Joint Initiative to Empower Roma Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkey 2018

Project “Joint Initiative to Empower Roma Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkey” entered third year of implementation, with the overall aim to establish a constructive and systematic dialogue between local and national authorities and Roma CSOs in order to improve policies for Roma integration, social inclusion, non-discrimination, interethnic dialogue, socio-economic development and citizens’ rights.

This project aims at several specific objectives:

  • to strengthen the professional capacity, legitimacy and accountability of (pro) Roma CSOs and to enhance their long-term strategic organizational planning
  • to raise awareness of model approaches for Roma inclusion (pathways out of social exclusion) and achieve structural changes in local public policies by creating strategic partnerships with other civil society, local institutions, municipalities and other stakeholders
  • to contribute to more effective policies and keep governments accountable in policy development, decision-making and implementation.
  • to foster regular networking of (pro) Roma CSOs at regional and EU level and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills and connections, and increasing and widening their impact in campaigning and advocacy.

Main activities of this project are:

  • organization of national meetings of Coalition “United support for Roma inclusion in Montenegro” which was establishes in 2016 and which consists of 16 Roma and  pro-Roma NGOs
  • sub-granting scheme for Roma and pro-Roma NGOs in Montenegro ; field visits to Roma NGOs and Roma communities in Montenegro;
  • Continuous monitoring of the implementation of the Strategy for social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians, based upon which the shadow report is created every two years. These activities are planned on a yearly basis and they are example of good cooperation between Roma and pro-Roma NGOs.

Main project activities for this year:

  • Mayor of Tivat, Ms Snezana Matijevic was awarded the Most Roma-Friendly Mayor, as a result of the project campaign for the election of mayor who contributed the most to the improvement of situation of Roma and Egyptian minority in his/her municipality;
  • Prepared and presented the report made by the Coalition “Social integration of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro” in the occasion of International Roma Day;
  • Developed joint recommendations of the Coalition for better inclusion of Roma and Egyptians at the High-level Roma seminar organized by the Government of Montenegro, EU Delegation in Montenegro and the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood policy and Enlargement Negotiations ;
  • Sub-grants in amount of 6000 EUR awarded for 2 projects in BijeloPolje and Podgorica, which aim to support employment of young Roma and to provide assistance in the process of legalization of informal objects, respectively.

Project activities of NGO “Klub kulture” from Bijelo Polje entail employment of one Roma assistant in education for a 5-month period, as well as cooperation with Roma community, employers and local authorities with the aim of establishing dialogue between employers and unemployed Roma. NGO Phiren Amenca from Podgorica will support Roma community by providing assistance for 70 families in the process of legalization of informal objects.

This project is supported by the European Commission through the IPA Civil Society Facility and Media Programme 2014 - 2015, and implemented by Roma Active Albania (lead applicant), ERGO Network (Belgium), OTAHARIN (Bosnia and Herzegovina), RROMA (Macedonia), Young Roma (Montenegro), Organization of Roma students (Serbia) and Zero Tolerance (Turkey).

The planned budget for 2018 is 23, 362.64 EUR, among which 7 500 EUR needs to be allocated to other NGOs as a part of the sub-granting scheme.

 

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