Exchange visit to Nevo Parudimos

Exchange visit to Nevo Parudimos

From 5 to 9 June 2019 ERGO Network visited Nevo Parudimos in their town of Resita in Romania, along with members from all over Europe to learn about the invaluable work Nevo Parudimos is doing in their country for their local Roma communities. Among the fellow member organizations who attended were staff from Pavee Point in Ireland, FAGIC from Spain, and RomanoNet and Life Together from the Czech Republic.

Once there everyone visited Nevo’s office where Daniel Grebeldinger presented the different projects they are involved in.

This includes youth work, social work, rural development policy and many volunteering projects. Nevo Parudimos is currently hosting 18 international volunteers and works with many local volunteers who support local schools, kindergartens, elderly homes and more. Another focus of the organization is on building local partnerships that benefit Roma communities, the municipality as a whole and the organization.

The participants also had the opportunity to drive though Resita visiting local Roma communities and hearing more about their specific issues and the work that Nevo Parudimos is doing to support them. The day closed with discussing what the other ERGO members could learn from Nevo Parudimos, how they deal with similar challenges and how they could get involved in Nevo’s projects.

The next day the group visited Dognacea, a village in the surrounding mountains that are governed by probably the only Roma woman mayor in the country, Elena Moise. Everyone was greeted with open arms when entering her office, she was so welcoming and willing to answer any questions we had. Elena Moise was previously a local school teacher

and for the last 12 years has taken the position of mayor.  After our conversations with her, it is safe to say she is an amazing and inspiring woman and her work is has changed the lives of many people in her village. Especially for the children in the schools, she is a role model who tells them to be proud of themselves. She said that whenever she feels down she goes to visit the local school to speak with the children to cheer up. Her message to us was that it is important to take up roles such as hers in order to do good for our communities, not to be scared of anyone and to be proud of what we do.

On the last evening, we all participated in a networking dinner to meet with Neo Parudimos’ partners, to make contacts and build relations between people working for the same cause. We met with Nadia Potoceanu, the president of Fundatia Activity for Sustainable Development, Lidia Rosianu, the head of the social department of the Municipality of Resita, Cristrian Chioncel, the Vice Dean of Eftimie Murgu University of Resita and Adrian Constantin, director of the Roma Radio Broadcast in Radio Resita.

Everyone left on the morning of the 9th to their respective countries. The exchange visit proved to be a success with our member organizations, and ERGO plans to organize similar visits to other members in the next years. This type of event is very important for our work to learn about the problems faced by Roma in different countries and to learn how local organizations are trying to find solutions to these problems.