Annual Members Meeting 2019
From 20-22 October 2019, ERGO Network’s members came together in Skopje, North Macedonia, to share updates from the past year, set future priorities and learn from each other.
On day 1, the participants attended working groups to define the future priorities of the organisation on the topics of employment, data collection and governance of the network. The governance working group discussed for example the legal status of ERGO, the criteria for membership and rights and responsibilities of members and the board.
Day 2 started with an introduction to different working areas of ERGO Network: The ERGO team and some of the members explained our work on Community-Led Local Development (CLLD), the Most Roma friendly Mayor campaign, our work towards the Post 2020 EU Roma Strategy and support for national advocacy and mobilisation.
In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to gain new skills for their work back home: Monika Mihaličková led the group through a process of creating fundraising campaigns for the projects of their organisations. Another workshop focused on how to use graphic cues when facilitating meetings, held by Alejandro Gil Carasso.
Day 3 started with exchanging views on the priorities for advocating on the EU’s Post 2020 EU Roma Framework. The participants agreed that the most important topics that we should ask for are an increase of participation of Roma in all areas of designing and monitoring policies and continued EU support for the Western Balkans. National governments should commit to include support for Roma culture, language, history and actions to combat antigypsyism in the National Roma Integration Strategies.
In the afternoon, a group of participants had the opportunity to visit the Municipality Šuto Orizari (Šutka), where Roma are the majority with more than 13,000 inhabitants, and which is governed by a Roma mayor – Kurto Duduš.
Mr. Duduš took the time to meet the group and to explain important developments for the Romani population in the town. In his term, a new pre-school was built, the municipality invested in repairing main roads and the local high school doubled the number of its students. 25 of them were accepted to university this year! The municipality also has an outpatient clinic, where most inhabitants of Šuto Orizari and from nearby villages are treated.
The Annual Members Meeting 2019 closed with a party for all attending ERGO Network members.
We thank our member organization RROMA for welcoming us in Skopje and hosting us in these days!