Don't Worry! Be Gypsy!

From April 29th to May 9th, over 35 youth leaders from 10 countries came together in the international training-course “Don’t Worry! Be Gypsy!” in Berlin. This training-course intended to strengthen the capacity and leadership skills of youth leaders, youth workers and young artists who work in the field of intercultural dialogue with creative and artistic methods. A special attention was given to the equal involvement of Roma, non-Roma and other minority youth leaders. We believe that we can use art as a tool in order to break stereotypes, to cross traditional borders, to develop strong messages of political and social campaigning, to create an open space of intercultural dialogue and to develop the personality and capacity of young people.

Former youth exchanges and trainings on creativity and campaigning have shown that the practical experience of artistic tools developed the motivation and openness of the participants. Nevertheless, we discovered the difficulties of the participants to integrate these new methods and experience into their own work as they still lack self-reflection, self-esteem and a practical experience in leading and coaching. This seminar strengthens the leadership skills, develops new methods and artistic approaches with interdisciplinary tools (theatre, singing, art), and implements the new skills in a field laboratory.

After a 6 day training-course, the participants worked during two days with 4 groups of Roma and non-Roma youngsters and children, especially new migrants from Romania. Small performances were shown on stage during the 3rd Herdelezi Roma Festival on May 7th in Neukölln, which attracted over 1000 people for different Roma music concerts, a living library and a beautiful street festival atmosphere.

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