International Roma Day: celebrating Europe’s most neglected06 April 2018

#InternationalRomaDay,celebratedonApril8,wasinitiatedin1990tocombattheexclusionofRomapeoplebyraisingpublicawarenessoftheissuestheyfaceandatthesametimecelebratingthecultureofEurope’slargestethnicminority.

Understanding the social exclusion chain that affects Roma communities – a picture of individual vulnerabilities, common exclusion drivers and national and international policy shortcomings – is important to address the deprivations the community faces in all areas of life including education, employment, housing and health care.

Fare believes that sport can be used to empower Roma young people through participation, supporting education and creating training opportunities, to overcome the vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion.

On the 28 March Fare and the Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities organised a roundtable on Roma inclusion through Sport in Bucharest, Romania, gathering Roma NGOs and experts from 18 countries.

Drawing on their expertise, through group discussions and workshops the event explored how sport can be used as a tool for the development of the community.

“Sport can play an important role for social cohesion offering opportunities for exchanges between people of different backgrounds and cultures. At the same time, it strengthens self-worth and achievement, community pride and health awareness” said Raluca Negulescu of the Policy Centre and the Chair of the Fare board, who moderated the meeting.

“Participants looked at practical ideas to consider sport as methodology to work with the Roma and to encourage local authorities to adopt it, and develop best practice.”

The Policy Centre have been using football and arts to support Roma children in education, through mentorship and by developing skills for many years.

The meeting agreed four action points:

– To create an advocacy group on the topic
– Commission a report through Fare that will highlight successful Roma sport initiatives and document methodologies
– Engage with the EU to develop and support action
– Explore partnerships to support effective programmes at grassroots level

More on the Policy Centre: https://policycenter.eu/en/

The groups taking part in the roundtable included:

Federation of Roma Associations in Catalonia, Spain

INEX-SDA, Czech Republic

National Roma centrum, Macedonia

Romano ButiQ, Romania

Association “New Woman”, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Roma Education Fund, Romania

Association Footura, Bulgaria

FK. Napredok65, Macedonia

NESSUNO FUORIGIOCO, Italy

NGO Kulsport, Montenegro

League of Tolerance, Ukraine

SEGAS (Hellenic Athletics Federation), Greece

LA GOĎAHA (S ROZUMEM), Czech Republic

The Door, Albania

Řekni rasismu ne – Say no to racism, Czech Republic

‘TRAIN’ Traveller & Romani Advice & Information Network, United Kingdom

Radovi U Toku, Serbia

Center for Youth Integration, Serbia

Association for protection of children and young Roma – Progress, Macedonia

Association of Roma Hope, Serbia

Youth resource center Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Red Deporte, Spain