Conference “Funding programs for Roma: community and civil expectations organizations versus donor expectations”
The conference “Funding programs for Roma: community and civil expectations organizations versus donor expectations” took place on 5 December 2022 in North Macedonia under the project “New solutions to old problems – exchange of new types of approaches in the field of Roma integration” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.
The main goal of the event is the bottom up approach, how the priorities of the community are incorporated into the state programmers and foundations/donors, as well as the exchange of information between the interested parties or stakeholders.
In the first panel, the current programs by the institutions in the direction of promotion and inclusion of the Roma in the Republic of North Macedonia were discussed and presented.
The second panel, entitled “The Way Forward” included the folllowing topics:
- The alignment of priorities and funding at local and national level to overcome antigypsyism,
- Roma Employment at Local Level
- Inserting Roma Priorities as Municipal Priorities
- Including Roma Solutions in Mainstream Plans
- mapping of municipal capacities
- consultative access to institutions regarding financing
- coordination between donors
- sharing of activities and projects between non-governmental organizations
- networking and sharing resources
- comprehensive project for spending funds.
The conference brought together non-governmental organizations, representatives from municipalities and mayors, members of Parliament, representatives from the government, national and international donors.
Young Roma in the 21st century, opportunities and challenges
On Saturday 10 December 2022, the international human rights day, the two final events were held within the framework of the small projects “The other schools of politics” and “Invisible power”, supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and the Norwegian Fund for Grants for Regional cooperation as part of the strategic partnership within the framework of “New solutions to old problems”.
These two projects were taken as good practices by the partners in Turkey and the Czech Republic. The event was held in the premises of the office of the President of the country, which is currently being used by the National Youth Council of Macedonia.
The “Other School of Politics” aims to encourage young Roma and pro-Roma interested in social issues to become active citizens in the political and social field and to increase their participation in decision-making mechanisms. Accordingly, the training program includes various political areas, namely; active citizenship, social policy, functioning of local governments, policies towards Roma and development of Roma civil society in North Macedonia and Europe.
In addition, thematic issues such as discrimination and social inclusion, gender, art and activism. The programme, which emphasizes the development of participation and leadership skills, additionally includes practical modules such as political communication, alternative models of activism and public speaking.
In a panel discussion, the young mentors who were part of the project discussed issues related to what was the biggest challenge within the project that they were working on in their municipality where they come from, what were the challenges they faced during the work and whether there were enough opportunities for young people in the country and what are their contributions as young Roma and non-Roma in the 21st century, what are they proud of.
The general goal of the “Invisible Power” project is to support and educate Roma girls and women in order to gain enough self-confidence, and to raise awareness of “Invisible Power”, to set their priorities and to fight for their position in Roma society. families and Macedonian society. The photographs that were previously taken were exhibited in the premises of the NYCM, together with their stories, qualities and values that make up their invisible strength, made in the form of brochures.
The attendees had the opportunity to hear their stories, and the event itself was very emotional for the women, who said that this was very meaningful for them, because even though they did not achieve their dream, this was an opportunity for them at least for one day, even if in a picture to feel like what they dreamed of.
The event was organized within the project “New solutions to old problems – exchange of new types of approaches in the field of Roma integration” financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.