Call for European Solidarity Corps placement in ERGO Network

Call for European Solidarity Corps placement in ERGO Network

ERGO Network is looking for an enthusiastic and active young Roma who would like to join our office team in Brussels for 11 months in the  framework of the European Solidarity Corps. This is a remunerated opportunity.

When: February (later date can be discussed) to December 2020

Where: ERGO Network office in Brussels, Belgium

Who: Young Roma between 18 and 30

Deadline for applications: 25 January 2020

During the 11 months with ERGO, you will learn about European policy and advocacy, help us organize international meetings and events, and get actively involved in Roma and human rights activism in Brussels and Europe.

Your main tasks will be:

  • Advocacy and policy: Support ERGO staff in EU advocacy work on poverty reduction, social inclusion and antigypsyism; attend debates, hearings and meetings with EU institutions and other stakeholders to challenge stereotypes and racism, and build partnership with Roma and non-Roma organizations from Belgium and other European countries.
  • Meetings and seminars: Support the organisation of meetings, events and international seminars of ERGO Network and its partners, e.g. our Advocacy Academy, Annual Members Meeting etc.
  • Communication and visibility: contribute to the updating of the ERGO Network and RomaReact websites and social media channels; develop creative approaches and publicity work to promote our activities and mission and a positive image of Roma.
  • Researching and reporting: Assisting ERGO’s research work e.g. on cases of inequality and antigypsyism all over Europe.

Your profile:

  • Young Roma between 18 and 30 years living in an EU Member State or Macedonia or Turkey
  • Good English language skills, both oral and written
  • Computer literacy (experience with Microsoft office package and social media)
  • High motivation to learn more about Roma activism and advocacy work
  • Previous involvement in Roma or (pro) Roma NGOs will be considered an advantage
  • Reliable, well organized and with attention to details

You will work about 38 hours per week, including the language course included in the package. Typical working hours are from Monday to Friday between 9:30 – 17:30, but can be adapted to your needs and the activities you will be involved in.

We aim to support young people who are enthusiastic about our cause and want to gain experiences that can be later transferred to national or local NGOs. We especially welcome applications from people who are motivated to challenge stereotypes, antigypsyism and racism and who show an open attitude for a unique learning and life experience, as well as a volunteer spirit of creativity, initiative, responsibility and independence.

We offer:

  • An allowance of 1049 Euro that includes money for accommodation, meals, local transport, language course and pocket money
  • Travel costs to Brussels (a lump sum depending on the distance to Brussels)
  • Health insurance for the whole year
  • On-arrival training with other Solidarity Corps volunteers, and lots of learning and development opportunities with ERGO Network and our partners
  • An exciting and unforgettable experience, working for an European organisation in an international city!

How to apply:

Please send your motivation letter (1 page) and CV (max 2 pages) by 25th January 2020 to info@ergonetwork.org.

 

 

 

 

Most Roma Friendly Mayor awards 2019

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 22/11/2019

Roma Active Albania and ERGO Network Award the Most Roma Friendly Mayors in the European Parliament on November 19, 2019

Roma Active Albania and the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network organized an award ceremony in the European Parliament to acknowledge positive examples of local authorities – efforts of seven Mayors from the Western Balkans and Turkey to improve the lives of Roma in their municipalities.

The competition “The Most Roma Friendly Mayor” is part of the project Joint Initiative to Empower Roma Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkey. This project aims at mobilising Roma communities and strengthening their existing capacities to engage in a dialogue with public authorities.

The seven winning mayors, selected from 47 competing municipalities, were welcomed by the Member of the European Parliament and the Chair of Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo Romeo Franz, Co-Chair of ERGO Network and Former Member of the European Parliament Soraya Post, the Coordinator of the Roma Policy of the European Commission Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Near) Marta Garcia Fidalgo and the Director of Roma Active Albania and General Manager of the project Adriatik Hasantari. The winning mayors were symbolically awarded with statues, the creation of  prominent artist  Sead Kazanxhiu from Albania. The Director of ERGO Network Gabriela Hrabanova moderated the event.

