3rd National Meeting of Roma Forum Romania
The National Meeting of Roma Forum organized by Nevo Parudimos, as a member of ERGO Network in partnership with Romani Criss, took place from 10-11 May in Bucharest.
The theme of the meeting was „The involvement of Roma NGOs for the Romanian Presidency of the EU in 2019”. More than 30 Roma NGOs participated to the meeting and over 60 people were present during the 2 days. In the same time, officials from the National Roma Agency, the National Roma Contact Point, the National Federations of LAGs, representatives of the Roma Education Fund, the Ministry of Employment and the Central European University gave presentations and talked about Roma issues in open and free discussions.
The main discussions focused on the list of several proposals for the Romanian Presidency of the European Union in 2019 in order to be formalized in the public agenda during the Romanian presidency. These proposals refer to the following important areas: school segregation, the mediation process for health and education and forced eviction of the Roma.
Roma Forum Romania
The Second National Meeting of Roma Forum in Romania took place on 18 November 2016 at the InfoEurope Center in Bucharest, organized by Nevo Parudimos, as member of ERGO Network, in partnership with Romani Criss.
The meeting focused on issues of Roma communities in order to increase the capacity-building of Roma grassroots organizations who are members in the Roma Forum, especially in the area of monitoring and advocacy work, together with experienced NGOs such as RomaniCriss and Sastipen;
The discussions focused on the list of proposals for the Romanian Presidency of the European Union in 2019 in order to be formalized in the public agenda during the Romanian presidency. These proposals refer to the following areas: school segregation, the mediation process for health and education and the forced eviction of the Roma.
Marian Mandache (Romani Criss), as an invited speaker of the 1st session, proposed ways of addressing the Roma issues to the future Romanian Government from 2017: bilateral meetings on the main social and economic fields that address Roma, such as sectorial meetings with public ministry representatives to include in their public agenda the Roma issues.
The Roma Forum had about 20 participants of Roma organizations from Romania and some new ones expressed their willingness to join.
As an ERGO member, Nevo Parudimos expresses its commitment to sustain the Roma Forum activities and to develop the capacity of Roma NGOs by exchanging information, solutions and models in order to overcome certain issues.
Also representatives of public authorities, namely the National Roma Agency and Mr. Alexandru Potor from the National Federation of LAGs, participated in the meeting.
Czech NGOs meet with Czech Ministry of Education
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.
Reality check on Roma local development in Hungary
One of the main objectives of ERGO Network is to create strong National Roma Working Groups (NRWG) in France, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The NRWG aim to be strong coalitions where Roma stakeholders, leaders and community-based organizations can connect and exert bottom-up pressure on administrations in order to take positive action to address Roma exclusion.
In Hungary, our member Butterfly Development has organised the 2nd meeting of the NRWG on 13-14 September in the form of a 2-day study trip with accompanying workshop in the Nord-East part of Hungary.
The main objective of the event – organised in close collaboration with the Alliance of the Spokespersons of Roma Minorities of Nógrád County – was to provide a platform for developing appropriate working relations between the local decision makers, Roma organisations and pro-Roma civil organisations, by means of sharing and evaluating good practices of local development with and for Roma communities in Nógrád County. The participating Mayors and the representatives of their selected collaborators from Roma civil organisation were invited from the Nord-East region, i.e. from Nógrád, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár counties. The State Secretary being responsible for social and Roma inclusion also attended the second day of the meeting, together with the Catholic Bishop of the Nógrád County.
The participants of the NRWG meeting visited two small settlements suffering from multiple disadvantages, namely Nagybárkány and Varsány, to collect personal practical experiences about the effects of complex local development resulting in new types of institutions and services or new local employment opportunities built on local traditions (e.g. folk art or agricultural roots) based on public work. The accompanying workshop provided an effective opportunity for brainstorming and summarizing the main objectives of necessary further development, the necessary collaborators to achieve them and the necessary actions. The participants firmly committed themselves to continue their common work and to extend the scope of activity of this network. Some Mayors already offered to host the next NRWG meeting and share their good practices.
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