Foreign Ambassadors Celebrate the New Year with Roma students across Bulgaria

January 14, 2022

Foreign Ambassadors Celebrate the New Year with Roma students across Bulgaria

“Chestita Vasilitsa!”

On January 14, ambassadors from GARI, the Group of Ambassadors on Roma Issues, joined hands in celebrating St. Basil’s Day and in wishing the Bulgarian Roma community a Happy New Year. January 14th marks the beginning of the Roma New Year, and the Group of Ambassadors on Roma Issues (GARI) in Bulgaria meet, this year was virtual due to the Covid-crisis, on this annual occasion to demonstrate their steadfast support for the Roma community now and throughout each year.

Today’s events, organized in conjunction with the Amalipé Center, brought together the group of ambassadors with Roma students from a range of schools across Bulgaria, for a series of virtual discussions on challenges and opportunities facing the Roma community. The students also shared cultural and musical performances while wearing traditional attire. The ambassadors underlined their strong commitment towards tangible results achieved by the government and other concerned stakeholders in advancing the socioeconomic inclusion and human rights of the Roma community in Bulgaria.

The Amalipé Center is a prominent NGO that has supported Roma communities for over 20 years and works with more than 270 schools around Bulgaria to promote education and inclusiveness. “Amalipe” is a Roma word meaning “friendship” and the organization is based on the belief that Roma inclusion and integration will bring about a more developed and economically strong Bulgaria.

The Group of Ambassadors on Roma Issues (GARI) includes representatives from the embassies of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, as well as UNICEF and the World Bank. GARI meets regularly to discuss and coordinate on Roma issues in conjunction with the Bulgarian government and a range of civil society partners.