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Period for accomplishment: April – July 2016 г.

Source of funding: Know-how Centre for Alternative Care at the New Bulgarian University and funded by the Velux Foundations

Role of the organisation: implementer within the framework of Know-how Centre, supporting a group of Roma kids, participants in the project „Cessation of the marginalization of the Roma people in Kjustendil by creating a new model for the community’s development“.

Expected results:

  • Increased sensitivity in parents as regards the position and role of the child in the family system and structure
  • Awareness of young people of their role and potential for self-development.
  • Improvement of the parent – child interaction.
  • The creation of a network by the participants themselves, which will continue to work with the community with the support of Equilibrium.

Main goals: The project aims at children and young people (age 13 – 17) and their parents. Its goal is to change the attitude of parents and young adults from the Roma community towards early marriages by applying a socio-experimental approach for stimulating personal development and individual resources.

Results: The EQ project team formed a group of 16 youngsters (13 – 18 years old) and their parents – a total of 27 participants. All of them belong to marginal groups – Kardarashi, ethnic Turks and Millet. Two focus groups with children and parents were held – the showing of educational films and debates on the topic of the risks of early marriages and the consequences from them. The participants took pictures of their everyday life. As a result they chose the best of their works with a message attached to present at the exhibition. A final event – a photo exhibition on 18th July, 2016 in the regional library “Ljuben Karavelov” in Ruse, where besides their pictures the participants presented messages in the form of essays. The photo exhibition showed a different, positive view towards the Roma community, presented by young people, members of the same marginal group. They defined themselves as “white sparrows” and encouraged the guests of the event to write messages of their own on the symbolic paper swallows and stick them to the tree, drawn for this purpose.

The photo exhibition will remain in the regional library till September. After that it “starts its journey” around the municipalities of Ruse region to carry its messages to other parents and young people from the communities there.

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