ternYpe participated in II Youth Convention on Volunteering

12 ternYpe – International Roma Youth Network participants from all member organizations joined the II Youth Convention on Volunteering from September 7th-11th in Brussels, the biggest event organized by the European Youth Forum and hosted by the European Parliament in the framework of the European Year of Volunteering. During 3 days ternYpe was present with an information tent in the V-Village in front of the European Parliament, organized two workshops with different international youth organizations and presented the ternYpe European Youth Campaign for ALL in ONE society.

The event was organized by the European Youth Forum, the biggest platform of youth organizations in Europe, bringing together 98 National Youth Councils and international youth organizations, which works to empower young people to participate actively in society by representing and advocating their needs and interests towards European Institutions, Council of Europe and the United Nations.

Almost all mainstream youth organizations were present in the Youth Convention and in the V-Village, where each of them set up their own tent and awaited visitors. ternYpe participant Karolina Mirga from Poland concluded: “It was the first time that ternYpe was present in such a mainstream European youth event. TernYpe visibility reached out to many people who did not have any clue about Roma or Roma youth self-organizations, including many people of the Parliament.” Even in this crowd of experienced volunteers and youth organizations, the ternYpe group managed to make itself visible with creative street actions. We informed the Princess of Belgium about our work, and many youth organizations and people working in the Commission and European Parliament were interested to know more about the life of young Roma and Roma youth activism. Our Roma Youth Empowerment Workshops attracted volunteers from AEGEE (European Students Forum), European Young Greens and many other organizations and volunteers, who were interested to build up cooperation in the future.

Merdjan Jakupov from Macedonia, who currently is as an international volunteer in Germany in a ternYpe member organization, shared his experience with the journalist of the European Parliament: ”We do a lot of self-organising, mobilizing and building a cultural identity. It's also a good way to learn to be responsible. My favorite part of being here in Brussels at the Youth Convention is working with young people, promoting TERNYPE, putting us on the map and trying to recruit members and partners for our organisation. My message to possible recruits? ‘Be young, be a volunteer!’”

This action was part of the present ternYpe European Youth Campaign for mutual respect and responsibility of ALL in ONE society, which stands up against extremism, antigypsyism, racism, stigmatization and discrimination in Europe. The ternYpe team tried to bring up that problem in conversations with people who were visiting our tent.  It was the first, but hopefully not last time when ternYpe had a chance to participate in such a mainstream event, spreading our message with enthusiasm and power.


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