Education is an important precondition for solving the problems of Roma people in Bulgaria and for the Roma community empowerment. “You must be confident in your own abilities”, said H. E. Guro Katharina H. Vikør to the participants in the second module of the Programme for active civic participation and leadership skills development for young Roma. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway was a special guest in the training, which took place between 8 and 11 October in Veliko Tarnovo.
As an emphasis in the programme were different mechanisms for civic participation and opportunities for cooperation between NGOs and the state. Mr. Lalo Kamenov, who is a member of the Commission for protection against discrimination, introduced to the participants the basic principles of the anti-discrimination legislation. Ms. Ivanka Ivanova, Program Director of the Legal Program at the Open Society Institute Sofia, presented a research on hate speech and the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, Ms. Eva Zhecheva, talked about the policies for children deprived of parental care. Among the topics of the training were women’s rights and early marriages prevention, and social entrepreneurship delivered by Ms. Theodora Krumova, Program Director at the Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance “Amalipe”, and Ms. Nadya Shabani, Program Director at the Bulgarian Centre for Not-For-Profit Law. Lecturers in the program were the professor of rhetoric Ms. Marietta Boteva and political scientist Ms. Angelinka Markovska, both lecturers at “St. Cyril and St. Methodius ” University of Veliko Tarnovo.
18 youths had training tasks on situation analysis and group problem solving, public speaking and persuasive communication skills development, public debates participation, setting target groups, writing messages and identifying the appropriate communication channels, etc.
A special guest in the program was Mr. Josif Nunev, who published several books with Roma tales. He delivered a lecture on the importance of folklore in the construction of identity.
The 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 funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in the framework of the NGO Programme under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.