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

Call for applications: Study Session on Antigypsyism

Study Session: Knowledge is Power – Strengthening the voices of young people against antigypsyism

7-13 October 2018 – Budapest, Hungary

Are you an anti-racist and human rights activist? Are you a youth worker or a youth leader combatting antigypsyism with young people? Then you should apply to take part in our study session ‘Knowledge is Power: Strengthening the voices of young people against antigypsyism.

When?            7-13 October 2018 (including arrival and departure)
Where?          European Youth Centre, Budapest
Who?              18-30 year olds from Council of Europe member states
Deadline        Sunday 26 August, 23:59 (CET)

The study session is organised by TernYpe International Roma Youth Network and ERGO Network in the framework of the Alliance against Antigypsyism together with the European Youth Centre Budapest of the Council of Europe.

The study session will advance a common understanding of the roots, mechanisms, manifestations and implications of antigypsyism among youth activists so that they can actively contribute to combating it.

The participants will contribute to producing a ‘youth-friendly’, easy-to-read version of the Reference Paper on Antigypsyism that the Alliance against Antigypsyism has developed in 2016.

The study session will introduce participants to the concept of antigypsyism, discuss its manifestations and give the space to develop activities, case studies, counter-strategies and visuals that will foster the understanding of antigypsyism.

Objectives

  • To advance a common understanding of the roots, mechanisms, manifestations and implications of antigypsyism
  • To contribute to the development of a ‘youth-friendly’ version of the reference paper on antigypsyism for better use in youth work, human rights education and advocacy
  • To share approaches of combatting antigypsyism and other forms of racism
  • To experience, develop and test activities that introduce the concept of antigypsyism to empower young people to articulate and fight antigypsyism
  • To further the work of the Alliance against Antigypsyism through education, advocacy, communication and networking activities

Profile of participants

We aim to invite a diverse group of Roma and non-Roma participants from a variety of organisations that are active in their respective (youth) organisations with experience and commitment to combat antigypsyism. We aim to have a wide international outreach and diversity, as well as multiple experiences of activists (grassroots, European, non-formal education, youth participation, advocacy, from general anti-racist and minority organizations).We aim to have a gender-balanced group.

Participants must:

  • be able and committed to act as multipliers in youth work and activism on the theme of combating antigypsyism and other forms of racism.
  • Have some experience in nonformal education and knowledge on antigypsyism or other forms of racism.
  • be motivated to develop their competences in human rights education and to share their experiences with other participants.
  • be motivated to contribute to developing the youth-friendly version of the Reference Paper on Antigypsyism and corresponding tools during the study session.
  • Come with an open-minded and sensitive attitude towards discussing antigypsyism and share related experiences.
  • be aged 18 – 30.
  • be committed to attend for the full duration of the course.
  • be able to work in English.
  • be resident in a member state of the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe.

We welcome applications from all candidates who fulfil the specific profile of activities, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial ethnic or social origin, religion belief or sexual orientation.

Costs

The following costs will be reimbursed by the Council of Europe Youth Department:

  • Travel from and to your place of residence
  • Accommodation and meals
  •  Visa costs

There is a participation fee of 50 € per person, which will be deducted from the participant’s travel  reimbursement.

If you are interested to participate, please apply through our online form by 26 August 2018.

Download the call for participants

Questions? Contact Christine Sudbrock from ERGO Network: c.sudbrock@ergonetwork.org or +32 2 893 10 49

 

 

Join us at the EU Roma Week 2018!

Join us at the EU Roma Week 2018!

The EU Roma Week 2018 will take place in Brussels starting on 8 April, International Roma Day and continue until Thursday 12 April. A series of events will be organised during the week, including an event co-organised by ERGO Network on addressing From quality education to decent employment, Antigypsyism, Theatre peformance,  International Roma Day commemoration and celebration with concerts.

Click here to see the programme  of the EU Roma Week!

Register for the events by 3 April  here. 

Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights kicks off in Brussels

Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights kicks off in Brussels

The European Youth Forum and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organized a Regional Consultation on Youth and Human Rights, in order to feed into a report on the same topic that will be prepared for the UN Human Rights Council later this year. ERGO Network was present at the 3 day meeting in Brussels, March 19-22.

