Testimonies

IMPRESSIONS OF MUNICIPALITY STAFF AND STAKEHOLDERS ABOUT ROMED IN PORTUGAL (EXCERPTS FROM THE “EXPERIENCING ROMED” DOCUMENTARY)
The full Documentary is available online: http://bit.ly/2lq334S 

ROMED made some significant changes in the relationship between the Roma community, the society and the municipality. The ROMED Programme gives a very distinctive role to Roma participants in comparison to the former role attributed to Roma people. The programme encourages the Community Action Group to make an accurate diagnosis of the community situation and to present very precise proposals, demanding a serious commitment from the participants in order to implement them.
I think the programme introduces a change in the way the Roma community relates to the rest of society and to the various public institutions”,

Ana Umbelino, Torres Vedras, Municipal Counsellor for Social Affairs

"The ROMED programme gives us another approach, since the group, the CAG, is a different group from those with whom the municipality was used to working in its everyday practice. And therefore the action group was, let's say, a surprise. This group being so young, being a group with different requests, with different aspirations, they show a very big will for change. Therefore, it is also a relief for us, in the sense that it was an encouragement for another kind of intervention”,

Anabela Soares, Seixal, Municipal Council, Social Affairs Department 

 “Our decision to participate in the ROMED Programme was a sure bet. […]  So, we are here to continue our collaboration with you. That is what we want

Antonio Tavares Figueira da Foz, Municipality Vice-President addressing the ROMED National Support Team in Portugal during a national event.

 “For us, this programme, ROMED, was of extreme importance. We had already done some work with the community, but we felt that it was important to bring the community together for this project, creating this large group where they identify the problems, try to propose solutions and then link with the institutions. In the end this is true active citizenship, because it is not enough to say "We want, we have the right". We have rights and we have duties. And I do think that this work in this sense was very rewarding. To sit down with the community, to debate with them, we listen to their concerns, and the most interesting in our project was that the community did not even think of itself as individuals, but they thought in a broader sense of the overall community

Armandina Saleiro, Barcelos, Municipal Counsellor for Social Affairs
 

FACILITATORS’ ADVICE TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES INTERESTED IN THE ROMED METHODOLOGY

"Successful Roma community means successful entire community"

Facilitator, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Try it. It may not work, but it is in your hands to make it work.”

National Facilitator, Greece

My advice [to the staff of municipalities with Roma communities] would be to initiate ROMED 2 because this program will help them enter in dialogue and cooperation with effective mechanisms and procedures ensuring consultations of Roma on local policies. Proposals resulting from consultations with members of the Roma community will be very important for the municipality taken into consideration in policy-making and resulting in formal decisions, budgeting implications and projects (including projects to be submitted for EU funding). ROMED 2 will be a positive model for future actions and decisions made at local level for any other minorities or smaller ethnic groups.”

National Facilitator, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

 “Roma problems can be solved only through mutual efforts and communication between local administration and Roma. Nothing can be done and solved without listening to Roma.”

Facilitator, Bosnia and Herzegovina

You will be enriched by the whole process because the Roma members of the municipality will be valuable and cooperative citizens in your area.”

National Facilitator, Greece
 

TESTIMONY - COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP MEMBERS, BULGARIA
In Tundzha, Bulgaria, the main drive for participation in the CAG was the personal motivation of its members to create better conditions for their children and to increase the educational level of the Roma community. As shared by three of the women who joined the CAG,

“We are mothers and we want our children to have an education and better chances than us, instead of repeating what we did not have”.

More on ROMED in Tundzha (up to 2015) here: http://bit.ly/2np8j9s 

TESTIMONY - NATIONAL FACILITATOR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
On the importance of mediators/local facilitators in mobilising women and youth:

mobilisers were Roma mediators in the community, who on every day basis encouraged community members, in particular women to participate and have their voices heard”.

TESTIMONY - LOCAL ADMINISTRATION, TARGU JIU, ROMANIA

“We (local administration) have more than 15 years of good collaboration with Roma communities from Targu Jiu, but the ROMED2 Programme made it possible for us to see for the first time the leaders and representatives from all Roma communities sitting together at the same table and discussing the community issues.”

The Head of Strategies and Community Policy Office, Targu Jiu, Romania
Excerpt of the case study in Targu Jiu, available here: http://bit.ly/2kkvtLK
 

TESTIMONY - NATIONAL FACILITATOR, GREECE
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice before starting as a ROMED facilitator, what would that be?

“I would read less books about Roma and spend more time drinking coffee with them.”

 

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