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International Roma Day – Newsletter 5

For several decades now, International Roma Day has been celebrated annually on April 8, both to draw attention to the challenges that Roma communities are facing and to celebrate the Roma identity and culture.


The Roma population is the largest ethnic minority in Europe, with approx. 10 to 12 million people, of which almost 6 million live in the European Union, most of them in countries such as Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

Unfortunately, the Roma are also the most marginalized and vulnerable community in Europe, 80% of them living in poverty, without access to education, social and health services, jobs and decent housing. Despite the measures taken by the European Union and the inclusion strategies implemented at the national level, Roma people continue to be victims of discrimination and stereotypes.

Through the project Promoting the integration of Roma women (PROMA) we actively contribute to the empowerment of Roma women, through education.
The second important step is to facilitate access to the labor market, especially for Roma women, who face multiple forms of discrimination. The low level of formal education, racist experiences and conservative gender roles in their families are among the key factors limiting their access to the labor market, according to a recent report on the experience of Roma women in Finland, Italy and Romania, which can be accessed HERE.


Based on these conclusions, we are very happy to invite you to attend the roundtable “Promoting the inclusion of people with an intersectional minority profile into the labor market”, which will take place online, on April 12, starting from 11.00 AM (Bucharest tine). The debate will bring together representatives of NGOs / NGO networks active in the field of anti-discrimination and social economy from several European countries, as well as other entities at EU level. In order to participate, please register HERE.


Happy International Romani Day!


This newsletter has been elaborated within the project PROMA – Promoting the integration of Roma women, funded by Erasmus+, Agreement number 2020-1-RO01-KA204-080214. The content of the newsletter represents the views of the
authors only and is their sole responsibility. The newsletter is sent quarterly to the organizations in the databases of the partners in this project.This newsletter was drafted and disseminated in accordance with the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation- European Regulation 2016/679 on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. In case you do not want to receive this newsletter, please write to us at: office@clnr.ro
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and partner organizations. Sharing is caring!

Partners’ meeting

#PROMA#onlinemeeting

On the 8th of March 2022 we held an online partners’ meeting. Partners discussed the finalization of the learning modules that are going to be included in the #online#platform with the goal to upskill #professionals and #educators on methods and techniques to foster the social integration of #Roma#women!

Follow PROMA project online for more updates:
LinkedIn: PROMA
Website: http://promaproject.eu/
Facebook: https://lnkd.in/db4yGGjz
Twitter: https://lnkd.in/dC2PCDQY

#ROMA#ROMAwomen#education#adulteducation#inclusion#integration#socialintegration#educators#localcommunities#ErasmusPlus#Eufundedprojects

Happy Women’s Day – Newsletter 4

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women who, through their outstanding achievements, have contributed to a better world and to the development of a society in which women’s rights matter. Also, on this day, it is more important than ever to remember that gender equality remains an important goal for which we must militate for and that women’s rights are essential in a democratic society.

One of these rights is the right to education, which also means an extra chance at a better life. In the 21st century, there is still discrimination in access to quality education, and Roma girls and women are one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe.

Through the project Promoting the Integration of Roma Women (PROMA) we actively contribute to the empowerment of Roma women, through education. Thus, following an analysis of the needs of Roma women in formal and non-formal education, we have developed an online platform, an interactive tool which is useful for both Roma women and trainers working with them.

What is this platform and what is its purpose?

This platform provides a virtual learning environment, providing a collection of materials, modules, textbooks and assessment tools on:

  • Romani history, culture and identity and perceptions of it;
  • Social exclusion;
  • Empowerment of Roma women;
  • Training techniques adapted for Roma women;
  • Good practices and exercises to improve the learning experience;
  • Methods of personal and professional development for Roma women.

A special section is reserved for Career Management Skills, dedicated to Roma women who want to improve their professional skills through four stages:

  • self-knowledge;
  • identifying market needs and employment skills;
  • exploring the professional career;
  • developing the digital skills needed to be considered an eligible candidate.

The section also provides counceling on building a career management plan adapted for Roma women.

