Preservation and Renewal of Cultural and Natural Heritage – HU07-0190-B2-2016 – Roma or Not – It Is a Noble Aroma

Preservation and Renewal of Cultural and Natural Heritage – HU07-0190-B2-2016 – Roma or Not – It Is  a Noble Aroma

 Our project is supported by the EGT and the Norwegian Funds and realized within the framework of the overall program „Preservation and Reinvigoration of Cultural and Natural Heritage” which has two comprehensive aims: to ease social and economic diffenerces and to boost bilateral connections. 


HU07-0190-B2-2016 – Roma or Not – It Is  a Noble Aroma


The main goal of our project is to promote intercultural exchange between Roma and Non-Roma people, to lessen prejudices and social tensions between these two groups. We wish to realize our project in three settlements where our organization has been at work for years thus we know the problems of the handicapped Roma and the handicapped Non-Roma people very well. The main locale of the project is Szendrőlád in the Northern Hungarian Region, the second is the nearby Martonyi and finally, Pánd in Pest county. There will be 15 children and 15 of their parents involved in each of the settlements. Target groups in Szendrőlád and Martonyi are almost entirely of Roma origin, whilst in Pánd we will also include handicapped of other ethnic origins. Participants shall be involved in interdependent, complementary activities which starts development at personal, familial, communal and social level too. Target groups are of 90 participants but we wish to address and involve significantly more people in the one-year tenure of the project and to promote cooperation between Roma and Non-Roma social groups. To achieve this, apart from regular development trainings and activities, we organize programs in which social groups can participate together in an ever growing number, creating common cultural values, not just Roma adults and children but college and university students, high school students of different social backgrounds and handicapped youth as well.


The main activities of the project:

-  theatre pedagogy – three times a week for children,

-  theatre pedagogy – for adults on monthly basis in each settlement

-  a three-day visit to Szendrőlád for groups of different social backgrounds in seven shifts

-  an integrated summer camp with events strengthening communal sense in each settlement

-  a trip to Lichtenstein

-  Christmas celebration in every settlement

-  musical program in Budapest at the Roma Cultural Day featuring Budapest Bár

-  other: opening training and involving target groups


Roma people will not ony participate in realization but in organization too. Our project is supported and sponsored by the local and minority governments and ocal civic organizations. As a donor, we are supported by an institution of special education in Lichtenstein, dealing with handicapped children and young people. 




 1. Opening training


Aim: To acquire the knowledge, skills, expertise and abilities necessary for the successful realization; to help get in tune and senzitation for the theme of the project. We wish to form a team capable of working together efficiently.

Method: discussion, debate, workshop, teambuilding, sensitation.

Short description / syllabus: Goals in the above will be achieved in a three-day training held by two expert trainers. The attendants are experts realizing the project.

 2. Involving target groups


Aim: The involvment of the dictect target group – 15 children and 15 adults in each settlement – in the project.

Method: Direct contact, discussion, short introduction of the project on leaflets and in presentations.

Short description / syllabus: To inform the participants about the details of the project by using the above mentioned methods.

3.  Theatre pedagogy sessions


Aim:  Sessions will be carried out in three stages, goals will change accordingly:

  1. Creating team cohesion and dynamics: the knowledge of the self and that of the partner, the acceptance of the self and that of the partner.
  2. Developing competences: improving presentation skills, self-assertion, etc.
  3. Strengthening the ability of choice and formulation of vision in understanding social issues.

Method: Informal sessions to learn and exchange knowledge, experience.

Short description / syllabus: Theatre pedagogy sessions for children held by an expert on regular basis, three times a week in each settlement.


Sessions during the tenure of the project feature all three branches of theatre pedagogy:

Stage 1.: focusing on Rules Plays and team cohesion.

Stage 2.: Acting for children and connecting competences.

Stage 3.: Getting familiar with Drama in Education in connection with the elaboration of social issues such as discrimination, starting a family, party-culture / drug-abuse.

The end product of the sessions is a digital, projectable material documented by the children during work and as a closure, a short introductory presentation during which the performing children present the techniques acquired in the program.

 4. Theatre pedagogy sessions for adults


Aim: improving problem solving skills, self-knowledge, knowledge of the partner, development of cooperation skills.

Method: Informal sessions to learn and exchange knowledge, experience.

Short description / syllabus: A theatre pedagogy expert holds a session for adults in each settlement on a monthly basis. Adult sessions bear with lesser means of methodology but work with themes focused on much more on personal issues and problem solving themes. 

Topics would touch everyday issues (for example, social relationships, cooperation with institutions and offices, self-knowledge, the knowledge of one’s partner, relationship between children and parents), and participants would treat these by sensitizing theatre pedagogy rules plays focusing on self-knowledge and knowledge of the partner guided by the expert. A successful program would result in an improved self-knowledge for the adults capable of having better communication with their family members and the authorities, and they could think of themselves as active, conscious and responsible members of society.


5. A visit to Szendrőlád for groups from various social backgrounds


Aim: To provide new experience for the handicapped so that they could meet people from different backgrounds and ease prejudices. All participants could learn tolerance, adaptation; they would get to know different cultural values,strengthen cultural variegation and create intercultural exchange. All visiting groups would have to prepare with some activity – a sports program, a game, a handicraft session, an activity with the locals, a common music session with the local traditionalists. 

Method: Informal sessions to learn and exchange knowledge, experience.

Short description / syllabus: Groups of 15 people would visit Szendrőlád in seven shifts in July and August, three days per shifts. Visitors include students of the parochial grammar school in Budakeszi, underprivilaged secondary school students from Budapest, child and adult groups from Pánd and Martonyi and our handicapped volunteers. We hold it important for the underprivilaged to meet the handicapped because as experience shows, it is always stimulating if they see that there are people leading a more difficult life but still have the strength to change and help themselves.


6. Integrated camps


Aim: New experience, new impulses for Roma and underprivileged people – a chance to express themselves but also to practice team work and cooperation and enjoy success. It is also a goal to promote intercultural exchange between Roma and Non-Roma people by creating cultural values and realizing common activities. Children and their parents would participate together since common experience strengthen family ties as well.    

Method: Participants create productions in small groups to be presented to the others on the last day in a greater event – this can be any kind of cultural product of theatre, music or applied arts.

Short description / syllabus: Camp organized in Debrecen, where target groups spend a week with people of various social backgrounds: university and college students, grammar schooland high-school students from „privileged” and „underprivileged” secondary educational institutions, our handicapped volunteers and colleagues. 


7. Programs strengthening communal sense at each settlement


Aim: To ease social tensions, to form local groups living side-by-side into a community, to strengthen the identity of the local communities, to create an inclusive and accepting community. To promote exchange and cooperation between Roma and Non-Roma social groups by common activities.

Method: Common organization and events – stage plays, sports programs, cooking.

Short description / syllabus: This event requires the involvment of the entire settlement. Apart from the children of the target groups, local Roma and Non-Roma traditionalist groups would also perform on the stage. Common sports activities, cooking, play pens will contribute to the success of the program.


8. Travelling abroad


Aim: Getting new impulses, experience, moving out. To promote discussion and cooperation between Roma and Non-Roma social groups, the presentation of Roma cultural values and strengthening international relationships.

Method: Travelling, presentation abroad.

Short description / syllabus: a one-week trip to Switzerland for 18 handicapped adults and children by the aid of the Lichtenstein partner who helps organize performances. 

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