EU supports one week of celebrations of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian culture in Kosovo (23/05/2011)
Today, the first edition of the Festival of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian culture in Kosovo was launched in an event opened by Minister Memli Krasniqi, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports and Mr. Kjartan Björnsson, Head of Operations at the EC Liaison Office to Kosovo.
The Festival aims at celebrating the culture of Roma, Ashkali & Egyptian communities in Kosovo and contribute to preserve their cultural heritage as part of the EU funded project entitled 'EU Support to the Implementation of the Strategy for the integration of Roma, Ahskali & Egyptian communities in Kosovo (EU SIMRAES)' implemented by the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS).
For its first edition the Festival is covering 3 cities this year: Pristina, Prizren and Mitrovicë/a, and offers a wide range of activities to enjoy through theatre, photo exhibition, short movies and of course concerts between 23 and 29 May.
Recently, the European Commission has adopted a Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. Conferences throughout the Western Balkans were also organised to address and improve inclusion of these communities into society: the Kosovo conference, organized jointly with Kosovo Institutions, took place on 11 May.
Mr. Björnsson emphasized: 'We believe culture and cultural rights are an important factor in this integration process and this is why we chose to celebrate this rich cultural heritage through a Festival under our joint project with the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society'.
The EU SIMRAES project is an EU funded initiative worth € 1 m (IPA 2009). The rest of the project activities entail media related activities to empower Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in covering the problems they are facing and better voice their concerns as well as support to education through the creation of 6 learning centres offering tailored pre-school assistance to children and their parents, in addition to scholarships for high school and university students.
The programme and details of the activities can be found at: www.festival2011.info.
For photos from the event, click here
For more information contact:
Phillip Mellish, Information and Communication Manager,
email@example.com, 038 5131 253, 044 508 211