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I act because I care: a new approach  to the problem of integration of Roma communities

I act because I care: a new approach to the problem of integration of Roma communities

On October 17, 2013 in the city of Chisinau was held a Republican Roundtable meeting entitled “Growing Roma inclusion in Moldova: a new approach” organized by the Institute for Rural Initiatives. The event took place in the premises of the Bureau of Interethnic Relations of the Republic of Moldova. Among the participants were pro-Roma leaders and activists, BIR representatives, Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova, NGOs focused on education development, as well as LED and Terres des Hommes. The event was also attended by Mr. Claude Cahn, Human Rights Adviser, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Moldova, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova.

One of the goals of the roundtable was to shed light on a new approach to the problem of equitable inclusion of Moldovan citizens of Roma origin. Another goal was sensitizing civil society and policy makers on increasing the level of social inclusion of Roma in Moldova.

The new approach was illustrated by the “Growing Roma inclusion in Moldova: building capacity and facilitating Roma equal participation” project, which has been being successfully implemented in six regions of Moldova: villages of Chetrosu and Gribova, Drochia rayon; village of Parcani, Calarasi rayon; village of Carpineni, Hincesti rayon; town of Hincesti and town of Comrat. It should be recalled that the purpose of the project is fighting negative attitude and stereotypes towards citizens of Roma origin by raising the level of their participation and community involvement.

During the meeting leaders of initiative groups discussed immediate effects of the new proposed formula for social integration promoted through the project slogans: “I am Roma and I love my country where I was born!” and “I act because I care!”. This formula implies the interaction between three actors in the process of integrating the Roma community: Roma community – non-Roma community – decisive factors. Please see campaign materials here: poster 1, poster 2, poster 3

Participants also discussed successes and failures as a result of collaboration between civil society represented by pro-Roma leaders, pro-Roma NGOs, the Government of the Republic of Moldova and ministries on the issue of equitable integration of Roma communities.

For more information about the IRI initiative on integration through participation please visit the following links:
Training course on growing civic participation among a number of Roma leaders in Moldova
The IRI Mobile Clinique team visits six Roma communities in Moldova
Roma people act because they care

This event was organized thanks to the support of IRI partners, and namely the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Bureau of Interethnic Relations of the Republic of Moldova, with the financial support of the U.S. Embassy in Moldova.