So keres, Europa?! (So what, Europe?!)
Cluj-Napoca, Romania – Conference Day #1
Today was the opening ceremony of the conference which was conducted by Samuel Mago, a member of Romani Resistance. Mr Mango extended a warm welcome to all participants, volunteers and organisers.There were around 300 young Roma and non Roma participants from 49 European countries which included among others Italy, France, Germany, and the UK.
The purpose of the opening ceremony was to do an introductory session in order to explain the structure of the conference. Basic information about the event was provided.
Facilitators who are responsible for conducting different workshops, introduced themselves and gave some information of the workshops they will be leading from tomorrow. The participants were asked to choose one of the many workshops and were advised to remain with the workshop they choose , until the end of the conference. The workshops included various activities such as dance, singing, arts, street grafitti and many more.
The ceremony was rounded up by a performance of the song „Say no 2 persecution“ by Mr. Shazar Khan, Director of Music and Culture of Global Minorities Alliance.
After the ceremony, participants joined their reflection groups where they reflected about their hopes and expectations for this conference. They also discussed the challenges the Roma community is confronted by i.e. discrimination, educational exclusion, economical exclusion and social exclusion, and what young people do in their local communities to make a difference in Roma people’s lives. This activity was an ice breaker since it gave a chance to every participant to have a chat with a new person in the group in every round.
The day finished with a common dinner and further opportunities for the delegates to talk and network during an evening programme.
Sheeba Kiran currently reports from Cluj-Napaco, Romania. She is the Law graduate from Strathclyde University, Glasgow. She is also Global Minorities Alliance’s Director of Women Empowerment. She can be reached on Twitter @sheebakiran7