Phiren Amenca is a network of Roma and non-Roma volunteers and voluntary service organizations creating opportunities for non-formal education, dialogue and engagement, in order to challenge stereotypes and racism.
Volunteering & voluntary service
Oct seminar 2012 smallWe believe that volunteering is a powerful tool of social change, as volunteers dedicate their time and energy to contribute to society. Based on national and international voluntary service programs, the Phiren Amenca network creates opportunities for young Roma and non-Roma to live and engage in local communities and projects for up to one year. Placement themes may include youth and sport activities, social inclusion, arts and culture, environment and human rights. In exchange for their engagement, the volunteers can benefit from an unforgettable life experience, intercultural learning, non-formal education, and new language skills.
Voluntary service organizations in the Phiren Amenca network are European and North American non-profit bodies sending and/or hosting these young adults, and providing support such as mentoring, on-arrival, mid-term and pre-departure seminars, pocket money, room, board and insurance.
The experience of voluntary service can both stimulate & challenge young people through meeting new cultures, languages, people and ideas. This opportunity can enable the volunteers to develop new skills and talents, discover new interests, and make new relationships. Phiren Amenca network wants to support and encourage volunteers in this learning experience through seminars on intercultural learning, conflict-management, Roma history and cultures, civil rights activism, as well as discrimination, mechanisms of exclusion, antigypsyism and extremist movements today.
Dialogue and engagement
We believe that we need an active dialogue and engagement in society to strengthen trust, mutual understanding and respect between Roma and non-Roma. Phiren Amenca volunteers share a passion to learn and engage for our common mission to challenge stereotypes and racism. Phiren Amenca encourages an open and safe community to share experiences in the dialogue among volunteers, hosting placements, local communities, and network members.
Challenging stereotypes and racism
Stereotypes and racism are the root causes of social exclusion and marginalization of Roma. As Roma and non-Roma we want to create equal opportunities for all young people in our societies, especially through giving equal access to voluntary service.