Strategies against antigypsyism

Strategies against antigypsyism

The international conference „Strategies against antigypyism“ took place in Tenerife on 12 and 13 December 2019. It was organized by the Karipen association in cooperation with the Ministry for Health, Consumers Affairs and Social Welfare of the Canary Island Government, Cabildo of Tenerife and Khetane Platform. At the invitation of FAGIC ERGO member, Gabriela Hrabanova, ERGO Network director presented strategies against antigypsyism from grassroots to EU level and vice versa.

The conference brought together political and public representatives from European, national and local, Roma leaders and activists countering antigypsyism.  Among them Soraya Post, ERGO Network co-chair, Romeo Franz, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA group and Juan Fernardo Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament. It also gathered many local and national Roma politicians from Spain, including Ismael Cortes, a Member of the Spanish parliament.

The conference focused on three topics: 1) the concept of antigypsyism throughout history up to present; 2) institutional antigypsyism and ways to combat it through politics and 3) antigypsyism and gender issues.

The historical aspect was covered by Iulius Rostas, visiting professor at the Central European University and the Spanish academic of Romani origin, Helios Fernandez. The main message was that over the centuries, but also in recent years, institutions have been perpetuating a paternalistic approach under the pretence of making Roma better, by changing the names of programs and policies aiming at including Roma in societies, but very often achieving only their assimilation. The important next step is to introduce the policy of reconciliation, to narrow the centuries of hardship of Roma.

It was also discussed that often Roma might not know how to describe and what antigypsyism is, however many experiences it on the daily basis. For example, school segregation is a reality in Spain, while Roma surnames or home addresses can lead to discriminatory practices when accessing jobs or advancing in the career.

On a positive note, the regional and local government of Canary Islands and Tenerife have shown interest in working together with the local association Karipen, not only by hosting this event, but also by allocating a budget line for Roma inclusion.

Roma youth empowerment trough Rromani language

Roma youth empowerment trough Rromani language

Our partners from Roma Community Centre in Vilinus, Lithuania for the first time ever gather a group of young Roma for 2 days seminar from 2-4 Of December, 2019 with a programme in rromanes on topics such as: discrimination, equality, access to the labor market and empowerment.

The event took part under the frame of Roma platform and was organized by the department of National minorities together with the Public institution Roma Community Center.

ERGO’s policy officer Carmen Tanasie and its member from France La Voix des Rroms, Samir Mile delivered the workshop in rromani language engaging in deconstructing the consequences of social exclusion and came together with the participants to a set of recommendations such as:

  • Roma youth should be consulted by the National Minorities department when issuing calls or implementing activities that includes Roma youth
  • Provide high-level jobs in the public sector for Roma
  • Improve cooperation between young Roma and labor offices
  • Tackle the discrimination in schools and include the Roma history in the school curricula

The young Roma got empowered by the fact that could freely express in their maternal language and asked the organizers to follow organizing seminars and meeting not just for young people but involving   more Roma communities in Lithuania.

Promotion of sustainable gardening and healthy food: training, booklet and e-book Butterfly Developments 2019

Promotion of sustainable gardening and healthy food: training, booklet and e-book
Butterfly Developments 2019

Pro Cseherat had a busy year 2019. It organized several community events and published two publications on sustainable eating and gardening. Pro Cseherat can proudly state that the participants in the programs have become a community.

Garden: chemical-free vegetables for home
In 2019 we continued our garden program in Nagydobos, a small town in one of the poorest areas of Hungary. With our community garden, we help the livelihood and the integration of Roma families living in extreme poverty. Those who join the Butterfly Garden program learn gardening practices throughout the agricultural year, and can take home all the vegetables they produce. Each garden can satisfy the yearly vegetable needs of several families.

Training: healthy and sustainable households
This year, gardener practices have been completed by a series of trainings promoting chemical-free gardening, recycling, healthy eating and household planning. We explained to our gardeners how chemical-free vegetable growing contributes to the sustainability of our planet. During several cozy joint picnics, they learned healthy cooking and preservation techniques. They also learned about composting, waste management and recycling. We even sew reusable shopping bags together. In September we presented our vegetable delicacies (jams, salads, spreads, cakes etc.) with success at the International Pumpkin Festival in Nagydobos. We have also published our trainings in a brochure with tips and recepies that can be used daily to support the everyday sustainable life.
http://www.bffd.hu/tedd-jobba95

E-book: Would you love to love lentils? – Everything about the fabulous pulses
Why are pulses useful for sustainability? How can we integrate them into any kind of diet? What basic nutrients do we get from them? All of this is summarized in one e-book, decorated with wonderful illustrations. The book concludes with a chapter entitled “Creative Kitchen,” which provides tips for readers to create different lentil-pea-bean wonder dishes every single day of the year. The book’s chapters were presented at tasting events throughout the year.
http://www.bffd.hu/szeretned-szeretni-a-lencset-e-konyv93

Women’s economic empowerment – a prerequisite for a life without violence

Women’s economic empowerment – a prerequisite for a life without violence

The Citizens’ Association for the Promotion of Roma Education “Otaharin” in cooperation with the Association of Roma Women are committed to implementing measures for the prevention of gender-based violence. Through the project “Accepting Gender Equality for Better Prosperity for Roma Women and Girls” supported by The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), OTAHARIN organized the official launch of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, followed by youth workshops and training for Roma women representatives.

On 25 November, OTAHARIN organized a meeting with representatives of the city administration, institutions, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Roma community. On this occasion, Mayor Mićo Mičić supported  the organization in its efforts to prevent gender-based violence through economic empowerment of women.

With this meeting, OTAHARIN officially launched the International Campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”, which is celebrated annually from 25 November (International Day Against Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day) around the world.

The goals of the campaign are:

  • raising awareness of gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international levels;
  • strengthening local work to prevent violence against women;
  • creating a clear link between local and international efforts to stop violence against women;
  • showing solidarity with women around the world organized against violence against women;
  • Creating tools to deliver on the promises made to end violence against women

National Grassroots Advocacy Academy in community organizing for women

National Grassroots Advocacy Academy in community organizing for women

Slovo 21 organized a National Grassroots Advocacy Academy in Prague in November. 31 Roma activists and representatives of Roma NGOs participated in the event. They received a training in basic advocacy skills as well as coaching for concrete community work and organizing.  During the meeting the participants also learned more about the phenomenon of antigypsyism, aiming to enable them to better address this issue. Thanks to this series of workshops Roma women gained skills and abilities in advocacy, community work and community organizing and became agents of change. For members of the Roma Women´s Group Manushe, the Grassroots Advocacy Academy was especially useful, as the group plans to improve its advocacy, community work and community organizing in the coming period. At least 6 of these women got motivated and mobilized and will organize community activities in cooperation with other community members to improve living conditions in their communities.

The Grassroots Advocacy Academy was funded by the International Visegrad Fund and the European Commission through projects of ERGO Network.