This platform is a tool that allows trainers to better understand the peculiarities of Romani culture, to get involved in supporting the social inclusion of Roma women, to improve their skills for developing and delivering a better learning experience, leading to a decreasing in school dropout among Roma girls. and women.

The platform can be accessed HERE.

We send our best wishes to all the women in the world and we urge them to keep fighting for the rights of all women to be respected so that everyone of them can reach their true potential.

Happy Women’s Day!

This newsletter has been elaborated within the project PROMA – Promoting the integration of Roma women, funded by Erasmus+, Agreement number 2020-1-RO01-KA204-080214. The content of the newsletter represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. The newsletter is sent quarterly to the organizations in the databases of the partners in this project.This newsletter was drafted and disseminated in accordance with the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation- European Regulation 2016/679 on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. In case you do not want to receive this newsletter, please write to us at: office@clnr.ro

Good practices from Romania

Policy Center for Roma and Minorities Foundation

Today we start to present models of good practice in Romania, in terms of Roma education. Alternative Education Club (AEC) – implemented by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities Foundation. (Romania)The main purpose of Alternative Education Club is to empower children to break the cycle of marginalization, poverty and hopelessness in which they find themselves through sports and alternative education.

Main Services provided:

Six days a week, even during the summer holiday, the children have access to a multitude of activities:

• Remedial education : the goal of this activity is to support the children to reach the educational level suitable for their age.

• Non-formal education (sports, artistic and cultural activities)

• Artistic and cultural activities : drama, music, painting, financial education, health education, photography, quilling, storytelling, educational games.

• Mentoring: this activity aims to consolidate the relationship between the children and the staff of the AEC by counseling them in order to define the personal development objectives.

• Community organizing: each week there are meetings with the mothers who participate in the AEC activities in order to identify issues within the community and to find the most suitable solutions to engage and involve the members in the process of change.

The club is set in one of the neighborhoods well known for drug usage and trafficking, prostitution, HIV/AIDS and domestic violence. Extreme poverty, illiteracy, detention and its consequences are characteristics that the kids we work with, their parents and society in general, have come to consider normal for this community. Children from this area rarely graduate high school or university.

No one – not even their parents – considers they are able to succeed in the academic field.

The program is highly successful as it is fully immersed in the neighbourhood, it engages children in various ways (remedial to fun activities to personal development) and it creates a partnership with the parents. This program can be implemented at the local level. It involves strong relationship with the community as well as with institutional partners (schools, authorities in the area). It needs a strong volunteering group as well as donors willing to commit themselves on a long term with the risk that results will come after a (long while).

More info about Alternative Education Club (AEC) and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities Foundation you can find here.

Newsletter 3

Our current newsletter is about those who do well. About those involved in changing the lives of the less fortunate.

One of the goals of The ‘PROMA – Promoting the integration of Roma women’ project is to identify the good practices related with the integration of Roma women through education.

Here are some good practices from Romania, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia.

Good practices – Romania

AEC (Alternative Education Club) by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities Foundation:

AEC is located in one of the poorest and roughest neighbourhoods in Bucharest, Ferentari. Volunteers work with Roma children from the neighbourhood on a constant basis: they tutor them and help them with their homework, they listen to their problems and to their families’ struggles, and they engage their parents and all the community to various events and non- formal activities: football, dancing, theatre.

Suroritate by E-Romnja

The program is meant to support Roma girls to graduate school by offering mentorship and financial support. The program is effective, as it addresses some of the challenges faced by Roma girls (need to receive encouragement, to increase self- esteem). It offers positive role models (as the program includes talks given by Roma women successful in their fields)

Good practices – Spain

Mujeres gitanas y nuevas tecnologías (Roma women and ICT) by Fundación Vodafone and Fundación Secretariado Gitano

Bringing ICTs closer to Roma women and implementing workshops focused on job search, e-health, educational resources online and empowerment (through gender equity). Roma women between 16 and 40 years old have had the opportunity to improve their ICT skills, as well as to learnt how to look for a job online and how to apply for it.

