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#YouToo: The personal example matters

Kali is 21 years old and lives in the town of Pazardjik, Bulgaria. Three years ago she participated in a summer camp organized by Arete Youth Foundation and since then is an active volunteer. She mainly focuses on motivating young Roma to continue their education after high school. And she does that in what may seem as a very simple way – talking to them. For her the personal example is among the most important factors in this sphere. She admits that she herself needed motivation and received it through communicating with people she sees as role models. “I talk with young people and always share with them my experience and what I have been through”. Apart from that Kali joins different local and national campaigns and initiatives.

You too – come and participate!


We are launching a #YouToo online campaign

Preparing the campaign - collecting portraits and stories

Preparing the campaign – collecting portraits and stories

Версия на български

O’PEN is launching an online campaign to promote active participation among young people, both Roma and non-Roma. With our messages we also hope to increase understanding among Roma and non-Roma by showing common characteristics in the fight for social inclusion. The campaign will also give visibility to the activities and the results of the project “You Too – Come and participate!”.

The main instrument of our online campaign will be personal stories of young Roma and non-Roma (from Bulgaria and Romania) who volunteer or in another way have become active in the improvement of their community. We will show their faces and promote their stories. But their stories of learning and success are also an invitation – yes, #YouToo can come and participate.

Follow the campaign on:




And on the special section of our website:

All campaign related posts and information will bear the hashtag #YouToo (#ТиСъщо in Bulgarian).


“You too – come and participate!” project started in Romania


Версия на български

Association for Charitable Aid AMURT Romania in partnership with Association for Aid AMURTEL Romania and the Pro European Network from Bulgaria, are implementing the project “You Too – Come and participate!” in four (4) rural communities in Ilfov county: Domnesti, Clinceni, Ciorogarla and Cornetu. The project period is from October 2014 to April 2016.

The project is funded by EEA Grants 2009-2014 under NGO Funds in Romania, component Social Justice and sub component Ethnic Rural Community Development with an amount of 64,607.10 Euro.

The purpose of the project is to reduce poverty among 300 Roma and other ethnic persons from those four rural communities mentioned above, by facilitating the practice of the democratic citizenship, multicultural dialogue and increasing the employment opportunities on a local inclusive market.

The objectives that sustained this purpose are focusing on developing abilities of active participation among minimum 240 Roma and other ethnic people; increasing the tolerance and multicultural dialogue among 160 children/youth through educational campaigns, promotional events about cultural identity; encouraging jobs creation in order to strengthen  social cohesion and to ensure a sustainable development for the community.

Active participation in local life is approached from two perspectives: (1) political/civic democracy that will be reflected in the final results – gained skills, attitude and behaviors which attests good practice of democratic citizenship and (2) economic democracy based on the principles of Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) that encourage economic cooperation, democratic control and access to the resources, mutual support for local businesses e.g “chain business” or “domino business” – known in other developed countries as LETS system (Local Exchange Trading System).

The expected main results of this project refers to 240 members from different minority groups to: gained skills and practices of pro-active involvement in local life; gained skills and practices of promoting their own culture. 80 members to gain knowledge and skills about social entrepreneurship that will be exercised in a competitive environment, and  160 children and young people from local schools, to learn about tolerance and non-discriminatory behavior.