Roma participation in Community-Led Local Development

Roma participation in Community-Led Local Development

Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) is an initiative for involving citizens at local level in developing responses to today’s social, environmental and economic challenges, and a promising tool for investing in Roma inclusion. The European Commission expects CLLD to facilitate implementing integrated approaches among the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to achieve the 11 thematic objectives set out in the Common Provision Regulation (CPR) at local level. It aims to give ownership to beneficiaries, with a special focus on marginalized communities, through capacity building, empowerment, full transparency, and sharing of the decision-making power. The Commission encourages the use of CLLD to allow local communities to take ownership of the targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

ERGO members conducted research in four key countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania), aimed at assessing the extent to which Roma inclusion was mainstreamed throughout the CLLD processes, in what concerns both the content of the activities, as well as stakeholder involvement. The research was funded through the International Visegrad Fund.
This research was aimed at ensuring increased awareness of the CLLD process, leading to more Roma NGOs taking part in CLLD. Another aim was that CLLD, as a good practice tool, would be continued after 2020, with 10% of EU funds being distributed according to CLLD principles.

Download the report here.

New school year for OTAHARIN

New school year for Otaharin

102 elementary school students in Bijeljina (Bosnia & Herzegovina) received school bags, materials and textbooks from  ERGO Network member Otaharin as an incentive to study well in this new school year.

One of the most important activities of the Association is emphasizing the enrollment of children in the first grade of school. This year, we enrolled 18 Roma children and organized a preparatory program for them during the summer months. Also, as every year, we support 12 high school students through purchasing of textbooks, school supplies and school bags.

Having a baby, needing to beg or to do housework are just some why young people drop out of school early. Our goal is to teach both children and parents that primary education is compulsory and that as many children as possible should return to school. The place for children should be the school, not the streets.

The provision of textbooks, school bags and school supplies was supported by our long-standing partners and donors CARE Deutschland e.V., Save the Children in the North West Balkans and Schüler Helfen Leben.

In September Otaharin also had the honour of hosting a delegation of the Parish of the Protestant Church from Grossberen (Germany).

For more than 15 years, representatives of this parish organise collections for the most vulnerable residents of Bijeljina and Živinice. This humanitarian aid is distributed to people in social need in cooperation with the Red Cross of the City of Bijeljina, the Centre for Social Work in Bijeljina and Otaharin.

The delegation of the Parish pays special attention to the first graders of Roma origin who, in addition to humanitarian packages, are also provided with special gifts for the beginning of the school. This year more than 250 children from the City of Živinice received humanitarian aid.

Our association and many socially disadvantaged families owe great gratitude to these humane people for their dedicated humanitarian work and dedication.

Humanity, as one of the qualities we can rarely feel and see, is shown year after year by our friends, representatives of the Parish of the Protestant Church of Grossberen. For 16 years, these good people have been collecting clothes, hygiene products, school supplies and toys for the socially disadvantaged people in the towns of Bijeljina and Živinice.

Drugs, No Thanks

Drugs, No Thanks

ERGO Network’s Croatian member organisation Udruga Roma Zagreb i Zagrebačke županije has been running the drug prevention project “Drugs, No Thanks”every year for the last 15 years. This year it was expanded to other types of addiction, especially gambling and betting, which is especially pronounced in our Roma population.

With this project, the organisation is helping a lot of young Roma to get rid of drug, alcohol, gambling and betting addictions.  They encourage them to get (further) education to improve their employability, so that they do not have to go work abroad.

During the project, they also issued a manual with information about different drug addictions that you can find here in Croatian.