Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Senior Fellows Kerim Hodžić, Emin Fafulić, and Merisa Okanović organized the five day event ‘Stazama budućnosti’ for eight participants in Tuzla. The event covered some of the main problems that local Roma people face on everyday basis, such as racism, institutional and social discrimination, stereotypes, lack of media attention, and hate speech.
Through a series of lectures from experts and Roma activists, the participants learned about key problems the Roma people in Bosnia and Herzegovina face, and took time to create their own local initiatives to help this cause. Through one month of preparation, the Senior Fellows took time to conceptualize an agenda that connects the topics to each other and evaluates the one before it. This project was implemented with the help of Youth Movement Revolt Tuzla.
‘The Paths of the Future’ included lectures, discussions, workshops, and a film viewing, covering various topic regarding the position of Roma people, their language, and culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina. All eight participants gained new knowledge and are actively using their time to create initiatives that are closely connected to the topics covered.
Sarajevo is known as Jerusalem of Europe, but I can’t seem to see appreciation and mutual respect among different ethnicities. As a person who went to elementary school with Roma kids, I have seen how badly they were treated among peers and teachers. That type of experience has been something that marked my childhood. I just wanted to take part in long-term integration process and help our fellow citizens because they need it.