Roma communities are often isolated, with little communication or understanding between them and mainstream society. The ‘Roma-Gadje Dialogue through Service’ initiative seeks to break down their marginalisation by involving non-Roma youths in projects in Roma communities and vice versa.
The project brings Roma and non-Roma youth together in voluntary service activities in the EU, and central and eastern Europe, to increase mutual understanding. The current project, running from 2007 to 2009, is the successor to a previous 18-month project. Youngsters from different backgrounds work together on long- and short-term projects in 11 countries – Albania, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine. The project aims to involve 75 youngsters in total, half from Roma communities. The previous initiative is already reported to have had a strong impact on both communities and participants. The project brings together voluntary service organisations, youth organisations, and Roma cultural and social centres from all countries involved.