The first course of the Programme for active civic participation and leadership skills development for young Roma took place between 10th and 13th of September in Veliko Tarnovo. The event was officially opened by Mr. Nikola Petkov from the Secretariat of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues, Ms. Daniela Simeonova, program director of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and Ms. Spaska Petrova from the Association “New Road”.
The course focus was on the socio-economic status of Roma community and on integration policies. Guest lecturers were Assoc. Prof. Alexei Pamporov from the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and head of the Social Science Researches at the “Open Society”Institute; Dr. Boyan Zahariev, program director at the “Open Society” Institute, Prof. Vihren Bouzov, Vice Dean Science and International Cooperation at “St. Cyril and St. Methodius ” University of Veliko Tarnovo, and Ms. Svetla Savcheva, a psychologist at the Technical University – Gabrovo. 18 youths had lectures and case studies devoted to communication in a multicultural environment and overcoming stereotypes, conflict management, political representation of Roma in Bulgaria, policies to overcome poverty and others.
Special guests during the training were Ms. Spaska Petrova as a former Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy in charge of social policies and social inclusion, as well as Dr. Iveta Getsova, Mayor of Lyaskovets Municipality and Ms. Daniela Arabadzhieva, Chairperson of the Municipal Council of Lyaskovets Municipality.
The program ended with a topic called “Education and Integration – successful models for retention of Roma children in school.” Guest lecturers were Ms. Ralitsa Kirilova, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science and Mr. Deyan Kolev, Chairman of the Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance “Amalipe”.
Programme for active civic participation and leadership skills development for young Roma is part of the project “Encouraging civic participation of young Roma”, implemented by the Association “New Road” and the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and is financed by the NGO Programme under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.