What is happening, when you cannot drink the coffee in a bar which you would like. Anti Roma movement is growing in Međimurje county! We are going to make the normal life in Međimurje county possible for each citizen.
There are young and educated people who are at the same time part of Roma society and mainstream local society, but not recognized by either of them. Neglected group is going to become a major link between two ethnic groups and build the paths to inclusion and democratization.
Croatia - Međimurje county - cities and municipalities - segregated Roma settlements
Two ethnic groups - both European - both Croatian citizens - both living in the same county and locality. simultaneously they are neighbors and complete strangers. The dominant ethnic group is organizing anty-Roma protest under the initiative "I want a better life in Međimurje". Initiative is supported by mainstream politicians, young people, local media, and even some Roma activists and politicians. Consequences of this that Roma cannot participate in their community they are not allowed even in some stores and they can't drink coffee each cafe bar.
Another problem is that young and educated Roma are excluded from the mainstream and Roma community. They belong to both of the communities and not participate in neither of them.
We plan to organize a set of cultural activities, round tables, trainings, social interventions, and workshops in Međimurje county which is going to create surroundings suitable for two ethnic groups to look at each other. Creating connections between two groups will bring to social inclusion. Another set of activities will be focused on double mainstreaming of Roma youth (especially Romani youth women) participation in creating Roma and youth policies. This set of activities will bring to the democratization of the community in Roma settlements but also in the society of Međimurje county and inclusion of educated young Roma woman and man in Roma and mainstream youth society.
When it comes to the first challenge which we described we are doing it for the community of Međimurje country. We plan to involve Roma community and the non-Roma community. We want to include people who support the protest and opposed the protest who comes from both ethnic groups. Our special focus will be on youth, because one of the main protagonists of the protest was a guy who is 18 years old.
When it comes to the second challenge which we described, we are doing it for Roma community in Međimurje county, but I would say that with the inclusion of young and educated Roma and Roma woman and democratization of Roma community will contribute to Roma community in Croatia and to the regional community, in general.
1. Rebuilding and establishment of the connections with the relevant stakeholders according to the swot analysis and mapping of stakeholders.
2. Organizing 4 events which are primarily targeting the non-Roma community.
a. Award-wining Theater Play "Look at me" where the main actors are two Roma. The Theater Play is speaking about our prejudice and how every-one can be discriminated against by the majority and also belonging to the majority who is discriminating against minority
b. Exhibition: Museum of the personal history of Roma.
c. Exhibition: "When I grow up, I want to be rich"
d. ROUM workshop: making arts from garbage
3. Organize workshop within Roma segregated settlements
4. Organize Training with both ethnic groups
5. Organize social interventions like flash mob
Non-Roma community will increase the knowledge about Roma. The crime will have a name instead of ethnicity. The members of the protest "I want a better life in Međimurje county" will see that the Roma has also many reasons to be part of this protest, but the protest should demand actions from the local and regional government and it should not be against Roma. Young and educated Roma will take part in decision-making processes when it comes to Roma and youth policies in the county. Generalization of the Roma community will decrease and Roma will be able to DRINK COFFEE in a bar that they choose. Finally, many people belonging to different ethnic groups will become neighbors not strangers. These changes will bring to social inclusion and democratization of the society.
Every path is starting with small steps and in the context of Europe this is a small step. Anti Roma movements are not happening only in Croatia it is visible in different states of Europe and the European Union. Our model can be multiplicate in different states. ROUM is also one way of inclusion that was already copied in Bulgaria (Plovdiv) and Serbia (Belgrade). Theater Play was also provided in Belgrade and in Poland. We believe that anti-Roma movement can be reduced if the dialogue is open and willingness from both sides is increased. We strongly promote that youth from both sides should be included. We are a small step with a small population of Roma and this project is presenting a big step for us in Croatia but also a small step for democratization in context of Europe.
I am working in the Međimurje from 2014. From the beginning I knew that the youth Roma sector is not developed but this region did not have even one Roma association active association and it was strongly led by older man Roma. The protest against Roma could be predicted and when it happened it had an effect on Roma in Croatia. I can't believe that they see Roma children as Roma and not as children from Međimurje, I can't believe that when I come there, they have several bars where they can drink coffee and that Roma is hanging out only with Roma even that they attend schools together. I could choose the area to work in some other county but when we succeed in Međimurje we can succeed everywhere. This is a challenge and I believe that people are good in general and that they can live toget
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Admin cost=2.000 EUR
trainings/workshop=500 EUR x6=3.000EUR
Round table=100 EUR x6=600 EUR
Social interventions + PR=4.000 EUR
Theater Play=1.200 EUR x 3 =3.600 EUR
Exhibition Museum of personal Roma history = 4.500 EUR
Exhibition "When I grow up, I want to be rich" =2.000 EUR
ROUM workshops+exhibition=1.500 EUR x 4=6.000 EUR
Project employees salaries=22.800
Service contracts=3.000 EUR
We would like to hear from others who face a similar challenge in their community and which approach they take and how efficient they were. We would also like to know what they think about our approach, and what they think about idea that the young people are the links between 2 groups.