In advance of the meeting, some background information was shared online to help participants prepare.  With a thematic questionnaire from the European Youth Forum, participants could get an insight in the organization`s submission to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ call for input for a study on youth and human rights.

The gathering brought together 22 participants from all over Europe from different youth networks, youth and student organizations as well as international associations. Together with EYF the aim was to give the opportunity to have in dept discussions during the event on a variety of topics that are related to youth rights, key challenges of young people, as well as framework, programs and policies designed by European actors, such as the Council of Europe and the EU.

The first panel discussion set the scene with the opening remarks delivered by representatives of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Youth Forum. It was important to mention some highlights regarding the current situation of human rights in Europe. Statistics and research show that today much of the continent’s public transport is not accessible, 70% of Roma report hunger and constant stigmatization, 30% of young people with black and Muslim origin don’t get a job because of their names, and youth homelessness is showing a slightly increasing tendency.

Good news is that Portugal’s efforts to create an inclusive environment to Roma and minorities serves as outstanding example. The Council of Europe with its interventions also strives to better shape policies for youth with its recommendations addressed to member states. The recommendations in question are regarding 1) access to social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods (2015); 2) youth work (2017); and young people’s access to rights (2017), the latter calling on governments to address discriminatory practises.

The key challenges that are faced by young people in Europe are present in all generations of human rights. According to Alice Barbieri (Council of Europe Advisory and Council on Youth), there is a great underrepresentation of youth at city councils, political bodies and parliaments in Europe, with only 2% of parlamentarians aged under 30 worldwide. Young people also lack education on active citizenship. Non-standard employment effects more the younger generations where the mandate is unpaid, unfair or the work is undeclared. This also means that employees are not part of the pension scheme and do not receive any social protection. It is a worrying trend to see that 30% of those aged 15-29 in EU live at the risk of social exclusion or poverty.

Amana Ferro (European Anti-Poverty Network) presented findings on key challenges for young people. According to her, the programs aimed at providing support to young people are present to some extent, but they do not function as comprehensive strategies to combat youth poverty, and do not serve as tools for great autonomy. Cash based income support is still widely considered as social benefit, however, in the European societies it serves as a key factor to social inclusion. Tamas Kadar (Equinet) introduced the framework of equality bodies in Europe, their practices and examples of discrimination.

Age restrictions take away opportunities in general from young people, and ethnic paygap remains an issue. It was highlighted that poverty is not a choice, and everyone has the right not to be poor. In order to cease poverty, one should have full ownership of life planning, and dealing with poverty shall be considered as fulfilling right rather than charity.

Key policies and programs targeting at EU, Council of Europe and UN levels outline a number of interventions in Europe and the world. Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies and programs on youth is crucial in understanding the framework of contributing to youth rights.

The Erasmus+ program is funded by the EU to provide to over 4 million Europeans the opportunity to gain competences and have a personal, socio educational and professional development through studies, raining, work experiences or volunteering abroad. The EU Youth Strategy lays out a framework for European cooperation in the youth field in the period of 2010-2018, adding here that youth policy is a national competence of member states. The EU Youth Guarantee is a scheme that aims to ease the transition from education to employment by ensuring that all young people aged 25 or under, get a good – quality offer of employment, training or further education within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

The Council of Europe (Committee of Ministers) has adopted two key recommendations relating to young people’s rights: CM/Rec(2016)7 on Young People’s Access to Rights and CM/Rec(2015)3 on Access of Young People from Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods to Social Rights. The latter focuses on policies to preent and eradicate the porverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion faced by young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the former covers civil, political, economic, social and cultural rigths providing guidance to states.

The United Nations adopted in 1996 and updated in 2007, the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) outlines 15 priority areas of action. In 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on Youth, Peace, and Security.

Following the thematic sessions a final report will be put together by the European Youth Forum with the inputs and contributions of the youth representatives. The report aims to recommend measures at international level – such as member states, the UN Human Rights Council – that would facilitate support the realization of young people’s rights.