Ms Hrabanova highlighted the importance of partnership between local authorities and Roma civil society organizations. “The local level is the most important to achieve real societal change and improve the quality of lives of Romani people”, she emphasized. Mr Franz asserted that “the positive role models that we are awarding this evening represent another proof that only together Roma and non-Roma can succeed”. “It is a proof that change is possible when you treat your citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, as equals”, he pointed out. Ms Post urged the mayors to spread their good practice while expressing how proud she was of their commitments: “We are proud of the awarded mayors; they are real human rights fighters. It is very clear that if mayors take their duties seriously, it shows good results also for the Roma community as full members of the society”. Ms Garcia Fidalgo highlighted the ways of support by the DG Near. “The strength of a society is proven by the support to the members who need it the most”, she stated and acknowledged that the winning mayors and their civil society partners are key actors who are helping their countries on the path to the European Union. While explaining “the Most Roma Friendly Mayor” campaign to the audience, Mr Hasantari concluded with a strong message to the Mayors: “What has been done is acknowledged and appreciated. However, we need more commitment from you in the future and more good examples!”

The awards were given to the following seven mayors: Ms Majlinda Bufi, Municipality of Roskovec, Albania; Mr Aldin Šljivo, Municipality of Kakanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Mr Kurto Dudush, Municipality of Shuto Orizari, North Macedonia; Mr Imri Ahmeti, Municipality of Lipjan, Kosovo; Mr Petar Smolović, Municipality of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro; Mr Vladan Glišić, City of Belgrade, Serbia; Mr Abdül Batur, Municipality of Konak, Turkey.

Seven independent juries were established in the respective countries, assessing the applications. The juries pointed out the following achievements: progress in Roma participation in local authority structures; efforts in creating education-related opportunities; increasing employability of Roma and especially of Roma women; building infrastructure and housing units and many more.

In the participating countries, the project is implemented by ERGO Network members Zero Discrimination (Turkey), OTAHARIN (Bosnia&Herzegovina), RROMA (North Macedonia), Roma Active Albania, Mladi Romi (Montenegro), Roma Forum Serbia and Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (Kosovo).

Hosting MEP of the Most Roma Friendly Mayor Award Ceremony: Romeo Franz

Contact: Gabriela Hrabanova (g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org, +32 2 893 10 49).

Disclaimer: This press release has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The content of the release is the sole responsibility of Roma Active Albania and ERGO Network, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

 

Grassroots Advocacy Academy for multipliers

ERGO Network’s Grassroots Academy for multipliers implemented in the Czech Republic: Equipping multipliers with competencies to implement advocacy trainings

In August this year, about twenty Roma advocates from different European countries gathered in Tepla, a Czech village close to Usti and Labem. For five days, they joined ERGO Network to share and explore different methods of grassroots advocacy and community organizing. We explored ways for grassroots activists who want to advocate for combatting antigypsyism, empowering Roma and promoting social inclusion. We discovered that finding new partnerships and new approaches is proving to be effective. The participants, mostly experienced multipliers on the national level, shared knowledge and experiences with advocacy in difficult environments.

After we got to know each other better and created an open and engaging learning space, inspiring stories were told by our colleagues from Zero Discrimination Association (Turkey), Integro Association (Bulgaria) and Nevo Parudimos (Romania) about certain forms of mobilization and leadership. They triggered debates about gender and power relations and on building relationships with national and local authorities. They also provided us with examples on how local advocates participate in budget planning on the local level and in community-led local development.

Participants agreed that the traditional ways of advocacy seem less and less effective, particularly in countries with far-right governments and a high level of populism in politics.

Romani activist Monika Mihalickova from the Czech organization Romea gave the participants a short training social media fundraising. Miroslav Klempar shared the experiences from Awen Amenca, a movement that fights for quality and non-segregated education for Roma children, based on the value of Roma parents’ participation.

Our Macedonian partners, Fikrija and Denis Selmani triggered the attention of the participants with their successful involvement in mobilization of Roma university students and the Citizens’ Initiative “AVAJA” and its campaign “We Vote, We Decide”. We also met with Steve Hughes, who has 20 years of experience working as a community, union, and political organizer in both the United States and Europe.

Finally, the group had the pleasure to visit Romano Jasnica, a local Roma organization in Trmice founded in 1998 that focuses on providing social services, implementing educational, leisure and cultural activities for children, youth and adults at risk of social exclusion or socially excluded people. The organization connects work on social inclusion with creating employment opportunities, supporting young entrepreneurs, but also engaging Roma in the local politics. Already for the second term, there are two Romani members in the local council.

The participants appreciated the learning experience and emphasized the importance of different participatory methods that ERGO Network used to engage them as much as possible in diverse roles and capacities. With those methods and national follow up trainings in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary we will reach out to more Romani grassroots activists and organizers and make their voice heard also in the national and European policies.

