News from Czech ERGO member Slovo 21
Invisible Power Coalition
Migrant and Roma women in the Czech Republic and other parts of Europe face economic and social inequalities and live in a position particularly vulnerable to violence and discrimination. Compared to most women in the Czech society, these women are often at higher risk of social exclusion, live under worse material conditions, and have a lower quality of life. The problems of these women are often overlooked, which is why the Invisible Power coalition, with the support of the German EVZ Foundation, was founded—to give these women space to be seen and heard. The coalition represents a collaborative effort of the Czech Women’s Lobby (CWL) and its member organizations Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI) and SLOVO 21, under which the Roma women’s group Manushe operates.
The Invisible Power focused on two levels of support for Roma and migrant women. The first was to involve these women in a network of women’s rights organizations and to strengthen mutual solidarity also between women from disadvantaged groups. Secondly, we wanted to raise public awareness of the situation these groups of women find themselves in. Another equally important goal was to strengthen the self-esteem of these women through self-expression, especially by means of storytelling during events organized for the general public, writing articles about their stories, and participating in public debates.
The project provided women without self-esteem with space for self-expression and made it possible for Roma and migrant women to be seen and heard at 4 public events, 5 thematic meetings, 3 networking meetings, and 1 conference, alongside other media outputs and networking meetings. A total of 34 migrant women and 148 Roma women took part in these activities.
The article is available here.
ROMA ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN FOR CENSUS: ME SOM ROM, ME SOM ROMŇI, AMEN SAM ROMA! A SO TU?
The umbrella organization RomanoNet, in cooperation with other organizations (including Slovo 21, z.s.), has prepared an online campaign to reach out to Roma to declare their Roma nationality at this year’s Census of Population, Housing and Dwellings or to use Romani as their mother tongue.
The campaign responds to the low awareness of Roma men and women in connection with the Census 2021 and also refutes the myths that are spreading among the Roma themselves about the census.
The campaign is based on videos in which Romani men and women explain why, in their opinion, it is essential to state Romani nationality in the census form and Romani as their mother tongue. The videos are then placed on the website www.amensamroma.cz and are shared on social networks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign takes place exclusively in the online space.
(Article in Czech is available here )
NEW PROJECT ANDROMEDIA – IN MEDIA
The Romani culture and arts are a part of the national, European and world cultural and artistic space, and it keeps growing and developing constantly. There is a new generation of young educated artists and performers active in the area of music, dance, new media, arts, alternative arts, theatre and literature. Unfortunately, there is a substantial lack of interest and knowledge of critics who would be able to approach critically to Romani culture and arts.
The AndroMedia (in English “In Media”) project contributes to dealing with this problem and supports to development of artistic critical reviewing through interdisciplinary activities including several workshops, seminars, discussions with audience and experts, in both direct and online communication.
Project activities will help develop participants’ capacities in culture as they improve competencies of future critics – students of journalism and ethnomusicology, and Romani writers. The project also implements Audience Development Strategies and launches the Online Discussion Forum which will contribute to social dialogue.
Project is supported by EHP Fonds 2014 – 2021, Culture program. Project duration: 1.12.2020 – 30.4.2022.
STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITIES OF ROMA AND PRO-ROMA ADVOCACY ACTORS
Everyone should have the knowledge to influence and improve their lives in society. Only a society in which everyone has a voice, including minorities, can be considered democratic.
Based on the experience gained so far, we are coming up with a new project “Strengthening the capacities of Roma and pro-Roma actors in the field of advocacy”, which will focus on strengthening the competencies of employees of the organization Slovo 21, z.s. in the field of advocacy, so that the Roma are able to participate well in the integration process in 4 selected cities (Náchod, Budišov nad Budišovkou, Rokycany, Prague).
The employee expects 8 half-day theoretical trainings and 16 half-day practical workshops (2 trainings and 4 workshops in each locality) in the field of advocacy activities. The participants will then be permanently supported by experts in the form of tailor-made consultations.
We will establish cooperation with members of the local Roma community, who in cooperation with us will participate in solving the integration of Roma into the local level and other local Roma and pro-Roma non-profit organizations.