`Typical Roma?` was an international campaign of ERGO Network which ran from Autumn 2009 to April 2010, when it ended during the Second European Roma Summit in Córdoba. In the campaign young Roma addressed and challenged the stigmatization and prejudiced stereotyping as root causes for social exclusion of Roma. NGOs from Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova participated in the campaign, which intended to promote a positive image of Roma and to strengthen the Roma voice in order to raise awareness for active citizenship of ALL in ONE society.
"Roma are not accepted as equal citizens, and are refused one of the universal human rights, namely the right to a dignified and worthy life", said Mustafa Jakupov from R.R.O.M.A. from the Macedonian city of Kratovo during a press conference in January 2010. "Young Roma want to stand up and have their own say."
Most Roma-friendly Mayor
One of the most visible actions of `Typical Roma?` was the election of the `Most Roma-friendly Mayor` in the five participating countries.
The competition was announced in several communities and asked participating Mayors to answer a questionnaire. The winning Mayors were selected by independent committees. ERGO Network brought the five winning Mayors from the participating countries to the Second European Roma Summit in Córdoba, on April the 8th 2010. There they were awarded and had a meeting with the Mayor of Còrdoba.
The action intended to show how much difference the approach of local administrations can make to the situation of Roma communities and to encourage other municipalities to follow their good example.
"Inclusion Zones" - Black & White book
In the framework of the 'Typical Roma'-campaign, the participating organisations carried out a variety of other awareness-raising activities in their countries, including establishing temporary `Inclusion zones`, where Roma and non-Roma met and discussed about stereotypes.
The participating NGOs also collected stories for a so-called Black & White book, which was presented during the Roma Summit in Córdoba. The book presents stories of successful and failed Roma integration. Roma youngsters took a critical look at their own environment to present a collection of stories about their situation, about policies and projects that target them and about the attitudes and approaches of local authorities. This book shows the mechanisms of exclusion, hidden discrimination and inaction at work at the local level where policies actually need to be put in practice.
View the Black and White Book here:
Or download it here.
Participating organisations in the ´Typical Roma?´ campaign were : Integro from Bulgaria, RAA from Albania, R.O.M.A. from Macedonia, CRCR from Romania & Porojan and Tarna Rom from Moldova.