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This is a reference for Nebojsa Nick Djeric

Roma youth participation in youth policy process

The training activity took place
in Struga, Republic of Macedonia
organised by NGO Roma Youth Centre
from 25 – 31 March 2012
Reference person

Lidija Belesic

(co - trainer)
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Aims & objectives

The international training course “Roma youth participation in youth policy process” implemented with the support of Council of Europe, European Youth Foundation, as well as Open Society Institute, was held in period from 25 - 31 of March 2012 in Struga, Republic of Macedonia.

The training course brought together 24 participants from 8 countries (Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia), communities, organizations and institutions working with different target groups and facing different needs and challenges.

The main goal of this training course was:
“Train and empower Roma young people with competent and responsible participation in international, national and local level, to develop Roma youth policy, associative strategies and political plans aimed at promoting responsible Roma members/leaders in their community/country”.

To reach its goal, the program had the following specific objectives:
- Engage Roma youth in a reflection process to analyze what went well and what could be improved upon in the future;
- Motivate Roma youth for volunteering in institutions, NGOs;
- Develop intellectual skills enabling Roma youth to think critically; to evaluate, to monitor and influence public policy;
- Identify a public policy problem in their community, to research the problem, evaluate alternative solutions, develop their own solution, and create proposal for political action plan;
- Develop practical approaches and methods for translating civic education, youth leaders and intercultural learning into Roma youth engagement on policymaking;
- Building sense for Roma youth cooperation.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The target group were 24 Roma youth workers and leaders who are active in local, regional, national and international associations and were interested in developing strategies and projects for exploring the active participations.

The countries involved in the project were: Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia.

Total number of participants was: 24

Training methods used & main activities

Methodology: This project was designed to provide democratic space for debate, reflection and development of competence on participating of Roma youth in process in different country of policymaking through out active engagement in youth policy. It was conducted 7 day training course, using and interactive, participative approach, using methods of T-kits and Booklet provided by Salto youth. These working methods of the course has facilitated the exchange of information and were provided training for development of new competences. The working program helped participants to learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process, they developed support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy. Participants were trained to identify a public policy problem in their community.

The working methods used were non-formal education and informal way of learning. This included: games, energizers, ice-breakers, team building exercises, individual and group activities, work on practical examples in a small groups, simulations, thematic workshops, discussions, debates, presentations...

Outcomes of the activity

The course programme was provided participants with the opportunity for enhancing Roma youth participation in youth policy processes.
Through different session in the frame of this training course, the program promoted competent and responsible forms of active participation in local and state government. The program has helped participants to learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process, they developed support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy.

Participants were trained to identify a public policy problem in their community/country.
They researched the problem, evaluated alternative solutions, developed their own solution, and created proposal as political action plan to enlist local or state authorities to check their proposed policy. In this kind, training course empowered participants to take positive leader action to improve their community.

Concerning the issue of sustainability of the project, the program provided base for future cooperation and possibility to create next step of the project, for training other leaders themes. One session was devoted to European Youth foundation funding opportunities and other European youth programs.

Participants were trained to be more interactive leaders in their community, encouraging them to take youth activity for making the society more democratic. This will provide opportunity for youth to be active as a volunteers in some local institutions, NGOs in order to enhance practical skills.

Concerning the issue of follow up activities, this training course was produced final outputs in as document. This document is representing the Guidelines to Roma youth participation in youth policy development process. It is comprising of concrete recommendations for enhancing Roma youth participation, taking into account all relevant stakeholders in the processes.

During training course each group of participants got obligation in their own country to implement workshop activity for their local youth organization about Roma youth participation in youth policy development process through promoting the final output of the course, the Guidilines.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

My role was trainer. In this training course, two trainers from Serbia were actively included. Trainers have worked on promoting social inclusion of the Roma youth population and promoting tolerance and equality among different cultures, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.

Training course has supported by Council of Europe and the European Youth Foundation http://www.eyf.coe.int/fej/ as well as Open Society Institute http://www.soros.org/ and organized by NGO Roma Youth Centre. For more info contact: Project Manager Senad Sakipovski on mobile: +38971376260 and e mail: info_romayouthcentre@yahoo.com

I worked on this training for 7 days as a full time trainer.

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