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On the occasion of the International Roma Day, NGO Juventas organized a visit to the theater for children from the refugee settlement Konik on the 9th of April 2016. Children, 80 of them, attended the performance "The Cat in Boots" in the performance of the City Theater. The performance was  in the big hall of KIC "Budo Tomovic".

The young people who attended the performance are involved in the activities that Juventas conducts in the second phase of the project "Assistance Program for the Integration and Return of RAE and other I / RLs living in Konik", whose main goal is to increase the capacity of young Roma to participate actively in, through the strengthening of their social skills and teamwork, but also through the development of responsibility towards themselves and others using their own potentials. Children are attendees of Juventas workshops on social skills, as well as activities that are realized outside of the Camp Konik, which include exactly this kind of activity, through which children are provided with cultural and educational contents that exist in Podgorica. This is why Juventas recognized this performance as a continuation of the activities so far realized, and among other things, the opportunity for a nice gathering on the occasion of the mentioned holiday.

"The Cat in Boots" talks about key issues: love, death, friendship, solidarity, courage, and above all - honesty. How to succeed in life, and do not fail the purity of the heart? What is the third thing, beyond "the share of miracles and effort", what makes man a human being in full meaning? How to stay honest in the harsh world? And how to deal with the dangers of body and mind, with disappearance, the final departure? Are not these children's themes? This interesting story made on the scene gave us answers to these questions, and even more, a day full of beautiful content that will be remembered.

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On the 8th of April of the International Roma Day, in the hall of the Dodest KIC "Budo Tomovic", NGO Juventas and the Podgorica City Theater co-organized the performance "The Giving Tree". For the children of the Roma population from the camps Konik I and II.

Around 90 children of Juventas participants' workshops and programs realized by the Roma Education Fund (REF) had the opportunity to attend the performance of the play "The Giving Tree". Most of these young people previously attended Juventas's psycho-social workshops whose main goal was to increase the capacity of young Roma to participate actively in society by strengthening their social skills and teamwork, as well as developing responsibility towards themselves and others using their own potentials. The results of the workshops were also presented at the KIC Hall in the framework of a larger exhibition organized by REF. The play "The Giving Tree" is also the ending of Juventas training for two groups of young people who had the opportunity to participate in 20 workshops.

Silverstein's novel "The Giving Tree", on which is based the idea for this piece, is an important companion of many generations on the road of growing up. Montenegrin actors Julija Milacic and Miso Obradovic have shown in an incredible way the period starting from childhood, through the teenage age, to the old age, relying solely on their acting abilities, awakening up in the audience sorrow and laughter, without too much theater effects fascinating the audience. The Giving Tree is a symbol of shelter, friendship, understanding, sacrifice and unconditional love that we are always returning to.

 

This activity is part of the second phase of the project "Assistance Program for the Integration and Return of RAE and other I / RLs living in Konik". The project encourages the opening up of opportunities and removes obstacles for those who are most affected by poverty, to participate in the social life of Montenegro, including cultural, sports, educational and fun events, so project partners try to offer children and youth of the RE population as many options as possible as well as other children and other young people enjoy the mentioned contents.

The main carrier of the project is NGO HELP, while partners on project are the NGO Juventas, the Roma Education Fund, the Legal Center, the Red Cross of Montenegro and the Danish Refugee Council. The project is financed mostly by the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, as well as the Government of Montenegro, the Roma Education Fund, the UNHCR, the Red Cross of Montenegro and the Danish Refugee Council.