The activity received generous financial support from the International Visegrad Fund and from the European Commission’s EaSI programme.

Western Balkans summit

Declaration on Roma integration in the EU enlargement processs signed at Western Balkans Summit

The sixth annual summit within the Berlin Process Initiative for European integration of Western Balkans states was held between 3rd and 5th of July 2019 held in Poznań.

At the initiative of North Macedonia, the Western Balkan countries signed a Declaration on Roma integration in the EU enlargement process as a pledge for their reiterated commitment to continue and enhance efforts for full equality and integration of Roma through implementation of specific set of measures in the areas of employment, education, housing, health, civil registration and non-discrimination.

With the Declaration they pledge to achieve the following objectives:

  • A. Employment: Increase the employment rate of Roma in the public sector to the rate proportional of the participation of Roma in the overall population; Increase the employment rate among Roma to at least 25% percent;
  • B. Housing: Wherever possible, legalize all informal settlements where Roma live; or provide permanent, decent, affordable and desegregated housing for Roma currently living in informal settlements that cannot be legalized for justified reasons;
  • C. Education: Increase the enrolment and completion rate of Roma in primary education to 90 percent and the enrolment and completion rate of Roma in secondary education to 50 percent;
  • D. Health: Ensure universal health insurance coverage among Roma to at least 95 percent or to the rate equal to the rest of the population;
  • E. Civil Registration: Ensure all Roma are registered in the civil registries;
  • F. Non-Discrimination: Strengthen the government structures to protect against discrimination and establish a specific sub-division for non-discrimination of Roma within the formal non-discrimination bodies to process complaints by Roma, provide legal support to alleged victims and identify discrimination schemes, including institutional and hidden discrimination.

Governments of the Western Balkan countries understand that progress on Roma integration is progress towards enlargement. The participation of strong Roma civil society organizations from the countries of the region was crucial.
National Roma civil society organizations from the Western Balkan countries have been strongly represented in the Summit, and their presence was of crucial importance to this process. Sitting alongside the government representatives, the message they sent is that the Roma civil society organizations in the Western Balkans have grown and are consolidated to be considered a partner in the activities and actions towards Roma integration, but also showing that Roma civil society organizations may play an important and critical role in the monitoring and guiding governmental institutions in their Roma inclusion processes.


RCC also introduced the results of the Balkan Barometer 2019, which showed “modestly optimistic” regional perceptions and attitudes across a wide array of social, political and economic factors impacting life in South East Europe.

Grassroots Advocacy Academy for multipliers

ERGO Network Grassroots Advocacy Academy for multipliers

23-28 August 2019, Rehlovice (Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic)

Traditional ways of advocacy seem less and less effective, particularly when working in countries with far right governments and a high level of populism in politics. If grassroots activists want to advocate for combatting antigypsyism, empowering Roma and promoting social inclusion, they have to find new partnerships and new approaches to be effective.

In our Grassroots Advocacy Academy for multipliers, we want to share experiences with advocacy in difficult environments, build capacity for effective advocacy in our membership and support multipliers in organising national or local advocacy trainings for Roma activists.

We invite you to an interactive 5-day programme in a nice environment in Czech Republic to share experiences, learn from each other and together build more capacity to advocate effectively for Roma empowerment.

Objectives:

  • Explore and analyze different methods, ways and approaches of grassroots advocacy and community organizing
  • Share knowledge and experiences between ERGO Network members
  • Equip multipliers with knowledge of EU-driven Roma related policies that can support local advocacy
  • Equip multipliers with competencies and guiding principles to implement national or local advocacy trainings for Roma activists

Profile of participants:

  • Staff members or volunteers of (pro-)Roma civil society organisations OR
  • Staff members or volunteers of human rights organisations or training institutes
  • Experience in advocacy (and ideally also in capacity-building for advocacy)
  • Knowledge of Roma issues
  • Able to communicate in English

Conditions

The participation in the Academy is free thanks to a grant of the International Visegrad Fund and the European Commission’s EaSI programme. ERGO Network will cover the travel and accommodation costs.

We have 20 places. In case more people would like to participate, we will select based on motivation and geographical balance.

The Academy will take place from 23-28 August 2019 (including arrival and departure date)

in Rehlovice close to Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic at:  https://penzion-u-svate-barbory.hotel.cz/

Transfer from Prague will be organized.

If you are interested to participate, please register here by 13 June 2019.

Download the call for the ERGO Network Grassroots Academy.