With a training on Social Justice and Holocaust URI Bulgaria marks the International Roma day


“We have to prevent similar atrocities from happening again. People should come together the moment there

is danger. Endangering one group means endangering all of us.”

Olga Lengyel



The pilot project on education and training on Holocaust and Social Justice has been held in Plovdiv from 7 to 10 April 2017. Father Petar Gramatikoff, vice chair of Bridges, URI Global Trustee, and Chief expert on religious questions in Municipality of Plovdiv was the main mover and leading lecturer.



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The major initiative which marked the International Roma day on 8 April 2017 was organized with a cooperative efforts of several organizations from Plovdiv: NGO “Academy for Innovations and sustainability”, Open discussion, research and training network project “Intercultural Dialogue and Social relations Network”,Cultural Center-Museum TRAKART and Foundation “Trakart 2000”, Lyceum “Shalom Aleichem - 1945and from Sofia “BRIDGES – Eastern European Forum for Dialogue” (Cooperation Circle to the United Religious Initiative, Europe). Financially this pilot project with focus on the “Forgotten Holocaust” against Roma was supported mainly by “The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights” – New York and “United Religions Initiative–Europe”- Belgium.






The initiative started with a lunch and official opening at the Russian restaurant in the Old city of Plovdiv. Two main events were at the focus during the days of the project:

  • Training on Social Justice and Holocaust for children was heldApril at the Cultural center and Museum Trakart in Plovdiv. Twentychildren at age of 10-12 from Stolipinovo neighborhood, pastor Stoyan and his family, together with three young volunteers Teos, Maria and Daniel (at age of 17 and 18) took part at the training on Fundamental Human Rights. During the workshop followed the training “Free and Equal” youth volunteers Maria and Teos helped Roma children to fill in the questionnaire on their fundamental rights. It was interesting and inspiring to see how children put into practice what they have just learned.  All of them will get certificates for participation from BRIDGES. Very moving and emotional moment for all participants was the film screening of “Korkoro” movie.

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  • A presentation with an open discussion for PhD students and professors from a Faculty of Philosophy, Plovdiv University took place on 10 April at “Aleko Konstantinov” Lyceum. The positive results and certain challenges during the implementation of informal form of education during the project have been discussed and comment. 


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Together with the two important trainings more than 1500 flyers about Forgotten Holocaust on Roma people during the Second World War were distributed among the University’s Libraries, Information and Cultural centers, Municipality structures, Lyceums and on the streets of the City of Plovdiv.




All the events during the project were part of bigger educational program on teaching about Holocaust and Social Justice in Bulgaria of “The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights” – New York (www.memoriallibrary.org)  

The main goal of the project is together with a historical overview and presenting the Holocaust and Social Justice problems to make a link with present time and participants. So that make them feel connected with their Roma identity and to raise awareness of Forgotten Holocaust at the same time. That approach would be of great support for those teaching Human Rights and genocide problems in Bulgaria, Europe and United States.   


Anglina Vladikova, Bridges CC and CC Liaison Officer URI Europe