THIS PROGRAM AIMS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ROMA WHO GRADUATE FROM SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL.
Through the Zaedno Napred program, each year AYF supports two national leadership camps for Roma youth between the ages of 16-21, one training for camps leaders, a peer to peer mentoring initiative, the Arete Yoth Volunteer Network, and National Roma Girls` Camp. The purpose of these activities is to help motivate, inform and improve the lives of participants by encouraging them to complete their education, take a more active role in their communities and create an active and supportive network of young Roma from throughout Bulgaria.
A major priority for the program is organizing National Forward Together Leadership camps for Roma youth.Founded in 2002, Camps were started to motivate Roma youth from Bulgaria to build leadership skills and self-esteem as well as to find ways to overcome the extreme cases of discrimination that they face in their communities.
AYF`s camps scale up the number of high potential Roma youth who continue their education and/or graduate from high school. AYF data shows that 99.7% of camp participants graduate high school.
Camps are the first time for Roma youth to meet and network with their peers and an incredible platform to foster self-esteem, strong motivation for education and community service exposing the participants to role models and guest facilitators with backgrounds in Roma integration issues. In 2019, 60 Roma youth from 34 locations across Bulgaria took part in exciting and interactive motivational sessions during the 2019 leadership camps and gained knowledge and skills which helped them identify more easily as Roma, developed their communication skills, introduced them to volunteering, presented them the needed skills a true leader needs to hold, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams by continuing their education!