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Promoting Active Social and Labour Market Participation among Roma Youth
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Research shows that the integration and accommodation of ethnic and religious minorities and their special needs and claims has been an important concern for the European Union and neighbouring states. In some countries challenges relate more to immigrant groups while in others they concern native minorities. The Roma population makes up one of the largest minorities in Europe while the integration of the Roma minority in the European community remains an on-going concern for the EU and national authorities. Due to social obstacles Roma youth remain excluded from the labour market and society in general and with this Multileg Mobility Project we made our input in helping to change this situation. The objectives of this project included empowering young Roma people with the skills to recognise that they can be drivers of change, exchanging principles and possible ways of youth participation and youth empowerment in a non-formal way, training the participants with empowerment skills to share their knowledge and competences with their peers and ensuring Roma youth’s active participation in the labour market and in society at large. This Multileg Mobility Project consisted of 3 stages: 1. The Contact Making Event held in the UK with 24 youth peer leaders and representatives of the participating organisations from the UK, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Russia where they shared views on active participation in the labour market and entrepreneurship as an alternative to youth unemployment and presented profiles and experience of the participating organisations in this field; 2. A Youth Exchange held in Bulgaria with 64 young people involved in the work of the represented partner organisations where they explored entrepreneurship and co-operative project work in mixed nationality teams as a way to increase personal self-confidence and employability; 3. A Training Course for peer educators and multipliers in Moldova with 32 youth peer educators motivated to act as multipliers of the projects' achievements. The following working methods were used during the basic activities of the mobility project: - presentations of realities with Roma employment situation in the partner countries; - presentation of the Erasmus+ programme with a special focus on new developments and opportunities for cooperation between the partners on the projects' theme; - workshops on project management, best practice on employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for young Roma people; - role play games and exercises on inclusion techniques; - use of peer role models and peer education techniques; - a study visit to a local youth employment agency and meeting with private sector representatives (small and medium size businesses) having experience in Roma youth employment; - Fully utilising the Open Space method to maximise learning and ensure that the project was peer led. As a result of the mobility project we have a European pool of young motivated peer leaders and trained peer educators with the skills and competences required to promote social inclusion, active participation in the labour market and entrepreneurship as a way to approach youth disenfranchisement and facilitate employment motivation of Roma youth. The local communities involved with the basic activities of the mobility project experienced a greater sense of understanding and cohesion through the co-operative projects and campaigns produced by the participants. Joint and active participation of motivated peer leaders, youth workers and trained peer educators increased their awareness about common values and principles of social participation and entrepreneurship to approach youth disenfranchisement as well as facilitate employment motivation of Roma youth. All of the participants worked towards accreditation with a Youthpass certificate. We are also spreading our findings and knowledge further to other youth organisations active with the issues of promoting active participation in the labour market as a tool to support social inclusion and employment opportunities of young Roma people.
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