presented a research Of the Roma stereotypes among the young people. Some of their campaigns were bound to giving information for important dates of Roma history.
The young group from Romania presented their activity through a short performance. With written-on-notes words, they made sentences introducing their work. Some of their most interesting activities are the tolerance trainings with students as well as their campaigns such as Roma Pride and the International Day of Tolerance.
With interactive games and a good mood, as a theatre, different casuses were played and were part of the theme ‘Anti-Roma stereotypes’. The casuses were often shared stereotypes about the Roma and even though the youngsters had to play them, they also had to find ways for solving them. They were all very artistic, enthusiastic and active during the whole time.
One of the activities was to make a campaign called ‘All different, all equal’. The youngsters painted white T-shirts with the motto of the campaign and interesting images with it. With this T-shirts, they were dressed on the time of the exact campaign. The volunteers made flyers, posters, a unique song which turned into a major hit and performed a wordless theatre.
On the 17.07 the campaign began with a procession on the main street under the sounds of the volunteer-made song, with which they called for more tolerance, understanding and friendship.
The scene they played as part of the campaign showed the fastened daily round of everyone, in which we don’t often notice that other people need attention, understanding and tolerance. The volunteers showed that the goodness can be also infectious and when a person opens his heart for the others, his life becomes better and more beautiful.
The young people put into the campaign a lot of energy and made a huge success – all people around liked them very much and supported the campaign.
The volunteers from the four different countries had the opportunity to share their results from the activity and learn new things, necessary for the fight against the anti-Roma stereotypes among the youth. This is a cause which they took deep in their hearts and do not stop following because ‘All different, all equal’!