8 April 2016 - ROMED and International Roma Day celebrations

The International Roma Day was declared in honour of the First World Romani Congress, which took place 45 years ago in April 1971 in Orpington, near London, and where the design of the Romani flag and the lyrics and music of the Romani anthem were adopted. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the Roma – Europe’s largest ethnic minority group. It is also a time to reflect on the discrimination and challenges millions of Roma continue to face in their daily lives in areas including education, employment, housing, healthcare and access to justice.

This year, the ROMED National Support Teams reported celebrations in municipalities where the programme is being implemented, organised by the Community Action Groups in cooperation with local authorities.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Support Center for Roma - Romalen Kakanj organized several activities for the International Roma Day, which included the organisation of a public campaign (on the importance of the Roma integration), creative workshops, art and literary competitions for Roma children from three elementary schools in Kakanj. The day ended with a ceremonial reception and lunch for the celebration of the 8th of April.
Photo album 8 April 2016 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Hungary, the ‪Community Action Group from ‪Nagyecsed‬ organized an event to celebrate the International Roma Day in close cooperation with other local stakeholders. The representatives of the Local authorities welcomed the audience and highlighted the importance to celebrate Roma Day as one of the main elements of the Roma identity. A member of the CAG in Nagyecsed gave a speech in front of 200 people on the topic “What are Roma people celebrating today?”
The school director underlined the value of Roma culture and the importance of Roma tradition including the Romani language.
Photo album 8 April 2016 - Hungary

In Portugal, CAGs in several municipalities organised events for the celebration of the International Roma Day.
In Figueira da Foz, the CAG in partnership with the local authority offered the city a photographic exhibition entitled "Figueira da Foz Cigana", which aims to look at past and present life of Roma people of the city: their difficulties and joys of everyday life, harmony and traditions in Figueira da Foz. Solidarity Festivals were organised by the CAGs in Elvas and Beja.
More on this in ROMED2 in the Media section
Photo album 8 April 2016 - Portugal

In Spain, the Council of Europe was represented by Mr Jean Pierre Liegeois in a series of celebrations in the municipality of ‪Guadix‬ (Andalusia), marking its third celebration of the International Roma day.
The previous two celebrations were focusing mainly on the history of the Roma from Guadix and the current state of affairs regarding to Roma. However, this year`s events are about Roma from Guadix and around the world.
A photo exhibition "Gitanos de Guadix, gypsies of the world", was opened on Friday, 8th of April.
Photo album 8 April 2016 - Guadix

In the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the Roma flag was displayed in all 10 ‪‎ROMED‬ municipalities (‪Tetovo‬, ‎Gostivar‬, ‪Prilep‬, ‪Bitola‬, ‪‎Stip‬, ‪Vinica‬, ‪Debar‬, ‪Kicevo‬, ‎Kocani‬ and ‪Berovo‬). This was organized by the local action groups.
‪The ‎ROMED National Support Team in Macedonia‬ expressed their gratitute to the ROMED programme for the support, to 10 Municipalities and Mayors and local action groups for the organization and implementation of the initiative and activities.
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Photo album 8 April 2016 - FYROM

In Ukraine, the Darnitsa administration in ‪‎Kyiv‬ City opened the art exhibition "Life on the edge of survival".
Find more about the "Chirikli" Roma Women's Fund, Support Organisation for the ROMED Programme in Ukraine.
Photo album 8 April 2016 - Ukraine

In the Council of Europe, the Support Team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Roma Issues organised a series of events to celebrate this important day.
Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe opened the day in a ceremony of casting of flowers that took place in Strasbourg, close to the Council of Europe headquarters.
Ms Marina Vasic, of the ROMED Strasbourg team had a brief allocutions after the SG: "It is the first time that this kind of ceremony takes place in the Council of Europe, and it is an honour to have the opportunity to do it in the presence of the Secretary General. This day has a particular importance to us, Roma, since it is a gesture of unity."
Photo album casting of flowers ceremony - Strasbourg

The flower casting ceremony was followed by the projection of the new "Parovel" documentary, the first such project of the ROMED Programme that attempts to depict the participation processes of Roma at local level, challenges and little victories on the way, with a focus on four municipalities in Romania and Portugal. Opening speeches were provided by Mr Ulrich Bunjes, SRSG for Roma Issues as well as by
More information in the ROMED2 in the Media section
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Photo album Parovel Launching - Strasbourg


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