Roma integration remains one of the most burning issues across Central and Eastern Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey. According to the Fundamental Rights Agency, Roma are the most discriminated and excluded ethnic minority with, 80% of Roma live at risk of poverty. Recent hate speech and human rights violations against Roma for example in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy and Belgium show the severity of racism against Roma. Being at the same time the largest ethnic minority on the continent, this causes a huge social backlash in Europe.
Through the “New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration” project, we aim to share success stories of Roma inclusion projects in the fields of education, employment, participation and combating antigypsyism with funders and state agencies in order to break the vicious circle of cynicism that ‘nothing can be changed’. We will engage in a two-stream capacity-building process for Roma civil society:
- Peer-to-peer professional capacity building of the partners by identifying 1-3 good practices per partner and supporting others in adapting them.
- Project management capacity building through training courses for Roma and pro-Roma NGOs
Through advocacy towards funders and state agencies, we aim to ensure the sustainability of the innovative projects kicked off by the partners.
- To identify good practices from the grassroots level in the areas of employment, education, combating antigypsyism and participation of Roma.
- To engage in peer-to-peer learning and coaching between Roma CSOs in order to adapt project ideas and plan their implementation in another country.
- To build the capacity of Roma grassroots NGOs on different aspects of project management and advocacy
- To advocate for better-targeted funding for Roma inclusion
The implementation period of the project is 34 months, between June 1st, 2020 – March 31st, 2023 and the estimated eligible cost specified when submitting the project were 1,269,415 euros, being funded through the EEA and Norwegian Grants for Regional Cooperation.
The project involves planning and implementation of projects initiated and coordinated by the community, inspired by good practices from other countries and supported by experts from partner organizations where the idea was taken from. It also envisages the development of civil society training programs in the 11 partner countries based on the real needs of grassroots organizations and information and development of a dialogue between Roma civil society and donors that provide funding for these communities.
The project in the priority sector ‘Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction’ contributes to enhanced inclusion and empowerment of Roma. It will achieve this by delivering the following outputs:
- Promoting community-led projects:
- 11 projects based on community needs that have been identified as good practices in other organisations are adapted and implemented in local Roma communities
- 20-30 good practice examples of local Roma inclusion and empowerment projects are identified and disseminated with ideas for adaptation and upscaling
- Roma community organising and Roma civil society promoted through film and story-telling
- Increased capacity of Roma civil society organisations:
- Staff of Roma CSOs trained in project and organisational management
- Toolkit on project and organisational management for CSOs published
- Transparency and accountability criteria implemented by CSOs
- Favourable funding environment:
- Study on importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion produced and disseminated
- Analysis of funding programmes on Roma inclusion conducted and disseminated
- Donors more aware of the importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion
The outputs will be achieved through:
- Community-led project planning inspired by good practices and supported through coaches from other Roma CSOs
- A tailored capacity-building programme including peer learning and creative tools
- Evidence-based advocacy towards national governments, international institutions and private donors
The work packages are the following:
- WP1 Management – coordinated by Nevo Parudimos
- WP2 Communication – coordinated by Nevo Parudimos
- WP3 Capacity-Building – coordinated by RROMA
- WP4 Peer2Peer Partnerships – coordinated by Autonomia Foundation
- WP5 Advocacy – coordinated by ERGO network
The target groups are represented by 11 local Roma communities (one from each country), 11 Roma non-governmental organizations or target Roma communities, institutions and private sponsors, other NGOs from the 11 partner countries.
The partners of the project are:
- Lead parter – Nevo Parudimos Association – Romania
- Partner – ERGO Network – Belgium
- Partner – Autonomia Foundation – Hungary
- Partner – RROMA – Macedonia
- Partner – Roma Active Albania – Albania
- Partner – Integro – Bulgaria
- Partner – RARC – Roma advocacy and research center – Slovakia
- Partner – Slovo 21 – Czech Republic
- Partner – Roma Community Center – Lithuania
- Partner – Zero Discrimination Association – Turkey
- Partner – Women’s Association “Romkinja” – Bosnia & Herzegovina