Peer educators combatting antigypsyism online

Peer educators combatting antigypsyism online in time of a pandemic

– A new internet era for Roma youth will begin soon!

Living in the era of web 2.0, soon to be 3.0 sure has its advantages. Everything that we need, want and desire is just a click away (literally)! However, it is as well a  vivid example of how technologies with a transformative potential such as the Internet bring with them both opportunities and challenges. Opportunities in terms of exercising freedom of expression, and on the other hand the challenges of defending  human dignity online. This being said, we are left with something called Online hate speech.[1]

Having this in mind, ERGO Network and its partners from 10 European countries (Integro Bulgaria, Nevo Parudimos Romania, FAGiC Spain, Romaversitas Hungary, RomanoNet Czech Republic, Roma Active Albania, RROMA North Macedonia, Chiricli Ukraine, Upre Roma Italy, La Voix des Rroms France) are starting to implement the project called PECAO – Peer education to counter antigypsyist hate speech online supported by DG Justice and Google.Org for the next 24 months.

Knowing that hate speech as a manifestation of antigypsyism needs particular attention because of its multiplier effect, where it influences public opinion, fuels tension and paves the way for discrimination and hate crimes, the consortium of the project manages to bring clear objectives to the table:

  1. To reach out to at least 2000 young people in Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Italy, France, North Macedonia and Albania through peer education activities in universities or youth clubs to raise their awareness of the adverse impact of hate speech on Roma and to empower them to recognize and report hate speech online.
  2. To empower 50 young Roma peer educators in 10 countries to monitor hate speech in online media and report cases of hate speech to IT companies, national equality bodies and relevant state institutions to reinforce implementation of anti-discrimination legislation. Their work will lead to national datasets of at least 150 cases, as well as at least 50 reported cases.
  3. To advocate towards national and EU decision-makers for anti-discrimination policies that take into account the online sphere as well as antigypsyism as a bias motivation for hate speech and hate crime.
  4. To use the experiences of peer educators and results of the monitoring to raise awareness of other stakeholders (wider civil society, educational practitioners, young people) of antigypsyist hate speech in online media and the urgency to counteract.

The target group are young Roma peer educators and other young people, as they are primary users of social media and often lack media literacy and critical thinking. Indirectly, the project targets Roma people across Europe who will benefit from reduced hate speech, which impacts negatively on their well-being and their position in society.

Working online enables the partners to be innovative and use peer education to reach a high number of young people, with young Roma themselves being the peer educators. At the same time as educating their peers and raising their awareness of antigypsyist hate speech, they will automatically also act as role models for other young people. The project combines peer education and media monitoring in order to obtain two-fold results: the peer education methodology can achieve a direct change in attitudes and actions of a high number of young people, and the monitoring will contribute to better understanding and a more systemic change of policies through advocacy based on the results.

Having in mind the pandemic COVID-19 that is spreading cross out Europe, the PECAO partners are starting to organize their work online, taking into consideration their well-being and the safety of their community. The main focus this period is utilizing platforms such as ZOOM for online meetings and preparation, setting up the foreseen calls for peer educators and mentors. And for the first time, ERGO will try to host an online Kick-Off meeting and bring in the partners, by having a nice agenda and working plan for a couple of days in April! Updates on how it goes will follow soon!

Meanwhile, many ERGO members are following protocols regarding the pandemic COVID-19, as well as helping the Roma community by sharing information, products they need and by staying organized, safe and well!

[1] Online hate speech is a type of speech that takes place online, generally social media or the internet, with the purpose of attacking a person or a group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.

12th Edition of the FAGiC Awards for Roma development

12th Edition of the FAGiC Awards for Roma development

On December 4, 2019 FAGiC organised the 12th Edition of the FAGiC Awards, a ceremony with a double goal: on one side, it is an opportunity to reward Roma and non Roma people who contributed positively to the development of the Roma culture and the Roma community; on the other side, it is a big event to present FAGiC’s projects and activities.

This year, the awards went to:

  • Oncle Moncho for a lifetime’s work and contribution to Roma culture (post-humous) (Culture Award)
  • Oncle Peret for the promotion of Catalan Roma culture (Culture award)
  • Roma Women Association “Karing Vaxt” for the empowerment and promotion of Roma women (Association Award)
  • Educational team and parents of the school Juan Salamero for their fight against social exclusion (Education Award)
  • Hospital of Bellvitge for good practices with the Roma people (Health Award)
  • Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona for the promotion of inclusion of Roma people on the labour market (labour insertion award)
  • Eduard Carrera for the promotion of citizenship and harmony through the mediation especially with Roma people (mediation award)

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.

 

 

 

 

Voluntary work with and for Roma communities

Voluntary work with and for Roma communities

Romanian ERGO member Nevo Parudimos Association has more than 5 years of experience in volunteering projects. The organisation has hosted more than 30 volunteers and sent more than 15 volunteers to different European countries.in the last years.

A big part of our work is based on local or international volunteers. Our projects promote volunteering at local level as a tool to promote inclusion.  Our project “For a kid smile”, which involved 2500 Roma and non-Roma local volunteers, was a finalist in the Erste Stiftung Roma integration projects award, being considered a good practice in the field.

Currently we are hosting 15 volunteers from across Europe and are searching to recruit five more coming from EU countries, Macedonia and Turkey for our ongoing projects:

  • Volunteering and Education for Civic Involvement
  • Volunteering for a smile
  • V for Volunteering
  • Yes to volunteering

The main activities of our international volunteers are: non-formal education and prevention of school dropout in schools from poor neighborhoods of Resita; promotion of volunteering and civic involvement; learning foreign languages and promoting interculturality, tolerance and understanding among young people or activities to increase the involvement of young people in decision-making.

You can find more information here.

In November 2018 our association opened the Nevo Parudimos Youth Center, a place that is coordinated together with EVS volunteers. The main goal of the center is the development of social, cultural and artistic activities with and for disadvantaged youth (with a focus on Roma youth) in Resita Citi (80.000 inhabitants). The youth center offers  volunteers opportunity for self-development and creates a safe space for EVS volunteers to learn and practice non – formal education methods for their professional development.

2017 ERGO Network Annual Report

2017 ERGO Network Annual Report

ERGO Network’s annual report for 2017 is now available. Read the  2017 ERGO Annual Report and learn how ERGO Network and  its members introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to fight antigypsyism and to empower Roma in 2017. In addition the annual report 2017 presents the initiatives undertaken by ERGO to ensure networking between, and capacity building of member organisations. The report contains relevant information and graphs on the achievements and progress made to strengthen the Roma community. ERGO Network will definitely keep the wheel rolling to support the implementation of more and better measures for Roma.

Read the  2017 ERGO Annual Report