The construction of a children's playground in Vrela Ribnicka is planned through the ROMACTED program

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ROMACTED team members: Samir Jaha, NGO Young Roma executive director, Alessandro Botta, project officer, Serdjan Baftijari, ROMACTED programme facilitator, Ivan Terzic, Secretary of the Secretariat for Social Welfare in the Capital Podgorica have visited the settlement of Vrela Ribnicka, on July 21, 2020, where they talked with Andrija Cadjenovic, executive director of doo Čistoća, as well as Sabit Pajazitaj, president of the NGO RAE Council of the Camp.

The aim of this field visit was to select a potential location for the construction of a children's playground at Vreli Ribnicka in the immediate vicinity of the newly built residential buildings where the Roma community of 1,200 people displaced from Kosovo lives. It is planned that the construction of this playground will be supported through the ROMACTED program.

There are several reasons for building a playground for Roma children, especially for the residents of this part of Konik. With the appearance of the epidemic caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), young people encounter various life changes on a daily basis, which affect them to feel anxious, isolated and disappointed. In this way, the construction of this playground would greatly help them to preserve their mental health and, through play and entertainment, forget about current changes that they may not yet understand and are not clear to them. Also, due to the lack of space in which Roma children and young people can spend their free time, they are forced to play on the street where traffic is very frequent and because of that their safety is endangered. Children have the right to play and leisure time appropriate to their age, as established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Play is an integral and important part of childhood because it contributes to the overall psychomotor development of children and youth. An important part of all this is the activities by which children learn to overcome challenges, all through play.

Programme ROMACTED - Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at the local level is created to build the political will and sustainable policy of local government participation, increase local governance, build capacity and encourage the empowerment of local Roma communities to contribute to the design, implementation and monitoring plans and projects concerning them. The ROMACTED program is funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union, while the NGO Young Roma is a partner organization in implementation. The Programme is implemented in seven countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey, in a total of 64 municipalities.