Global Shapers Bucharest Hub joins as partner an innovative project that promises to challenge the children books landscape in Romania. The New Storytellers project brings together twelve creative Roma children from a marginalized neighborhood in Bucharest, who will join two beloved Romanian authors, part of the new wave of Romanian contemporary children’s literature, for a series of 12 storytelling workshops. The children’s personal stories will be a source of inspiration for an illustrated book, which we will publish and donate to local school libraries and non-governmental organizations.
Our twelve storytellers live in Ferentari, a Bucharest neighborhood that is home to one of the city’s most disenfranchised communities. While the children’s daily life may be marred by insecurity and poverty, when they come together, they open up: they are bright, playful, and inquisitive. We genuinely believe that being part of a writing project will enhance their creativity and pride.
The children will develop stories through creative games, drawings, short video recordings, and writing. The workshops have two purposes: on the one hand, they allow them to collect personal stories that will inform the writing and illustrating process; on the other hand, they will enhance the participants’ creativity and to develop their storytelling skills.
Furthermore, the authors will meet up with different members of the Ferentari community, to better understand its challenges. They will then spend from four to six months to write an illustrate the resulting book. To support them during this creative process, we will offer them a grant from the funds we raise.
Our book will be one of the very few illustrated children’s books with both Roma and non-Roma characters ever published worldwide. We hope it will raise awareness about the importance of different narratives in Romania, and that it will be the first book out of many to go this path.
The New Storytellers is initiated by Cu Alte Cuvinte (In Other Words), a Romanian NGO working to promote diversity in children’s literature and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities that runs since 2010 the Alternative Education Club, a long term non-formal educational program that empowers more than 200 children from Ferentari to break the cycle of poverty and exclusion.
More than a presentation, this is a call for action. Support the project by sharing the story, become an endorser of the idea by disseminating our story or become one of the donors who make this book a reality – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-new-storytellers-diverse-books-in-romania-diversity-education#/