“Memory is what shapes us. Memory is what teaches us. We must understand that’s where our redemption is.” / “It is not enough to curse the darkness of the past. Above all, we have to illuminate the future. “ Estelle Laughlin
TernYpe believes that the youth plays an important role in the process of constructing tolerant and inclusive societies, based on deep understanding of the past. That is why ternYpe’s vision of the education for remembrance is to develop solidarity among Roma and non-Roma youth, through analysis and interpretation of history as a tool to evaluate and act in contemporary societies. Through raising awareness of the Roma Genocide among Roma youth across Europe, we also debate other experiences of genocides and wars in which Roma were victims, such as the Balkan wars. Understanding of mechanisms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance which lead to the horrors of the Holocaust enables the youth to realise the potential danger of current populist and neo-Nazi movements. The project, therefore, seeks to bridge the past horrible experiences of Roma Genocide and Holocaust and present concerns of neo-Nazi and extreme right tendencies in societies across Europe, and the role of a responsible and engaged youth in all of these.
The Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative aims at:
1) engaging Roma and non-Roma youth organizations from all over Europe in remembrance education;
2) building the capacity of youth leaders and trainers to work with tools of remembrance, holocaust and human rights education;
3) strengthening the awareness, the critical thinking and identity of young people in order to act for mutual understanding and solidarity;
4) involving institutions and organizations in education for remembrance of the Roma Genocide on local, national and European level;
5) mainstreaming educational materials on Roma Genocide history and remembrance in schools and non-formal education.
70 years after the persecution and extermination of Roma in the Holocaust, and with nearly no living witnesses to provide testimonies of the past horrors, the Roma youth puts forward a question: What is our role as Roma youth in carrying the memories and lessons for the future, through learning, exposing patterns which led to the Holocaust and taking actions in the present against antigypsyism and racism? Why is remembrance relevant for our own identity and a sense of self-dignity?
The ternYpe youth approach was welcomed as a new and inspiring form of remembrance by young people. During the last commemorations on 2nd of August in Auschwitz-Birkenau the Roma youth came up with its own answers and programs. The Roma youth remembrance days carried out in last four years were welcomed for their new approach in bridging older and youth generations, engaging non-Roma and were recognized as worthy of continuation. While the youth remembrance event around 2 August constitutes an important international event, we aim at strengthening remembrance, Holocaust and human rights education especially on local and national level in formal and non-formal education.
Holocaust and human rights education provides a context in which sensitive issues of history can be dealt with from the values and principle perspective of human rights: equality, human dignity, but as well freedom, respect for others, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and responsibility.