IO4 involved the design and implementation of pilot programmes aiming at the integration of Roma women at local level, primarily through education and training, but also by inspiring them and improving their self-confidence. A total of 108 Roma women participated in the trainings, according to the following distribution: 50 in North Macedonia, 25 in Greece, 25 in Romania and 8 in Spain. Organizational problems prevented a higher participation in Spain, despite a higher number of participants having signed up initially.

The trainings were designed and conducted by the formal and non-formal educators that completed the pilot capacity building programme in the countries of implementation, with the support of their trainers. This created a domino effect, as the newly trained trainers had the opportunity to apply what they have learned within the pilot delivery of the capacity-building program implemented in IO3, by training and empowering Roma women.
All programmes were based on the training content developed within IO2 of the project, adapted to the local context and taking into consideration the needs of women from each local community and capitalising on their specific competitive advantages. The implementation of those local pilot programmes has been supported by the online capacity building tool, including the section on Romani language.

The main innovative element of this IO is the fact that the local characteristics of the Roma communities where training were held were in the center of the planning, designing and implementing the programs. In this way, the needs and challenges of Roma women from each community were taken into consideration, as well as the avenues for promoting their inclusion.
The newly trained formal and non-formal educators were also key actors in this process and had the opportunity to learn-by-doing, by designing and delivering the training, in close collaboration with its beneficiaries, Roma women and with support from the partner organizations.

The four resulting local pilot programmes implemented in this IO have a common theoretical basis and one common goal, of promoting the inclusion of Roma women. Nevertheless, the selection of the training content and the teaching methods vary from one country to the other, therefore resulting in four different trainings, inspiring women to pursue different objectives. For example, in one country participants started attemnding sewing course or took the decision to finish high school, while in others they signed up for divers’ school.

The partner organization from Spain (Magenta) also organized an additional training (attended by 8 people), with the aim of promoting the inclusion of Roma women, by presenting participants with support for their social participation and promoting female empowerment, in addition to information, training and culture. The contents of this training included 1. An equality module, which defines these concepts and 2. Self-esteem/empowerment module, which focusses on promoting high motivation, positive attitude and self-knowledge, knowing one’s individual and group strengths and weaknesses and resisting pressure from others. This training is designed to be developed in 4 sessions of 2.5 hours each (including 3 hours of preparation prior to the training, for participants).

The impact of this IO has been the empowering 108 women who participated in the trainings in the four countries and to equip them with the information and skills comprised in the training material developed within the project. Additionally, the trainings organized in this IO have had a positive impact upon the local communities, by fostering social cohesion and combating discrimination.
The methodology of this IO is easily transferable and be adapted and replicated to fit the profile of any marginalized local community. The developed methodology is also very flexible and the online capacity building tool can always be used as support material for future trainings. It includes content in multiple languages (English, Romanian, Spanish, Greek, North Macedonian) and selected information in Romani language.

An evaluation was performed after the implementation of the trainings, and it confirmed the appropriateness of the capacity building programme, therefore the content did not require adjustments. However, it included relevant recommendation for future trainings, such as the need to use more practical activities and fewer presentations when training Roma women. Also, some participants recommended that this type of training be shared with non-Roma women.

The results and conclusions from the local pilot programmes in all 4 implementing countries have been presented in the multiplier events organized within the project.