Experiencias Profesionales para el Empleo (EPES) Program by Roma Women Association FAKALI and financed by Andalusian Employment Service of the Regional Ministry of Employment, Training and Self-Employment of the Andalusian Regional Government

This program allows people looking for employment to undertake paid internships in local companies, thus improving their skills and employability. 60 people (which represents 40% of the total program) have been hired. This is especially relevant if we take into account this took place during the 2020 Pandemic.

Good practices – Greece

Women back to school (2006) by Housekeeping School of Xanthi (Oikokyrikí Scholí of Xanthi):

As part of the project,Roma teenagers received: basic literary and numbery skills, vocational training on hairdressing, tailoring, cooking.. Some women managed to generate income based on their new skills.

Empowering Romani parents to support upbringing and education of their children by ‘Step by Step’ NGO:

Brief description of the practice: The project carried out training and workshops for teachers and parents, involving mainly women (190 women out of 300 participants). The participation of Romani women/mothers in workshops for empowerment in parenting has not significantly changed their level of education but has contributed to increase their aspirations regarding the education of their children (girls in particular) that is where the change starts.

Good practices – North Macedonia

Raising awareness about the position of Roma women and available remedies by Drom NGO, Kumanovo

The project focused on applying anti-discrimination legislation to the compound marginalization of Roma women. The project began with field research about Roma girls and women in Kumanovo’s three Roma settlements, gathering a total of 400 responses. Among the key findings of the research was the fact that Roma women in Kumanovo are worse off than their male counterparts in terms of both education and employment.

Situational analysis of the state of Roma women on the labor market and utilization of active employment measures and services by HERA – Association for Health Education and Research

Roma women advocating for equal employment  opportunities  by providing insight into the existing national and local employment policies, programs and measures and their levels of utilization by Roma women in Skopje, as well as a view of the existing institutional support for their work integration.

Many thanks to all Roma organizations and Roma women from Romania, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia who were kind enough to take the time to answer the questions in our research.

Education for Roma women: some progress, but still a long road ahead! – Second Newsletter

Over the past 3 months we conducted research in all the 4 implementing countries. We were interested in finding the real needs of Roma women when it comes to education and to identify the best practices for promoting their education.  

Here are the main conclusions of our research:  

Romania – Conclusions and recommendations

Overall, the educational system is in a very bad shape in Romania – however, Roma children and, in particular, Roma girls are especially affected. Girls are trapped in traditional roles and the system does not provide them with the necessary (financial and personal development) support to break away from traditional roles. Teachers are usually lacking qualifications for addressing the systemic problems and they are not equipped in any way in creating an inclusive, safe space in schools. 

There is a high need for remedial and literacy classes but also for financial and healthy food classes. Importance should be given to personal development (self-esteem, confidence, optimistic projections of the future) and there should be stressed the importance of role models for these young girls. Young mothers are also an important group which sneed assistance with kindergarten for their children, remedial classes for themselves, and support for accessing the job market. 

Spain – Conclusions and recommendations

When asked, educators and activists replied in an overwhelming percentage that it is very important that Roma women have access to information (e.g. 66,67% of the representative of NGOs consider it as extremely important) and that it is  highly important to address the educational needs of Roma women.  

Ten Roma women of different ages were interviewed in relation to their educational needs. The women interviewed highlighted the importance of trainings on motivation and self-esteem. The second most requested topic was the history of Roma women, especially in relation to positive role models, as well as courses on the prevention of gender violence. Finally, another aspect to take into account is the labour market, so many of them want training courses to improve their employability. 

Greece – Conclusions and recommendations

The Greek Roma community faces persistent inequalities in all aspects of life, including access to education of Roma children, the right to housing and to other basic social goods, let alone the excessive exercise of police violence. 

According to the results of the EU-MIDIS Survey , the Greek Roma are found in the most disadvantaged position in terms of education. 35% of the Roma interviewed in Greece were found to be illiterate. Most of them are women. According to the findings of a European research, unemployment among Greek Roma population stands at 61.7%, while most women (64.1%) are housewives. Roma women are often isolated, with minimal contact with the outside world, which further complicates the support of their needs. 

