I was curious about Youth-Exchange projects and working for Worldest Organization as a youth worker. zI have heard about this Project many times whose name is ‘’ Embracing the Colors’’. That Project was about Anti-Gypsyism and I was pretty sure that I would have many opportunities, a chance to meet with guys from Roma Community and can be aware of Roma issues and the problems that they have from them and with their words. I decided to apply this Project then I come in. We create a WhatsApp group to communicate easily and task sharing. We start to search for Roma Community and got informed. After we bought the tickets fixed last preparations. We were ready to go and present our culture and Roma community situation.
We got on Romania together with the Turkish group and got an Airbnb after at all. It was hard to find the way but we cross with a Turkish guy who lives in Romania then he helps us a lot. We spend 2 days in Capital, It was kinda emotional that you were discovering a city that you never have been before and find a monument of your first president, your father.
When we arrived at accommodation there was Victor greet us with a huge smiley face and a warm hug. Activity days started fast and way to informative after at all ice-breakers, name, and team-building games. The second day was also really informative. We learned about Roma history and the struggles that Roma people still have. After a lunch break we were given a task to found out about the Roma community in our country and to present it to others.
On the second day we had the first intercultural night. Ukraine, Moldova, and Malta presented to us about their beautiful countries and after that we had a chance to try out their traditional cuisine.
The third day was reserved for learning about the Roma community in Romania. We were learning about community journalism, how to address problems in communities through media, and how to filter information. After the theoretical part it was time for us to show what we have had learned. We were divided into smaller groups and hard tasks to figure out the questions for the questionnaire. Then we walked to the center of Slanic Moldova and every group had on average 10 participants. This task was a really good team-building exercise since all the people from that group became some of the closest people in this project.
The fourth day every group presented all the answers from the questionnaire and the results were really shocking, especially the fact that Roma people aren’t allowed to be in Slanic Moldova. Our second intercultural night was on day 4 and it was a really good one because Turkey, Greece, and Italy presented to us about their country. It was almost unfair to have those three countries with such rich cuisine together but we managed to eat all food that was presented. Day 5 was really interesting but at the same time really emotional. We were once again separated into a smaller groups and on this day the task was to organize a press conference. Every group was given the “characters”, the good ones, and the bad ones. The press conference was an emotional rollercoaster because some people needed to be really harsh even though they don’t stand those opinions. Everyone did great and after the conference we all took a moment just to get back to normal. In the evening we had a very special night because it was time for us to presented our beautiful country together with Spain and Bulgaria. It was such a special night for us and we had the most fun.
On day 6 and day 7 we started to film and edit two short films. This task was really hard because we had such a little time to figure out the scenario, to film it and the hardest part was editing. Even though we had the free night we all pull an all-nighter editing the videos. On the evening of day 7, we had Maltas carnival. The maltase team did such a great job organizing the carnival and we really appreciate all the effort they put in the organisation. Last days we were practicing forum theatre. We were split into different groups and needed to figure out the topic for theatre. The main rule was to have oppressed and pressed character and their alliances. In the end the oppressed character needs to make bad decisions. An evening of day nine we had a Romanian intercultural night and the Romanian team managed to exceed all of our expectations.
Day 10 was our time to shine, we played our play in front of 150 people. It was a great experience. In the afternoon we went to Braşov. The last day was time to summarise all projects and to reflect on everything that happened. It was a little bit emotional and unbelievable that time flew so fast and it was almost our time to go. In the evening we had a campfire where we got our youth passes and also where we found about our secret friend. I advise everyone who able to join this kind of adventure and down to learn some and improve a lot just apply for projects and pack your luggage.