GATE Herts: Roma Genocide Remembrance Reflections

20 August 2018
Young people with Roma flak in Auschwitz-Birkenau

Travellers' Times will be bringing you a series of blogs from GATEHerts this week, following the heartfelt  journeys of UK participants who attended the international youth event 'Dikh He Na Bister'  (Look and don’t forget.)

For the third year running GATEHerts has taken a group of young people to Poland to join 300 young Roma and non-Roma from across the world to learn about the Roma genocide and mechanism of anti-gypsyism.

There was representation from 27 countries this year including the USA, Spain, Ireland , Finland and  Holland............writes Josie O'Driscoll director of GATEHerts. 

We stayed in Krakow, spending 3 days in a university, learning about Roma history, experiences, & about current hate speech and its effects. We then took two-day trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau in the unique youth event “Dikh he na bister". The Remembrance Initiative aims to raise awareness among young Europeans, civil society and decision-makers about the Roma genocide.

Momentum has grown in the U.K. for this important project year on year. The participant’s application pile gets longer each time.This was our third trip to Poland to commemorate those Roma who died at the hands of the Nazis. Next year will be the 75th anniversary of what happened in Auschwitz on August 2nd, 1944. 

To date thirty participants have been chosen to take part in this important learning initiative, GATE is proud of all the young people, many of them applied to return to Poland as facilitators this year, and three of our previous participants were successful.

This year GATEherts took a full media team, professional photographers, film makers, bloggers and social media volunteers. We had a fantastic diverse group, all very talented in their own right. Thank you to all of them they were a great team, inclusive, and all got on fantastically,

We would also like to say thank you to all of the organisations who support us by sending along and funding their young people. We hope they bring back the education and knowledge they received and share it with you all. If you’re interested in coming next year and being part of this great experience please email we select Roma & non-Roma individuals from all over U.K.

Keep your eyes open for the first blog from Lucy Hetherington Communications Officer at Friends, Families and Travellers.