North Macedonia – Conclusions and recommendations

The Roma population, and in particular Roma women, face many barriers to accessing many services, from housing and health care, education and employment, to participation at the local and national levels. Based on this, we can conclude that access to information is very limited for Roma women.  

Roma families struggle for survival and for meeting basic living needs, and as such they cannot prioritize education. Therefore, the poverty is considered as one of the main obstacles to the overall integration of Roma, especially of Roma women. However, noticeable progress can be observed in the field of education for Roma, within the Decade of Roma Inclusion. There are visible improvements in the overall enrollement of Roma children and youth in the education system, as well as in parents’ attitudes as to register their children in the education system 

As for the political and civic participation, only one Roma woman is member of the parliament. The participation of Roma women in political parties is rather low.  However, It is interesting to mention that there are several well-known Roma civil society organizations which have Roma women as presidents or as executive directors. 

Many thanks to all Roma organizations and Roma women from Romania, Spain, Greece and Northern Macedonia who were kind enough to take the time to answer the questions in our research. 

This newsletter has been elaborated within the project PROMA – Promoting the integration of Roma women, funded by Erasmus+, Agreement number 2020-1-RO01-KA204-080214. The content of the newsletter represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. The newsletter is sent quarterly to the organizations in the databases of the partners in this project. This newsletter was drafted and disseminated in accordance with the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation- European Regulation 2016/679 on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. 

In case you do not want to receive this newsletter, please write to us at: office@clnr.ro 

European Framework

In June 2011, the European Council, the EU’s highest governing body, gave the green light to the European Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies, a Commission initiative that the 27 EU Member States have translated into their respective National Strategies to be developed between 2012 and 2020.

This initiative established for the first time a common framework for the development of measures and policies at national level based on approaches, objectives and areas of work shared by all the Member States of the European Union. It also had the political and financial support of the EU and the 27 Member States and wqass part of a larger European strategy, EU 2020, with explicit objectives to reduce the poverty and exclusion that have afflicted the Roma population for centuries.

Basic Principles to achieve Roma People Social Inclusion

  • Constructive, pragmatic and non-discriminatory policies.
  • Specifical, but not exclusive focus on the Roma population.
  • Intercultural approach.
  • Aiming at a full inclusion of the Roma population into society.
  • Awareness-raising on gender discrimination.
  • Involvement of regional and local administrations.
  • Involvement of civil society.
  • Active participation of Roma people.

Presented at the European Platform for Roma Inclusion (Prague, 2009)

This is very relevant for the PROMA Project, as well as the Education Dimension of the Framework. Despite major advances in schooling, there are still serious problems, such as the very high dropout rates in compulsory secondary education. And although there is an increase in the number of Roma students in post-compulsory secondary and university, the percentages are still much lower than the average. We are still far from achieving a situation of educational normalisation for Roma pupils, specially women.

We keep working!

We are here again to share with you how the project implementation is going.

The Proma project’s partners are working on the first intellectual output, Identifying pathways to integration. It involves the needs’ analysis report, which analyses the challenges that Roma women face in all participating countries. It will be a solid base for the design of the capacity building programme and the local pilot interventions for Roma women. It is important to know the educational needs of Roma women and the skills educators should have in order to be able to support them.

The process has been divided into 3 steps: The first one is a research at a national level to identify the specific country contexts and actual needs of Roma women, this entails a comprehensive research in all 4 implementing countries, focusing on the identification of the specific needs of Roma women and the exact problems they face which prevent their inclusion.

The second one is an identification of best practices at the EU level related to the integration of Roma women at a local level. In this case, the research will be made focusing on good practices related to the integration of Roma women at the local level. The last step is carrying out a needs’ assessment to identify the specific needs of Roma women and formal & non-formal educators of Roma people. This will be accomplished by taking the findings of the first and second task mentioned above.

That’s all for this post! You will hear from us as soon!

International Roma Day

50 years of celebrating International Roma Day and many Roma girls and women still do not have access to education

It has been 50 years since the historical meeting in 1971, in Chesfield, near London, where a group of Roma activists put in motion the celebration of Roma persons, their accomplishments and achievements. However, the International Roma Day is also a day to remember the plight of the Roma people and to call for action in order to improve their lives and respect their rights.

