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Amaro Foro

Amaro Foro e.V. is a cross-cultural youth association of Roma and non-Roma. Together we work against antigypsyism and for equal opportunities and participation. We organize educational and after-school activities for young people, offer practical support in the social services and strengthen awareness-raising around the topic of antigypsyism in education. “Amaro Foro” means “Our City” in Romanes.

Our Vision

Amaro Foro advocates for the interests of Roma and Sinti in Berlin, especially for those who immigrated in the recent years. Thanks to our various projects and multi-ethnic team, we have a good insight into the needs and realities of local Roma as well as an in-depth understanding of the current manifestations of antigypsyism. We stand for the interests of our clients and members both in political and media debates as well as in dealing with public administration. An important part of our work is public relations and educational work in the fight against antigypsyism.

Amaro Foro has a special focus on the empowerment of young Roma. In our work with children and young people, we enable them to develop their own self-determined Romani identity in a safe environment. This way, young people are  encouraged to act self-confidently as Roma as well as to participate in society and to promote their political interests. Essentially, the freedom and dignity of the individual build the core of Amaro Foro’s work.

History

On 25.10.2010, several young Roma and non-Roma got together in Berlin to establish an association that represents the interests of young Roma in Berlin and fights against antigypsyism. In early 2011, the association Amaro Foro e.V., “Our City”, was registered as an association. Since then, it functions as the Berlin branch of the federal association Amaro Drom – the first and so far, only nationwide Roma youth organization in Germany that actively counters antigypsyism with educational work and empowerment.

Amaro Foro’s work began with the drop-in center (“Anlaufstelle”) and with our youth projects. In view of the EU enlargement and the subsequent migration flows, counseling as a flagship project has emerged. Our services are now also available in Romanes, Bulgarian and Romanian. Amaro Foro was the first organization to offer such counseling and at the same time to be a self-organization of those affected. Since then, the drop-in center has been continuously growing. Within the framework of our counseling activity, the multiple experiences of discrimination among EU citizens became increasingly visible. Based on these impressions, the Documentation Center for Antigypsyism (DOSTA) has been lauched as a separate project. In connection with these developments, the Berlin Register for documenting right-wing extremist and discriminatory incidents decided to establish the Neukölln register center at Amaro Foro. The language mediation project also arose based on our counseling experiences at the drop-in center.

Youth work has also been an important part of Amaro Foro’s work since the beginning. In addition to our local children’s and youth initiatives, which we have continuously offered since our founding, we also work on Germany-wide projects through our federal association Amaro Drom as well as on international youth programs. Amaro Foro collaborates with numerous Roma self-organizations throughout Europe and in the early years also offered volunteer services in cooperation with our partner organizations.

Given the prevalence of antigypsyism, Amaro Foro has begun to expand its own PR and awareness-raising work to position and express itself as a political actor and stakeholder of immigrant Roma in particular. In addition, anti-discrimination work has gained increased relevance and several projects in the field of political educational resulted from this. Currently, we are running awareness-raising projects for social workers, employees of public agencies, as well as media professionals. Amaro Foro has established itself as an important player in Berlin with expertise on antigypsyism, the situation of EU citizens and Romani refugees in Germany as well as on Romani history.

Our Board

At the general assembly of Amaro Foro, an honorary board of directors is elected every two years. The board is responsible for determining the matters, actions and initiatives of the association. The board coordinates and directs the work of the association, represents it externally, sets the agenda for the general assembly, outlines the budget, presents the annual plan and prepares an annual report.

In the statutes of Amaro Foro e.V. it is regulated that the chairperson of the board and at least half of the executive board must be of self-declared Romani background.

Chair of the Board
Merdjan Jakupov
merdjan.jakupov@amaroforo.de

Vice Chair of the Board
Georgi Ivanov
georgi.ivanov@amaroforo.de

Vice Chair of the Board
Violeta Balog
violeta.balog@amaroforo.de

Vice Chair of the Board
Mariela Nikolova
mariela.nikolova@amaroforo.de

Our Team

The team of Amaro Foro is multi-professional and multi-ethnic. This heterogeneity leads to an interdisciplinary approach of the team. Our staff members are qualified i.a. in the fields of social pedagogy, social work, political science, sociology, literature and pedagogy, and speak various languages in addition to German, often at native speaker level. Our team has a wide range of experience and backgrounds: Thus, the projects are supported on the one hand by Roma and non-Roma, on the other hand by people with educational background, language skills, migration experiences and professional knowledge. In addition to the full-time staff, volunteers and interns are also involved in the association’s activities.

Our Locations

Amaro Foro currently has three offices in different districts in Berlin. The offices are usually operating from 10 am to 4 pm (core working hours).

Berlin-Neukölln:

Weichselplatz 8
12045 Berlin
Telefon: 030 432 053 73

Berlin-Kreuzberg:

Aufbau-Haus am Moritzplatz
Prinzenstr. 84.1
10969 Kreuzberg
Telefon: 030 616 200 12

Berlin-Charlottenburg:

Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 19
10585 Berlin
Telefon:
030 610 811 020
030 610 811 021
030 610 811 022

Our Umbrella Organisations

Amaro Foro is represented in several umbrella organizations. In addition to our own federal association Amaro Drom e.V., we are also member of the Migration Council Berlin-Brandenburg, the Youth Migration Advisory Council Berlin and the Youth Association djo-Deutscher Regenbogen Berlin.