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.
This video shows the achievements of the work done by the European Roma Grassroots organizations (ERGO) network and its members under the Framework Partnership Agreement 2014-2017 with DG Employment supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation EaSI (2014-2020).
ERGO Network mobilizes and connects organizations and individuals who share a set of core values, to co-create the courage, capacity and approaches to: combat inequality, stigmatization and discrimination; strengthen Roma civil society participation in decision making at local, national and European level; commit governments and European institutions to effective anti-discrimination and social inclusion policies for Roma. ERGO has almost 30 members in more than 20 countries in Europe. Through its members ERGO became the only organization that brings the Roma grassroots voice directly to the EU institutions, but also helps the European institutions to understand better the needs of Romani communities.
Our dream is Roma to have the same opportunities like the non-Roma in education, employment and to all spheres of life and to be free from racism. In our opinion this can be happened only if we Roma take our lives in our hands.
Quotas from the video ;
“All people are humans, also Roma are humans” says Zuzana Havirova, Director of Roma Advocacy and Research Center from Slovakia
”If you want decide to be an activists then you are an activists by the heart” and “unite is power” said by Michal Miko member of SLOVO21 from the Czech Republic.
In video are featured:
JAMEN GABRIELA HRABANOVA (ERGO Network – Belgium)
ZUZANA HAVIROVA (Roma advocacy and Research center – Slovakia)
Czech Deputy Education Minister Václav Pícl met with representatives of a National Working Group that consists of 11 Romani non-profit organizations from all over the Czech Republic on 3 October in his office at the ministry. “The aim of the meeting is to establish a constructive collaboration between established Romani nonprofit organizations and the Education Ministry. The coalition works with as many as 8 000 Romani people around the country and can be a bridge between the Romani community and the state administration,” said Jelena Silajdži, director of ERGO member Slovo 21.
During the hour-long discussion the specific aims and the fulfilment of the Czech Government’s Romani Integration Strategy were touched upon, as was the insufficient representation of Romani people in advisory positions within the executive branch, the legislature and the state administration, as well as the planned changes to pre-school education next year and scholarship programs for Romani students. The ministry representative was invited to visit the IQ Roma Service organization in Brno to see examples of good practice in the area of preschool education and activation of Romani parents.
The NGOs will continue their discussions with the Education Ministry at their next meeting in December. Representatives of IQ Roma Service, Jekhetane, OSF Praha, ROMEA and Slovo 21 attended the meeting.
Slovo 21, ERGO Network’s member from Czech Republic, is coordinating the work of the coalition through the project “Roma Included”, which is part of ERGO’s Annual Work Program. The project is organized with the financial support of the European Commission’s EaSI program.