PEER: Participation, Experiences and Empowerment for Roma youth

“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center facilitates Roma children’s participatory action in Cyprus through the EU funded project PEER: Participation, Experiences and Empowerment for Roma youth (JUST/2013FRAC/AG/6230).

From January 2015 to December 2016, partners from 9 EU countries (7 universities, 2 research institutes, 2 NGOs, and 8 associated partners) with a total budget just over 800 000 euros, will implement this project enabling Roma young people to actively engage in an action research process to explore and develop how they might become more empowered to participate in decisions and actions that shape their lives and bring about positive change at local, regional or national levels. This will be achieved by: 1) Supporting Roma young people to develop and deliver training to build capacity; 2) Engaging Roma young people as co-inquirers sharing and critically reflecting on learning from existing practice in schools and organisations working with Roma; and 3) Developing action research initiatives.

In Cyprus, capacity-building activities begun in June 2015, in Nicosia, with the 1st round of training for professionals.  “Magic 6” welcomed 25 attendants from different fields who were trained in participatory-action strategies by Cath Larkins from The Centre for Children’s and Young People’s Participation at UCLan (UK).

Currently, trainers from the Humanitarian Independent Institution “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center are developing capacity-building activities with Roma children at the Agios Antoniou Primary School in Limassol with the collaboration of the school’s staff and of Cyprus Roma expert and academic Chryso Pelekani.  Throughout 2016, further activities will take place to train young Roma facilitators who will support the implementation of participatory-action activities with groups of Roma children, and engage with online communication with Roma children from all partner countries.

The project will celebrate Roma children’s engagement and participation at a final event in Ireland at the end of 2016. Young Roma facilitators from partner countries will meet and share their experiences towards an inclusive, participatory future.