Projects / A STEP FORWARD - EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE AND WOMEN FROM LOCAL ROMA COMMUNITIES

The project is a two-year initiative and the implementation of the project will start in February 2013. The project will be implemented in Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Hungary. In Bulgaria the project will be implemented by Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance Amalipe (leading organization), the partner organizations are SASTIPEN (Romania), Romani Women Association Drom Kotar (Spain), and Colorful Pearls Association (Pecs)- Hungary.

The project builds upon the know-how, established within another project implemented by Amalipe Center- “Strengthening participatory field work in Roma community” supported by DAPHNE and implemented in 2011-2012. Within this project 8 Community Development Centers (CDC) were established (6 in Bulgaria, 1 in Romania and 1 in Greece), as an innovative model for providing services based in the community. The main approach is based on the field work in Roma communities and done by Roma community moderators in cooperation with other institutions. This model proved high efficiency, but it needs to be upgraded with a new stage in two directions: extending the work to the villages, surrounding municipal centers and mobilizing volunteer capacity (capturing the unused human potential in the Roma community) as a tool for sustainable empowerment of the community. Special attention will be paid to the most vulnerable groups in Roma community (women and young people), turning their vulnerability into strength. Within the present project we will complement the work of CDCs in 6 municipalities in Bulgaria (the same ones included in the previous Daphne project) and apply the new model in three different communities in three different countries: 1 in Romania, 1 in Hungary and 1 in Spain, with establishing Women and Youth Development Groups, that operate not only in the municipal center but also in the surrounding areas.

Overall goal is to empower Roma youth and women to protect themselves from violence via fostering raised sensitivity about violence and developing comprehensive mechanisms for supporting them within the community, creating protective environment and fostering development and modernization of Roma communities at grass-root level. The goal will be achieved through 4 objectives:

 

1.  Strengthening structures for local community mobilization to support and protect victims of violence in the pilot municipalities: as a further step of the existing innovative service Community Development Center (CDC) and the position Community Moderator we will establish Women&Youth Development Groups (WYDG) as a tool to capture and direct the huge volunteer potential in the community and turn it into mechanisms for support of victims of violence and creating protective environment for the most vulnerable groups within Roma community.

 

2.  Examining the specific needs of local communities and developing activities for empowering Roma youth and women to protect against violence: Preparing the profile of each community with its needs and most vulnerable to violence groups will contribute for developing activities and effective mechanisms for community support of victims of violence and establishing protective environment within the community.

3.  Building local capacity for inter-institutional cooperation for the protection from and prevention of violence:  this will increase the capacity of key institutions, involved in prevention and protection, to work in dialogue, in an environment of inter-institutional cooperation and cooperation with the local Roma communities. To reach this goal training to employees of these institutions will be provided in addition to implementing joint programs in the Roma community together with Roma community moderators

 

4. Ensuring extension and sustainability of the established model

 

Project target groups are:

• Children, youth and women at risk from Roma communities

• Roma families from marginalized and traditional Roma groups:

• Social workers, teachers and other field workers

• Moderators in the Roma community

• Local Roma leaders and activists of NGOs from Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Hungary;

• National authorities and officials from key institutions for prevention of violence and protection in Bulgaria, Romania, Spain and Hungary


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