New European Solidarity Corps volunteer in ERGO Network
The ERGO Network secretariat team is getting bigger! This week our new European Solidarity Corps volunteer Izabela Tiberiade from Romania joined us in Brussels. She will stay one year with us to learn more about how we work and support all our work areas.
Here is how Izabela describes herself:
My name is Izabela Tiberiade and I come from a traditional Rromani family in Craiova, southern Romania. Due to my background, I have struggled tremendously to get an education and to overcome a multitude of stereotypes, both from within my community and on behalf of the non-Roma majority.
I am joining the ERGO Network today as an undergraduate in Human Rights at the University of Malmo, Sweden. It is with real excitement and curiosity that I anticipate the encounter between the real world and the knowledge I accumulated from the university courses. Therefore, my apprenticeship at ERGO Network represents the start of a journey in search of an understanding that leads to the actions which my people, and many other excluded groups, need so urgently.
In my free time, I am an avid reader of fiction and nonfiction alike, and I have tried my hand at writing myself. Reading and writing have provided me with a passage to a parallel world where the various troubles that encroached my people disappeared into the imagination. Likewise, I tremendously enjoy learning new languages, which also give me a glimpse of other peoples and other ways of thinking, and this has always fascinated me.
Call for Solidarity Corps volunteer in ERGO Network
ERGO Network is looking for an enthusiastic and active young Roma who would like to join our office team in Brussels for 3 months in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps.
Download the call in pdf format here.
When: October to December 2019
Where: ERGO Network office in Brussels, Belgium
Who: Young Roma between 18 and 30 years old
Deadline for applications: 20 September 2019
During the 3 months in ERGO, you will learn about international advocacy, help us organise international meetings and events and get actively involved in Roma activism and international Roma networks in Brussels.
Your main tasks will be:
- Communication and campaigning: contribute to ERGO’s daily communications work and our campaign on Roma youth employment
- Advocacy and policy: Support ERGO staff in EU advocacy work on poverty reduction, social inclusion and antigypsyism; attend debates, hearings and meetings with other stakeholders to challenge stereotypes and racism, build partnership with Roma and non-Roma organizations from Belgium and other European countries.
- Meetings and seminars: Assist in the organisation of meetings and events (Annual Members Meeting, ERGO Annual Conference)
- Young Roma between 18 and 30 years living in an EU member state or in Macedonia or Turkey
- Good English language skills, both oral and written
- Computer literacy (experience with Microsoft office package and social media)
- High motivation to learn more about Roma activism and advocacy work and to contribute to a small but very active European NGO
- Previous involvement in Roma or (pro) Roma NGOs will be considered an advantage
- Reliable, well organised and with attention to detail
You will work about 38 hours per week. Working hours will be from Monday to Friday between 9:00 – 17:00. However, working hours can be adapted to your needs and the activities you will be involved in.
We aim to support young people who are enthusiastic about our cause and want to gain experiences that can be later transferred to national or local NGOs. We especially welcome applications from people who are motivated to challenge stereotypes, antigypsyism and racism and who show an open attitude for a unique learning and life experience, as well as a volunteer spirit of creativity, initiative, responsibility and independence.
- An allowance of 1049 Euro that includes money for accommodation, meals, local transport, language course and pocket money
- Additional health insurance through the European Solidarity corps
- An exciting and unforgettable experience and learning opportunity, working for an international organisation in an international city!
How to apply:
Please send your motivation letter (1 page) and CV (max 2 pages) by 20 September to email@example.com.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Christine Sudbrock t: +32 2 89 31 045 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to our new volunteer
My name is Shannon MacDonald, I am a Scottish Gypsy/Traveller from Scotland in the UK, and I am the new volunteer for ERGO Network. I am very excited to begin this role as I have always felt very passionate about Antigypsyism and discrimination against people like me and my family. I have experienced racism first hand and would like to take this opportunity at ERGO Network to hear people’s experiences and also share mine.
As a keen photographer I have tried to tackle difficult issues for Travellers through my photography, my work has been exhibited multiple times now and it is encouraging to see my culture represented in places where everyone can see. Hopefully I have managed to change some people’s negative preconceived notions that they have about the Gypsy/Traveller community. In the past I have worked with NGO’s in the UK, such as Article 12 and MECOPP, I am also a founding member of the group Gypsy/Traveller Youth Assembly (GTYA). Through these groups I have helped change small things for my community. It is important to me as an activist for Roma/Gypsy/Traveller Rights to try to make things better for people who share my ethinicity. It is extremely hard to change things when it feels like everything is against you, but it is important to try.
STRENGTHENING ROMA NGOS AS TRANSPARENT AND INDEPENDENT WATCHDOG ORGANISATIONS
ERGO Network’s new transparency and accountability criteria give recommendations on how grassroots civil society organisations should be governed and managed in order to be reliable and accountable. Fulfilling the criteria will bring attention to an organisation’s quality work. The set of criteria focuses on governance, financial management and performance.
ERGO Network together with its member organisations – Roma Advocacy and Research Centre (Slovakia), Roma Active Albania (Albania), Slovo 21 (Czech Republic), Autonomia Foundation (Hungary), OTAHARIN (Bosnia and Herzegovina), RROMA (Macedonia), Mladi Romi (Montenegro) and Zero Discrimination (Turkey) – developed a set of transparency and accountability criteria for grassroots organisations with the aim to strengthen civil society organisations. Using the criteria will give more legitimacy, better fundraising opportunities and more trust from both the grassroots level and institutions and ultimately reinforce the power of civil society organizations. Being transparent and accountable are important prerequisites for the effectiveness of civil society that is taken seriously by its institutional counterparts and other partners.
Furthermore, the members of ERGO Network agreed on joining their efforts and putting their thorough expertise together to empower Roma and pro-Roma civil society in their countries in implementing the transparency criteria. For this aim, ERGO Network has developed a board game that leads the players through different steps necessary to become more transparent and accountable. Anyone can download the game and play it by themselves, or invite an ERGO Network facilitator to support them through the process. Besides the offline game, there is also an online self-audit that you can go through to discover how far you are in applying the criteria in your organisation.
Fulfilling the transparency criteria means not only being able to show that Roma and pro-Roma civil society takes these very seriously, but also having the right to demand the same from other stakeholders.
Find out more about the transparency and accountability criteria and download them in several languages: https://ergonetwork.org/transparency/
Do the online audit and know how well your organisation fulfils the transparency and accountability criteria https://ergonetwork.org/transparency/transparency-audit/
2017 ERGO Network Annual Report
ERGO Network’s annual report for 2017 is now available. Read the 2017 ERGO Annual Report and learn how ERGO Network and its members introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to fight antigypsyism and to empower Roma in 2017. In addition the annual report 2017 presents the initiatives undertaken by ERGO to ensure networking between, and capacity building of member organisations. The report contains relevant information and graphs on the achievements and progress made to strengthen the Roma community. ERGO Network will definitely keep the wheel rolling to support the implementation of more and better measures for Roma.
Read the 2017 ERGO Annual Report