Article from Népszabadság by Gabor Czene – English translation

Gabor Czene for Népszabadság:

“Fanni Gurbai is the centre player for the second division women’s handball team in Derecske. Previously she played for junior teams in Debrecen and her role models are Bojana Radulovics and Anita Görbicz.  Although local supporters often put her down because of her ethnicity, she has always been accepted by her teammates. So far, handball has helped her surpass her deadlocks, however she has found a new passion: journalism.

She normally lives in Körösszakál, in the Hajdú-Bihar County – a small village, with high poverty rates – but we are now talking in the garden of a Dunabogdány guesthouse, a place not far from the capital city.  Fanni Gurbai is one of the twelve young Roma women who are taking part in a media summer camp called Buvero (shell), which is organised by the Romédia Foundation.

„During the two weeks training period, the girls – aged 16-22 – get acquainted with the basics of journalism, emphasising on visuals, filmmaking, and a complex use of the Internet,” says Kristóf Asbót, television director, and now leader of the project. “The aim is not to make them professional journalists, but to stimulate their interests regarding the press and the world of the media, by giving them the knowledge that will help them navigate social media platforms.”

The Roma girls came from all over the country, but mostly from small villages. Some of their families were hardly able to send them, while others have been supported by local civil organisations; they wouldn’t have come otherwise.

„In the beginning,” says Kristóf Asbót, „two of the girls were remarkably mistrustful and behaved like hedgehogs. It’s hard to believe that just after a few days they would become so open and trusting.”

„Women have a special role in Roma communities, that’s why it’s so important to voice their opinions”, says Kata Bársony, the Main Organiser and Executive Director of the Romédia Foundation.  Originally they planned a larger-scale event, but all of the applications were rejected. In the end, the camp was realised with support from NED (the National Endowment for Democracy).

Technical equipment was donated by the Budapest Business School and Corvinus University. Participants have the opportunity to test their abilities in many ways, such as by filming or conducting interviews. Later on in the camp they will make a video report on a subject of interest, from various locations, such as: Debrecen, Székesfehérvár or Pécs. Programs similar to Buvero, also exist in Germany and Serbia. At the end of the camp, a selected few will be chosen to take part in the Youth Media Summit in Belgrade.

Mercédesz Kaló grew up on ’Gypsy Row’ in Szendrőlád, and is now studying at the Miskolc art school.

„I like to test myself and try new things; I want to be a reporter,” sum up her future plans.  She also said „The Roma have a lot more opportunity to study than we might think. In Szendrőlád, we have many educational programs, especially for socially disadvantaged children. It’s not at all easy, but if you try hard, you can leave poverty behind.”

Vivien Szajkó, from Pécel, is only 16 years old but she has been a member of a local drama group for the past four years. Some say she has a lot of talent in stand-up performances.  She is also interested in filmmaking, but mostly wants to be a presenter on a music television channel.

Everybody is so enthusiastic about their experience in Dunabogdány. We asked Vivien Szajkó to tell us something she dislikes about the camp. After thinking about it for a while, she complained about having to wake up early every day, and about the mandatory morning exercises that start at 7.30.

They asked the leaders of the camp to let them sleep longer, at least on Sundays. The previous morning everyone was allowed to wake up at 8 in the morning.”

Link to the article:

Buvero’s facebook page:

Promotional video with Buvero’s participants: