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NGO Organization Drom implemented successfully a project, in partnership with four other NGOs, funded by the European Commission (2018-2020).

30 April 2020

 

The overall objective of the Roma Empowerment for Anti-Discrimination and Integration (READI project), was to empower Roma beneficiaries to address systematic discrimination by using the positive precedents provided by the equality law and practice.

The project target groups were Roma at risk of discrimination; NGOs that work with Roma and provide support and consultation in cases of discrimination in four target cities, Vidin, Sliven, Kyustendil, Sofia; Roma health mediators; lawyers, teachers, educational staff; Individuals interested in equality protection mechanisms via online learning resources; Public bodies engaged in Roma integration – educational, municipal, housing and healthcare authorities,; Non-Roma youth and public at large via public campaign to deconstruct stereotypes.

 

The project equipped Roma civil society and activists with knowledge and skills to act against cases of discrimination using the positive precedents and mechanisms of the Bulgarian Equality Law and the many positive practical examples of models of Roma integration it identified.

The project was designed to support the integration of Roma by raising awareness and combating harmful stereotypes of Roma. It contributed to this by:

•            Empowering Roma NGOs and activists to fight discrimination.

•            Organising capacity building of (pro) Roma civil society and stakeholders active.

•            Identifying and promoting transferable good practices in Roma integration, with a particular focus on: educational integration, housing legalization, healthcare, inclusive entrepreneurship.

•            Promoting networking between civil society and public authorities.

•            Carrying out a public campaign to combat harmful stereotypes against Roma by popularizing the stories of Roma integration through storytelling.

The project produced a manual on using the equality mechanisms under PADA for non-professionals. The teaching element was supplemented by 14 web-tutorials on the mechanisms for protection from discrimination. The tutorials had 51,629 unique viewers by April 2020 (BHC channels only).

The project provided capacity-building anti-discrimination training to 104 Roma activists and NGOs on protection from discrimination in four cities.

Parallel to the capacity-building activities, we researched good examples of working approaches to Roma integration, identifies good practices from different regions and described them in a special report, ‘Good Practices in Roma Integration’.

The project brought together Roma and Bulgarian children in two youth mobile photography forums and published a booklet ‘How to Make Portraits (and Friends)’. We produced a special short video showing how the children interacted. The five good practices videos, including the one coming from NGO Organization Drom had been watched by at least 121,035 unique viewers by April 2020 (BHC channels only). The good practices videos and web tutorials had an audience of 172,664 unique viewers.

 

We launched a petition for educational integration of Roma children into mainstream schools that was introduced at the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Bulgaria. We provided legal consultations to Roma victims of discrimination in the three target cities, including Vidin, assisting them to solve problems. We conducted four advocacy round tables with public stakeholders to discuss the deficits and opportunities of Roma integration.

The project contributed to enhanced capacity of Roma and pro Roma stakeholders to address discrimination. The gained competencies of the participants in the capacity-building events will be used by them in their future work as advocates on behalf of victims of discrimination.

 

More about the project is available here: http://readi.bghelsinki.org