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Roma women from Serbia and North Macedonia founded the first association of Roma women registered in Germany

Roma women of Serbian and Macedonian nationality founded the first association of Roma women registered in Germany.

The basic postulates of the Association of Romani women are strengthening the position of Romani women in the family and society, the fight against violence, forced and early marriages, as well as domestic and sexual violence.

The Serbian Consulate in Dusseldorf, Consul General Pranislava Peric and the Roma Integration Center helped to form and register this association.

Peric said that together with the Roma Integration Center (RICOM) she came up with the idea of organizing Roma women and for the first time in the history of North Rhine-Westphalia to create an association that will deal with topics that are exclusively in the interest of Roma women.

The president of the Roma Women's Association, Songjul Ahmed, told Tanjug that the biggest problem for Roma women is the language barrier.

"The state has programs for integration, but those programs are not available for our women and we have seen that there are no results. "There are women who have been living in Germany for years, but still have problems finding a good job or getting an education," she pointed out.

Ahmed says that the problem is not only state institutions, but also their communities.

The association currently has 13 members, and their headquarters are in Dusseldorf.

The Roma Women's Association was created as a branch of the Roma Integration Center, an organization that in its two years of existence established contacts and cooperation with important institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Link: https://www.rtv.rs/sr_ci/zivot/zenski-kutak/prvo-zensko-udruzenja-roma-u-nemackoj-osnovale-romkinje-iz-srbije-i-makedonije_1476026.html

 

 

 

Why was there a big "noise and dust" after the information that the Soros Foundation will grant 100 million euros to the new European Roma Foundation based in Brussels?

After the published information that the Open Society Foundation of Soros will allocate and allocate to the new European Roma Foundation about 100 million euros, which will then direct them to the implementation of projects intended for the Roma community in several spheres for the sustainable development of the Roma from Europe , comments started through social networks on how these funds could be used. The comments have a positive connotation, but there are also a lot of negative ones.

The positive aspects are that it will contribute to the continuation of the planned implementation plans for the benefit of the Roma community. But in the negative comments, the thesis was represented that those funds will not go in the right direction and properly used. Where does that pessimism come from?

In those comments, the thesis that those funds will be a space for manipulations and realization of certain groups, from which the majority of Roma will not see any great benefit, is most often represented.

Conspiracies and behind-the-scenes games of some of the organizations are most often mentioned, and they also go in the direction that most of the funds intended for the Roma ended up in non-Roma organizations, which in the end had no contact points with the Roma, and they used those funds for completely other uses, where the Roma played only an "episodic" role. So that attitude stems from negative experiences in the past and the use of those funds.

Could such a thing be repeated even now, knowing that now the Roma Foundation will dispose of those funds and know how to "channel" them to the real projects that are in the interest of the Roma community.

And we should also hope that the funds will be allocated equally and for the highest purpose, and not by favoring any group or state.

But time will tell who was right, whether those with negative comments or those whose comments were in a positive direction. The team of the new Roma Foundation in Europe, whose headquarters will be in Brussels and headed by Mr. Željko Jovanović, will not have an easy task at all.

 

Open Society Commits €100 Million to New, Roma-Led Foundation

The Open Society Foundations today announced it is pledging €100 million ($109 million) to the empowerment and development of Europe’s Roma communities—marking a new stage in the organization’s three decades of support for the Roma people.

The funding commitment, running until 2030, will be delivered through a new independent foundation, headquartered in Brussels, that will be the first institution of its scale and scope to be managed by Roma leaders when it launches next year.

In addition to becoming the new channel for Open Society support for Roma causes, the new foundation will also seek to develop additional funding sources to advance its mission.

Announcing the €100 million pledge, Alexander Soros, chair of the Open Society Foundations, said:

“With a new generation of exceptional Roma leaders determining strategy and funding priorities, I am confident the new foundation will be a dynamic force—dedicated to realizing the full potential of the Roma people, and overcoming the deep-rooted barriers they face. We will do everything we can to support the foundation and its leadership in a mission that will benefit not only the Roma, but Europe as whole.”

The Open Society Foundations has been the leading private supporter of Europe’s Roma—the continent’s largest ethnic minority—since the early 1990s, when their cause was first embraced by Open Society’s founder, George Soros.

The new Roma Foundation for Europe will work with Roma groups in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy, and Germany. It will be headed by Zeljko Jovanovic, who has overseen Open Society’s Roma Initiatives Office since 2010.

The foundation will inherit and develop Open Society’s founding partnerships with four leading Roma-led initiatives: the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture; the Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, Roma for Democracy; and the Roma Education Fund. It will also continue Open Society’s work with a range of national Roma movements, including Aresel in Romania, Opre Roma in Serbia, Kethane in Italy, Roma Standing Conference in Bulgaria, and Avaja in North Macedonia, among others.

Jovanovic, who will be executive director of the new foundation, said:

“We will work with all those who can advance our mission—to combine the electoral and economic potential of the biggest minority in Europe with the voice of its most credible advocates, supportive allies, and influential friends. Our goal will be to build a foundation that not only delivers positive change for Roma, but that also contributes to a European future grounded in justice and fairness.”

Open Society’s support for the Roma has included:

  • The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture, launched in 2017, which was the first institute of its kind dedicated to promoting Roma pride and dispelling anti-Roma prejudice through the arts.
  • The Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, which since 2016 has sought to empower Roma communities economically by supporting Roma-owned small businesses.
  • Roma for Democracy, a program aimed at promoting Roma participation in elections and democratic representation.
  • The Roma Education Fund, established in 2005 to provide scholarships and grants promoting high-quality, inclusive education for Roma students in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe, and Turkey.

With an annual budget of over $1 billion (€917 million), the Open Society Foundations are the world’s largest private funder of groups working to advance justice, free expression, and equity. The new approach to support for Roma issues comes against the background of a broader recalibration of the way Open Society works around the world.

Link: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/newsroom/open-society-commits-100-million-to-new-roma-led-foundation

ERRC: New research to show Romani children likely among the thousands Russia has abducted from Ukraine

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) issued a press release on 6 March 2023 announcing the high probability that Romani children who were previously in state care in Ukraine are among the thousands abducted by the Russians, a policy that has been called cruel, inhumane, and genocidal. According to a newly-published report by the Yale School of Public Health's Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL), since 24 February 2022, when Russia launched its full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, more than 6,000 children and youth between the ages of four months and 17 years have been forcibly relocated and detained in camps and other facilities.

 

Link: https://romea.cz/en/world/errc-new-research-to-show-romani-children-likely-among-the-thousands-russia-has-abducted-from-ukraine

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