The 2016 National Roma Girls Camp (NRGC) will be held for three days in April during the girls’ spring break. The camp will serve 25 outstanding Roma girls, ages 16-21, from all over Bulgaria, and will include trainings, coaching and lectures to develop skills and confidence for social, educational and career achievement. The girls will have the opportunity to interact with female leaders and role models in the community, and learn skills for goal setting, time management, communication, and leadership.

Read more in our: Presentation of the National Roma Girls Camp or learn more below.

Arete Youth Foundation is striving to develop a sustainable Roma community, where education is a priority for young Roma women.  Thanks to the help of our generous donors and the Trust for Social Achievement we organized the First National Roma Girls Camp (NRGC) in 2014.

Our goal is to inspire and prepare young girls for the post high school period. By giving them the opportunity to engage with role models, including them in motivational workshops, and meeting like-minded peers, these girls are learning that there are more opportunities available to them.

Spotlight on 2014 National Roma Girls Camp

Vera Angelova (featured to the left) studies law at New Bulgarian University and lives in Fakulteta, one of the biggest Roma neighborhoods in Sofia. She was a participant in the 2014 NRGC. "I am an example for the younger girls and I am excited that the number of university students from the neighborhood is increasing. This year we will have 4-5 future university students. I was one of the first!

At this very moment, young Roma girls bear a triple burden. First of all, they are subject to the stigma associated with being a part of a poor community. Secondly, within their community, they are expected to follow the Roma traditions—especially early marriages leading them to drop out of school. Finally, the lack of support from family and government makes young Roma women vulnerable to many social factors, resulting in forgoing the pursuit for higher education

By implementing the first national Roma girls camp AYF creates a community of dedicated ambassadors for the modern Roma woman. We invited influential life coaches and gender issue experts in the country to meet with the girls. During the camp, all 25 girls received training in leadership and communication skills. They learned practical guidelines for goal setting and decision-making. They gained necessary tools to help those overcome cases of discrimination.

The girls learned about the values of the Roma community and the role of the Roma woman through women of different Romani subgroups who shared their own personal experiences. These meetings helped them enhance their self-esteem, fostering motivation to pursue education and promoting a culture of responsibility within the community. While women in other Western cultures began to embrace the Feminist movement of the 1960’s, Roma women are just beginning of to understand this journey.

 The National Roma Girls Camp (NRGC) creates a network of ambitious young professionals and helps them achieve their goals through positive example and mentorship.

 We prepare them for the job market, where soft skills are extremely important. This new generation of the young modern Roma woman is the exact positive image our society needs. Your donation helps us reach as many girls as possible. Sometimes these young Roma women feel alone in ghettos, where girls are expected to have family at 20 instead of going to university and pursuing their professional career.


 Thank you!


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