Advocacy Training in Romania

Between 14 -16 August, the association Center of Resources for Social Inclusion CRIS, ERGO member, organized a training course on ‘Advocacy for combating antigypsyism and discrimination towards Roma’. The training was organized in Sinaia, Romania for ten Roma students and higher education graduates from Prahova County. Today, the ten participants are good friends and well-trained in undertaking advocacy for combating negative attitudes towards Roma in Romania and not only, as they said after the training. All because they understood that if they do not train and do not get involved, tomorrow they can be the next victims.

The training is part of CRIS’ Annual Work Plan 2017 in cooperation with ERGO Network. It has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020).

Youth Camp ‘Turn on Activism’

In order to bring young people closer to the activist spirit, the Association of Citizens for the Promotion of Roma Education, “Otaharin”, currently implements a project named “Youth power rising”. Through this project we organize three youth camps in three years with support of the Schüler Helfen Leben Foundation.

Young people represent an extremely important category of the population and are future bearers of change in society; therefore it is necessary to pay adequate attention to their needs, attitudes and desires, as well as support the development of youth activism.

The youth camp “Turn on activism” is a five-day program in which young people have the opportunity to participate in the development of a strategic plan to solve problems identified in their community and then to solve the problem through the project. The aim of this activity is to promote positive change of everyday life through the active involvement of all young people in creating better social opportunities. The young people from the City of Bijeljina can participate in the camp.

As a result of three years working with this particular group of people (participants of past camps and project activities), we realized their need to create and form a youth organization on local level that will give them the chance to make bigger steps to positive change in community. In this camp, they will work on the strategic plan of this organization, and they will work on increasing their skills in working with a group, positive communication and leadership.

Leadership and initiatives in local communities

Leadership and initiatives in local communities- leadership program for young Roma and Roma women in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Citizen’s Association for the Promotion of Education of Roma OTHARIN, ERGO Network member from Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized  from 1-4 June 2017 a workshop dedicated to building leadership programs and initiatives in Roma communities for young Roma, with a special focus on Roma women in the framework of the “Project young Roma and Roma for the rights and inclusion“.

The project is implemented and led by CARE International together with OTHARIN and other Roma NGOs from BIH and is funded by the EDHR instrument. The project aims for a better integration of Roma people in the society with a focus on the rights of Roma women and leadership skills.

The outcome of the workshop is a network of young Roma and Roma women who learnt new methods on how to initiate projects and on community planning. For the next 2 years of implementation OTHARIN together with its partners will help the trained young people to run several small actions in  Roma communities and strengthen their leadership skills and knowledge.

 

Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar 2017 in Brussels

Roma Youth Advocacy Seminar 2017 in Brussels

Join us in Brussels to learn about European policy-making and civil society advocacy, and to raise young voices in front of the European Parliament, European Commission and other stakeholders to combat antigypsyism and to advance important issues for Roma communities.

This six days lasting seminar (March 23 to 30, 2017, including travel days) is organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network, ERGO Network and the Documentation and Cultural Centre & Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. It will gather 40 young Roma and non-Roma activists in order to strengthen their capacity as young advocates and leaders to tackle antigypsyism. During the seminar, the group will run a youth campaign against antigypsyism targeting EU level actors, like Members of the European Parliament and European Commission. The advocacy seminar is part of the “EU Roma Week” ahead of the 8 April – International Roma Day.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The seminar aims to strengthen the capacity of the participants to understand the structures and working mechanisms of the EU institutions, as well as the current EU policies concerning Roma and against racism, and to develop advocacy strategies and campaigns raising-awareness about antigypsyism on European level.

The objectives of the activity are to:

  • Get to know the European Union institutions and to understand their working mechanisms, and policies towards Roma, in particular of the European Parliament and European Commission;
  • Build a dialogue and bring a Roma youth perspective to DG Justice (responsible for Roma policies in the European Commission), to DG EAC (Education and Culture, includes the youth sector in the European Commission), as well as to Members of the European Parliament in particular of the ARDI Intergroup (Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup);
  • Learn about the work of the EU umbrella organizations and contribute to their work;
  • Raise awareness of the participants about antigypsyism, and the current anti-racism policies;
  • Raise awareness of the participants about the Brussels-based civil society structures and their strategies against antigypsyism and racism (in particular ERGO, ENAR (European Network against Racism) and the European Youth Forum);
  • Develop a youth campaign against antigypsyism and on Roma youth perspectives during the “Roma Week” of the European Parliament;
  • Raise awareness of Members of the European Parliament, European Commission staff and Brussels based advocates about the recognition of the Roma Holocaust and of antigypsyism, which was acknowledged in April 2015 by a European Parliament resolution.

