Roma Youth Advocacy Training 2023

Coming from different European countries to Brussels, young Roma and Sinti activists joined us to raise their voices and advance important issues for Roma and Sinti communities during the EU Roma Week 2023.

Members of the training sit in a large conference table in a room of the European Parliament in Brussels.
Roma Youth Advocacy Training 2023 (Photo: Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma)

The training course was the first opportunity for many of the participants to engage in direct discussion with European stakeholders and institutions relevant to Roma youth policies and one highlight of our project was the event “Roma Heroines” organised by Phiren Amenca Network from Hungary with MEP Klára Dobrev of the Democratic Coalition (Hungary).

The Roma Youth Advocacy Training, which was part of the EU Roma Week 2023, organised under patronage of the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, brought young activists, youth workers, educators, Roma, Sinti and non-Roma, together for a 5-days training in Brussels to learn about European policy-making and civil society advocacy, and to raise their voices!

The training especially focused on approaches to strengthen the participation of young Roma, Sinti and non-Roma in the European policy making processes, and to raise awareness for the needs of young people facing antigypsyism. This was done by creating opportunities for engaging in a dialogue and networking with Members of the European Parliament, with the Roma team of DG Justice, as well as with other civil society allies. Moreover, the participants discussed how remembrance and current political problems (antigypsyism) are related and can be tackled together.

The Romanian partner of the training, Nevo parudimos, is organised in the European Roma Grassroots Network (ERGO) which aims to bridge the gap between the grassroots level organisations and European level advocacy for Roma and Sinti rights. Meeting with Members of the ERGO Network and office staff during the activity contributed strongly to the empowerment of young activists to create bottom-up pressure on administrations to take positive action to combat antigypsyism and address Roma exclusion.

The methods used during the seminar were based on the principles of non-formal education, including working groups to share experiences and practices, practical exercises to build youth participation campaigns and advocacy activities. The diversity of experiences and perspectives achieved through a highly diverse group of youth leaders in the training-course was considered by all participants as an outstanding source of success for the seminar.

It is organized by the Documentation and Cultural Centre and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the Phiren Amenca International Network in cooperation with ERGO and ternYpe International Roma Youth networks.