Roma Girls Camps

LEADERS     Inspired     MODELS       

         Inspired      ЕМPOWERED   

Mentors    ASSERTIVE     Sucessful  

    CONFIDENT       Unique

Arete Youth Foundation is striving to develop a sustainable Roma community, where education is a priority for young Roma girls.

"Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, violence and poverty. This is especially true for women and girls from Roma groups, who continue to face significant negative attitudes and discrimination throughout the region" CARE International.

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.
Here’s what we do:
• Create motivated, engaged citizenship and positive role models,
• Develop communication and leadership skills.
• Increase the percentage of Roma female students who pursue higher education.
• Strengthen inclusion of Roma women in the labor market.

Roma education gaps have an important gender disparity. Only 10% of Roma girls and 15% Roma boys graduate from high school.

Three quarters of Roma women do not complete primary education, compared with one fifth of women from majority communities.

By implementing the second 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.

Idea in Action

Areté Youth Foundation (AYF) was founded in 2005 to fund and support the leadership development of disadvantaged youth in Bulgaria and the Balkans.  Since the summer of 2000, members of AYF have been involved in the design and implementation of Camp Zaedno Napred (Forward Together).  The camps began as a way for motivated Roma youth from Bulgaria to build leadership skills and self-esteem, and to find ways to overcome the extreme cases of discrimination that they face in their communities.  The purpose of these camps was to help motivate, inform and improve the lives of participants by encouraging them to complete their education and take a more active role in their communities.  The goals of this initiative continue to be relevant today.

While AYF has always supported young Roma women and the third time we will be implementing a National Roma Girls Camps (NRGC) to directly meet the needs of high school girls throughout Bulgaria and we need your help!  We believe youth camps are essential for building networks that both encourage and support further education and lead to job placement.  Through our initiatives we have cultivated hundreds of young leaders within the Roma community.  By establishing connections and partnerships among successful Roma and educational institutions, we will help remove barriers and level the playing field for those who have the will and desire to succeed.

Please, click HERE to read more about the camps so far!


Roma Girls Camps' main objectives are:
• Enhance the capacities and empower 25 young women from across Bulgaria by promoting equality and equal participation in Roma communities and organizations;
• Enable young women to become active, conscientious and engaged citizens through teambuilding activities, identification of leadership skills, and strengthening of relationships between communities, Bulgarian and Roma leaders;
• Create a sustainable network of young women leaders to support greater participation in school and an enhanced desire to "give back" to the community;
• Provide tools for young women to better understand their dynamic roles in society and to deal effectively with the challenges they face individually and as a community to help foster motivation and personal development; and       
• Increase self-confidence and develop an increased awareness of Roma history and civic responsibility.

Your support is an Investment in the future!

To successfully implement our third National Roma Girls Camps, we will need a total of $4,000. With your help, we can achieve our goal!

Arete Youth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization in the U.S.  All donations are tax-deductible.

Together we are making the difference! If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at:

Thank you for your generosity and support.


Our Community Blogs

  • Zaedno Napred
  • Forward Together

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