Education is the strongest force in providing equality and fairness in all aspects of life. A poor education is a serious obstacle to a (good) job, housing, access to health services and, in general, a good quality of life, but also to personal fulfilment and active citizenship. This is why several international and European documents, such as the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategy links social inclusion success to education. Various FRA Studies (2012, 2014) show worrisome figures in relation to Roma education, such as high numbers of illiteracy among Roma aged 25-44 in Greece (47%), Romania (34%) and Portugal (31%).
Roma women and girls are more likely to leave school at an early age, or not to attend school at all, with serious consequences on their employment, active citizenship, their rights and their quality of life. The 2005 European Parliament resolution on the situation of Roma women in the European Union addressed the situation and urged Member States to take a range of measures “to ensure that women and girls have access on equal terms to quality education for all”.

International Roma Day 2021 – A new chance to increase Roma women’s right to education!

PROMA’s First Newsletter!

Good news!
We are working on a new project we are enthusiastic about and want to share the news with you:
Promoting the integration of Roma women (PROMA)

➡️ About the project:
PROMA focuses on adult education with the aim to foster the integration of Roma women in their local communities through education. The project is going to be implemented in 4 countries with dense Roma populations (Romania, Spain, Greece, North Macedonia) and involves 2 groups of participants: Roma women and formal & non-formal educators of Roma women.
During its 24-month lifetime, PROMA will creatively involve and positively influence:
At least 40 formal & non-formal educators of Roma women
At least 100 Roma women from the partner countries
At least 500 national and EU stakeholders
➡️ Who is behind this project
The Center for Not-for-Profit Law (CLNR) a Romanian non-profit organization, which specializes in providing research, advocacy and other related services to civil society organizations and citizens. https://www.clnr.ro/
SYMPLEXIS is a Greek non-for-profit organization that strives to ensure equal opportunities for all through actions and measures that build skills, empower and promote active engagement and participation focusing on the most vulnerable categories of the population and particularly those with fewer opportunities. www.symplexis.eu
Association of citizens for support of marginalized group Roma Resource Center (RRC) –Skopje an organization specialized in working for improving the life and situation of marginalized groups of citizens in Macedonia through piloting of inclusive models and providing long-term sustainability of the positive practices of inclusiveness. www.rrc.org.mk
Magenta Consultoría Projects SLU is an educational and European projects’ consultancy with 18 years of expertise in the promotion of gender equality and social development at the regional, national and European level. Its purpose is to promote the re-build of an equal and fair society, in which everybody has the same opportunities and vulnerable groups are integrated. http://www.magentaconsultoria.com
BK-con is a niche service provider, with vast -over 20 years- experience in Project Management and service delivery. www.bk-con.eu
➡️ Education for Roma women and girls
Education is the strongest force in providing equality and fairness in all aspects of life. A poor education is a serious
obstacle to a (good) job, housing, access to health services and, in general, a good quality of life, but also to
personal fulfilment and active citizenship. This is why several international and European documents, such as the
EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategy, links social inclusion success to education.
Various FRA Studies (2012, 2016) show worrisome figures in relation to Roma education, such as high numbers of
illiteracy among Roma aged 25-44 in Greece (47%), Romania (34%) and Portugal (31%).
Roma women and girls are more likely to leave school at an early age, or not to attend school at all, with serious
consequences on their employment, active citizenship, their rights and their quality of life. The 2005 European Parliament resolution on the situation of Roma women in the European Union addressed the situation and urged Member States to take a range of measures “to ensure that women and girls have access on equal terms to quality
education for all”

➡️ A nice podcast about education and promoting Girls Education Globally: http://bit.ly/385o6Dd
This newsletter has been elaborated within the project PROMA – Promoting the integration of Roma women, funded by Erasmus+, Agreement number 2020-1-RO01-KA204-080214. The content of the newsletter represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. The newsletter is sent quarterly to the organizations in the databases of the partners in this project. This newsletter was drafted and disseminated in accordance with the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation- European Regulation 2016/679 on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

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