Thank you....?! Partnering for Roma inclusion
Life for Roma may change whenever governments adopt policies and programmes to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities. But does it?
Roma themselves play a key role in ensuring that commitments translate into results – if they can express their common voice and share the responsibility to find solutions. The international campaign “Thank you ….?! Partnering for Roma inclusion” that as part of the REACT campaign was implemented from October 2010 to November 2011, boosted the visibility of Roma as citizens of their societies – with equal rights and duties – and drew attention to the role of grassroots organizations as watchdogs and partners for policy implementation.
The campaign explored combinations of policy monitoring – at community level - targeted advocacy and the mobilization of citizens to make cities and towns a better place for all.
The “Thank You … ?!”-campaign was an initiative of ERGO Network and its member organizations in Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia and Turkey. They took a close look at the state of affairs in their own countries and act together to improve the results of Roma Inclusion policies.
A wide variety of policies to combat the socio-economic exclusion of Roma are put in place. But all too often implementation stagnates, not least at local level. Due to a lack of understanding, money or political will, measures remain stuck on the drawing board.
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RAA (Albania): Thank you, Mr Mayor!
What if mayors take such different approaches to address Roma issues in their cities – one active, one reluctant? Roma Active Albania (RAA) campaigned for “Local Partnership for Roma Inclusion” and encouraged municipalities to look at each other’s approaches and results.
Integro (Bulgaria): Thank you, Mayor!
Many people in Bulgaria take for granted that Roma integration is bound to fail. Even Roma themselves have come to believe this. Integro challenged this idea with the message “Roma – Fellow-citizens with untapped potential”.
Tarna Rom (Moldova): Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister!
Although many more Roma than officially recognised live in Moldova, the issue of Roma exclusion is largely absent from the political agenda. The Moldovan Coalition of Roma Voices, in which Tarna Rom plays a central role, has produced a short film to portray the contrast between official reports and the reality of Roma life in Moldova.
Democratic Union of Roma (Serbia): Thank you ... Decade Parade
With the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005 – 2015 halfway, DUR compared the Decade Action Plan, adopted by the government, and the Decade Watch reports with the actual situation of families in seven municipalities across Serbia. Do they know of the Decade and has it made any difference to their lives?
EDROM (Turkey): Thank you, Mr. Governor!
In December 2009 the Turkish government took the initiative to improve the situation of Roma. EDROM and its partners in the Thrakya Network closely monitored the government’s plans and promises in their communities.