Testimonies

"...In Romania a young Roma girl was on the point of dropping out of school because she could no longer cope with her schoolmates' bullying. Luckily, ROMED-trained mediator Elena Radu was there for her. Elena managed to get this girl a place on an innovative programme aimed at building self-esteem. And this young girl went on to take part in the Romany Language and Literature Olympiad She overcame others' prejudice and her own fears and entered one of the most prestigious high schools in Bucharest."

Ms. Androulla Vassiliou, Commissionner for Education, Culture, Multilinguism and Youth, EU

"For Roma it is very important that the health mediator is one of them, somebody a bit more educated and who can help and be trusted more than a government representative for instance. I teach them, first and foremost, how to communicate with authorities and how to open the right doors"

Rubina Ferariu (Health Mediator in Romania)

"Our ambition goes beyond mediation. As long as Roma face human conditions far worse than the rest of the Europeans, we cannot be fully satisfied with the results of our work. We cannot be satisfied as long as Roma people live in ghettos, as long as children attend segregated schools and as long as there are groups who de facto cannot vote. We cannot be satisfied as long as the injustice towards Roma people persists.
The programme is only one important element of a complex change. The result needs to be reinforced further with other elements of democratic participation. This means creating opportunities for the involvement of the Roma in decision-making processes. This means enabling Roma to assume responsibility for their own future."

Mr. Thornjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Disclaimer - © Council of Europe 2015 - © photo credit