AGBU Europe Jointly Hosted the Third Seminar in its “A Europe of Diasporas” Project

Sofia
29/01/2016
Project seminar

Delegates initiate cooperation and a common agenda in education policy in Europe

On January 15-17, AGBU Europe, the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) and Phiren Amenca hosted a seminar entitled “Education and Empowerment” in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was the third seminar in the “A Europe of Diasporas” project, which aims to promote exchange, solidarity and common advocacy in a Europe of rising tension and prejudice.

During the seminar, Armenian, Assyrian, Jewish and Roma participants from around Europe discussed how education can better address the needs of diasporas. Among other ideas, the participants agreed that schools should give an opportunity to children of diasporas to learn about their heritage, including their language. They agreed to support inclusive education that also features the contribution of diasporas to European society as well as youth movements and informal education programs.

During a public conference entitled “United in Diversity: Educating Europe’s Diasporas” at Sofia University, Robert Djerassi, advisor to the Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria and Deyan Kolev, chairman of the Roma educational organization Centre Amalipe, explored the Bulgarian experience of providing education to children and young people who belong to diasporas. “Intercultural education, educating for tolerance are important not only for minorities. They’re also important for the entire society. If you don’t invest in forming tolerance you can’t achieve sustainable growth in the Bulgarian economy and society as well as in European society,” said Deyan Kolev.

Over the course of the seminar, the participants visited AGBU Sofia, the Armenian community center and church, and the Jewish community center in Sofia. The next milestone in the “A Europe of Diasporas” project will be a conference at the European Parliament in May, where the proposals and results developed over the course of the project will be presented.