“EU Roma Week” in the European Parliament
Roma Week 2017 takes places from 27th March to 3rd April 2017 in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg to mark the occasion of the International Roma Day on 8 April 2017.  Roma Week 2016 resulted in the Slovak Presidency having two Council Conclusions on Roma with reference to the European Parliament’s 2015 resolution on antigypsyism and for the recognition of the Roma Genocide.

 

Objectives of “Roma Week”
Roma week 2017 is designed with the aim of bringing together Roma activists from the European Union to engage with key stakeholders in order to participate at the mid-term review of the EU Framework for the National Roma Integration Strategies and to engage in the advocacy strategy for EU Roma Policy post 2020. The objectives of Roma week will be mainstreamed into that strategy. Rather than having a Roma week geared towards public awareness, Roma week 2017 focuses on facilitating capacity building, networking and advocacy for Roma activists around five thematic areas: Antigypsyism, Employment, Monitoring, Youth and Women.

 

PROFILE OF THE PARTICIPANTS
Present will be Roma and non-Roma youth leaders, activists, multipliers, and volunteers who are active in Roma communities and experienced in working with Roma communities and/or Roma youth.

 

Participants must also:

  • be able and committed to act as young advocates and multipliers in youth work on the themes of anti-discrimination, combating racism and antigypsyism and promotion of human rights with young Roma, for the benefit of Roma communities and Roma youth;
  • be motivated to develop their competences in advocacy, anti-discrimination work, human rights education and youth work and to share their experiences with other participants;
  • be actively committed and involved in a Roma (youth) initiative, advocacy group or organization;
  • be aged between 18 – 35 years;
  • be committed to attend for the full duration of the course;
  • be able to work in English, or check with the coordination that translation can be provided through other participants or team members;
  • be resident in one of the following countries: Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia 

DATES OF THE ACTIVITY
Arrival: March 23, 2017 (Thursday)
Program days: March 24 until March 29, 2017
Departure: March 30, 2017 (Thursday)

APPLICATION AND SELECTION
Complete Info Pack: download pdf
How to apply? 
Register in the online application form
Application deadline: February 26, 2017 (end of day)

Selection procedure: If you fit into the participants’ profile, you may submit an application until February 26 at midnight Central European Time. The preparatory team will select up the participants on the basis of the profile outlined above, ensuring also a balance between genders, geographical regions, different types of experiences and organizations. Within few days, we will inform the candidates whether their application has been accepted or rejected.

 

High-Level Event on Roma Youth Empowerment in Bratislava

High-Level Event on Roma Youth Empowerment in Bratislava

The event was organized by the European Commission DG Justice and the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 9-11 October 2016 in Bratislava.

The aim of the event was to bring together young Roma and relevant stakeholders to work together on how they can be a driving force for the Roma integration process. The event also included the first year of the European Roma Spirit Award 2016, which awards exceptional individuals, organizations, and projects who actively improve the situation of Roma in Europe every day.

The agenda of the event was very intense with panel discussions and workshops with high-level representatives such as Commissioner Jourova and representatives of the Ministries from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.

Moreover, representatives of the Council of Europe, Members of the European Parliament and international and national stakeholders who work on Roma integration were present at the meeting.

ERGO Network took part in a workshop on access to social rights with a focus on education and employment. The outcome of the workshops was a common agreement that antigypsyism is one of the main reason why the integration process of Roma and Roma youth is still a major issue after so many measures were taken. The outcomes of the workshops were presented by young Roma rapporteurs and discussed in the panels.

In the panel discussion “Roma Youth as the Leaders of the Roma Integration Process with the ministries and high level representatives, Valeriu Nicolae, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues from the Council of Europe, said “Racism goes beyond the logic and destroys lives; we must take action and stop antigypsyism”.

Roma youth identified several issues that have been brought to the event mostly in the area of education and employment. The issues raised by the young people and international and national stakeholders will be reflected in the Council Conclusions on Roma  that will be adopted in the middle of December 2016