July 12, 2011
Between July 6 and 10 Policy Center for Roma was an official guest at the 2011 edition of the Mondiali Antirazzisti, a multicultural festival using sports as a way of tackling racism and any form of discrimination, organized by Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti and its partners. The event which was attended by 5000 participants from over 50 countries and took place in Bosco Albergati (Castelfranco Emilia – Modena) in Italy. Through the four days, a series of sports tournaments and music concerts aimed to promote a message of solidarity, inclusion and cooperation between people. `
Our delegation which consisted of 19 children from the Alternative Education Club at the School no. 136 in Ferentari, two parents from the community, three volunteers and five staff members was actively involved in all sorts of activities throughout the festival: the children performed a street dance show on the main arena, but also played volleyball, football and basketball. An amazing thing was that the little ones still had the energy to organize by themselves the street dance show even after they played sports all day long.
Also, the team took part in a drawing contest which had as theme anti-racism. Later on, with the help of the children, the drawings were exhibited in the central area of the festival for everyone to see.
Overall the atmosphere was very friendly, fun (camping was very popular among the children) and educative filled with sports and music events, that brought together people regardless of their ethnic background or skin colour.
The conference “Piloting innovative methods for social inclusion through sports” marked the official opening of the festival. Event guests included Mr. Jan Jarab (Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – UN Human Rights Office in the European Union), Mr. Piara Powar (Executive director of the FARE network – Football Against Racism in Europe), Mr. Daniel Prodan (Sport Director of the National Romanian Football Team – Romanian Football Federation) and representatives of the Italian Football Federation and the National Office for Antidiscrimination in Italy (UNAR).
The conference, which took place in Rome on June 27, was moderated by Valeriu Nicolae, president of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, and focused on issues like Roma social inclusion and limiting racism through sport.
The event was part of the REACT campaign implemented in Romania and Italy by UISP and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, and supported by the European Commission.
While the NGOs in Bulgaria and Albania focus on grass-roots interventions, UISP and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities develop in Italy and Romania an awareness raising campaign aiming to challenge the negative attitudes towards Roma through a mainstream approach. The main actions rely on sports and education, films and documentaries, as vehicles designed to stimulate active citizenship among both Roma and non-Roma.