This summer we had the pleasure to organize an event, which consisted of 2 parts. Some of you may know the popular “Voices of Europe” from the past already. This year it was linked to the “30 years of Roma Rights”. On tour with us to Macedonia was also our Minority Flag.
Including 80 participants from autochthonous national minorities from all around Europe, both projects took place from the 11th- 17th of August 2014 in Ohrid, Macedonia. They were organized in cooperation with the Vlach Youth Council of Macedonia (VYCM) and the Association of Citizen Sumnal.
In this year’s “Voices of Europe”- choir 25 youngsters from different minorities rehearsed together with the conductor Ivana Đurđević Jankov, songs in Slovenian, Vlach, Romani, Sorbian, German, Danish, Ladin and Croatian languages. For one week they introduced each other in this way their culture and language. The songs were represented at the end of the week in a public concert on the city square in Ohrid. Besides the rehearsals the participants were coached in intercultural learning through various exercises, leaded by Bogdan Imre.
The further participants got in touch with the current situation of the Roma community in Macedonia. Together with our partners from SUMNAL and FERYP they came together in workshops on Roma history, education, human and social rights and discrimination/ anti- discrimination. These workshops were evaluated and summarized in a Future Session to build up a Roma Strategy and think about common actions which could be planned in future.
The participants of both projects had a common excursion to the Roma quarters in either Bitola or Prilep- which was up to their choice. The first group visited a women’s group of Roma in Bitola, learning about their situation and their possibilities to improve their situation, while the Prilep- group went to a school to meet and get to know children and students and teachers including a common lunch in both excursions.
The week in Ohrid was framed by the Official Opening, a city rallye, cultural evenings: a Roma concert, a Vlach evening, the traditional YEN- Exchange Market and the final concert of the “Voices of Europe”.
Through these projects the participants had the opportunity to exchange about their cultures, learn and discuss about challenges and opportunities of the Roma minority and gaining various new skills, such as: taking part in discussions, gaining knowledge on specific topics, and presenting the results of discussions in Working Groups in front of the plenary. Also they learned to work in an intercultural environment and with an international team, achieving a better understanding of people from different cultures. Profound knowledge about the situation of the Roma on the topics of the workshops was gained.
We want to thank VYCM and SUMNAL very much for organizing such an event and EYF and Land Schleswig- Holstein for Your support!