The Debate Club Association in the Czech Republic (Asociace debatních klubů, ADK) was recently nominated for the Gypsy Spirit 2009 Award in the category of extracurricular education activities that focus on Roma youth. Since it began in 2006, young Roma debaters have met on a regular basis to prepare and engage in weekend debate tournaments where they discuss issues from their everyday lives in a specially tailored debate format, “Parliamentary 2x2.” Although the association only encompasses five clubs right now, the debaters hope that the media attention from the Gypsy Spirit Awards will help improve the clubs’ publicity and attract more members.
The Gypsy Spirit project focuses on supporting active efforts of all those who contribute to improving the situation pertaining to Roma in the Czech Republic. The awards ceremony was held on December 1, 2009 at the Prague Crossroads at St. Anna’s Church in Prague. It was held this year under the auspices of former Czech Republic president, Václav Havel, and the Euro-commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, Vladimír Špidla. The ceremony was covered live by the Czech Radio 2 station in Prague, and was also recorded by Czech TV, which is available online viewing here.
Pictured: Debaters prepare for a Parliamentary 2x2 event at one of the weekend tournaments organized by the Debate Club Association.
The Debate Club Association in the Czech Republic is sponsored by the Open Society Institute and the Ministry of Education,Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.
Story submitted by Katechka Hanzelkova, Picture by Vlastimil Waic