Otherness and strangeness in Europe - Bridges to Roma

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Country/partner countries
COMENIUS Bilateral school partnerships 2010-2012:
- Hartmanni-Gymnasium, Eppingen (Germany)
- Gimnazija Novo mesto, Novo mesto (Slovenia)

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Contact person:
Nuša Rustja (nusa.rustja@guest.arnes.si)

The project was presented on the websites:
- http://www.gimnm.org/projekti/projekt-comenius2/ /> - http://www.hartmanni-gymnasium-eppingen.de/comenius.html

Project information – start and end date (if available)
25. 9. 2010 - 22. 6. 2012

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
Students from Slovenia and Germany meet young Sinti and Romanies to discover their culture and way of life to be able to stand up against prejudices and exclusion of minorities.
The Sinti and Romanies living in Europe today are used to exemplify the current situation of integration in a multiethnic Europe by the bilateral Comenius school partnership between Novo mesto and Eppingen. It highlights problems of the Sinti and Romanies minority and the rejection and racism they experience from the majority of the population. Beginning the academic year 2010/11 encounters have been taking place between Slovenian and German pupils twice a year. During these meetings the students have been working on projects supporting the integration of Romanies into society and overcoming prejudices. In order to intensify the cooperation between meetings the students are given assignments they work on together with their partners via email.

The Slovenian and German students met young Sinti and Romanies in both countries. In Slovenia the teenagers experienced Romanies living under poor and discriminating conditions. The got to know children and adolescents in the Romanies estates of Brezje and Smihel, attended workshops on Romanies culture and way of life together with them, which enabled both sides to reduce their prejudices. They contributed themselves to the integration of young Romanies by giving lessons in different kindergardens and institutions of learning and by arranging workshops. In Germany they got to know Sintis who are integrated into society. In the Sinti and Romanies Centre Heidelberg they worked on the history primarily on the persecution of Sinti and Romanies during the time of the National socialist regime. As a result of the exchange the students documented their project and presented it to the public in both Novo mesto and Eppingen.

The Comenius students deepened their knowledge of a united Europe and developed different ways of connecting foreign
cultures. Their intercultural competence in dealing with people they experience as foreign and different, especially with regard to minorites, has increased noticeably. This is exemplified by individual encounters and activities that have occured outside the limits of the official Comenius-Project and are still occurring today.

Results of the project
intercultural competences breaking down prejudices

workshops with shared experiences: Germans – Slovenes – Roma

Common activities:
singing – talking – painting - interviewing – teaching & learning – playing – round table discussion - producing – taking pictures – dancing – building models – producing (wall) newspapers - cooking – having a party - opening the photo exhibition/gallery – organizing a Kulturcafé

- workshops in Novo mesto (Roma Kindergarten, Primary school Bršljin,
DRPD/Association of Voluntary Services Novo mesto, RIC/Development Education Centre Novo mesto)
- workshops in Eppingen (Kindergarten Schaworalle, Frankfurt, Primary and
secondary modern school, Frankfurt, Berufsbildungswerk im Förderverein Roma, Frankfurt, Dokumentationszentrum deutscher Sinti und Roma, Heidelberg
- round table conference
- didactic game Memory
- basic dictionary Romanes – German – Slovene - French – Italian – English
- new Year cards
- photo workshop
- photo exhibition
- film about life in the Roma settlement
- pencil cases for the children
- painting the Roma kindergarten’s
- wall newspaper
- living with families
- kulturcafe
- closing ceremony
- continuation of learning assistance and
workshops in the Roma settlement in Novo mesto

All data collected on: http://www.gimnm.org/projekti/comenius-2011-2012/ (Dokumentacija: 9. Zgibanka v angleščini)

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
- participating students and their families
- participating teachers and their families
- other students and teachers of the two
grammar school
- participating institutions with mentors,
coordinators and Roma
- publicity in the media

Sources of funding
COMENIUS Bilateral school partnerships

http://www.gimnm.org/projekti/projekt-comenius2/ />