Czech Roma NGOs met to discuss their plans for coalition

24 March 2016

The member of ERGO Network in the Czech Republic  - Slovo 21 has called civil society organizations to meet to discuss their plans for a collective work in the coalition. The two days meeting gathered about 15 organizations, focused on the how the cooperation of organizations in the coalition will look like and on the development of the concrete advocacy plan for towards different national institutions. Among others the following organizations were present: Romea, IQ Roma Service, Living Together (Vzajemne Souziti),  Jekhetane, Khamoro, Drom, Palaestra, Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust, Romano Jasnica.

There have been many attempts to have a collation of Romani organizations in the past, and therefore, there is a grave reservation of their representatives to commit to working together unless a clear vision and principles and rules are not in place. Based on the past experiences and failures, this meeting gave a foundation for such cooperation and all of the participants agreed to develop further their cooperation and start their work in a form of informal coalition. Also, they all agree they will revise their cooperation and eventually restructure the cooperation and seek its formalization in near future.

During the first day, participants outlined a plan with priorities towards various institutions that will be on the agenda of the coalition for 2016. The biggest concern of all was to have Roma representatives in the Management committees in all operational programs and working groups to fulfill the need to participate in all policy processes from design to implementation and monitoring.

During the second day, meeting´s agenda was shifted to the issue of inclusive education in relation to the changes that will happen based on the new schooling act.  The future coalition coordinated by Slovo 21 agreed to focus on how those changes will be implemented and will start a research that will give a better picture of it towards the end of 2016.

In conclusion, the foundation of the cooperation of Romani organizations in the Czech Republic was lied down once again. Yet, this time, there is a common understanding of the need for such a cooperation and a clear vision. Importantly, there are also essential resources for the coordination of the work secured by Slovo 21.

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