Empowerment and mobilization of young Roma
Empowerment and mobilization of young Roma is one of the key priorities in the mission of ternYpe. We want to support the youngsters, as individuals and as a group with all its diversity, to strengthen their identity, to develop their own vision and to realize their dreams. To reach our mission we are searching for new tools to encourage and enable young people to become active citizens, and to influence changes in their communities, as well as in their societies. As an international network we invest our main efforts into the grassroots on local, regional and national level. Capacity-building, self-organization and networking are key tools to make this long-term process sustainable and effective.
Fight stigmatization and discrimination!
Roma are European citizens. Nevertheless, they face structural discrimination and marginalization. Prejudices and stereotypes are widely spread and remain often unquestioned in the media, in politics and in society. Stigmatization of Roma and anti-gypsyism are some of the main causes of social exclusion. Roma are usually not accepted as equal citizens.
They are often perceived as inactive and incapable people who deserve to be denied social, economical and political rights. Internalizing these negative images themselves, many Roma accept them as normal, reproduce these stereotypes of the majority and are afraid to identify themselves as Roma. Especially young people struggle with their identity.
Roma and non-Roma should take their responsibility as equal citizens in ONE society. We should create trust and respect for diversity and fight discrimination and stigmatization. Striving for a better life for ALL in ONE society, we have to stress that not Roma are the problem, but their marginalization, discrimination and bad social situation. Therefore, we have to address the root causes of their social exclusion: stigmatization and stereotypes.
Strengthen youth participation! Raising the voice of young people!
We want to raise the awareness for active citizenship of ALL in ONE society. On behalf of “ternYpe” we appeal to politicians and policy makers to put the youth issue on the agenda, to include young people in the decision-making processes, and to strengthen the voice of Roma youth. Having a voice is essential for participation and active citizenship and is necessary to ensure a democratic society regardless of social class, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. There is a great need to include a youth dimension in the policies and programmes for Roma and in general, which are developed based on a mutual dialogue between young people, policy-makers and public administrations.
The problem of weak youth participation does not affect only the Roma community – it is a social phenomenon present in all European countries. The access of young people to social and political participation is limited and their voice is seldom recognised by those who decide on their future. Youth participation cannot just be channeled through democratic elections and representation, but requires adequate approaches based on the needs of different young people. In the context of Roma youth, these barriers are even more visible.