Social inclusion, Arts and cultural activities, Democracy and participation: In some slovenian regions Roma face boredom not being engaged in any activity or local community life.Volunteer firefighting is a long lasting tradition in Slovenia, and is a good opportunity for civic engagement.

World's only Roma firefighters on the mission!

World's only Roma volunteer firefighters from a small village in the municipality of Murska Sobota share their inspiring story to promote social engagement as a step closer to tolerance and diversity.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Miha Mohorič

Sagar Collective

http://www.sagar.si

Slovenia

Who is joining forces?

Fire brigade Association of Slovenia, the umbrella organization of voluntary fire brigades, (Gasilska zveza Slovenije)

http://www.gasilec.net/

Slovenia


The film is supported by the Slovenian film centre. Other partners: MEP Tanja Fajon, MEP dr. Milan Brglez, Dutch Embassy. The Fire Brigade Association will support further events - fundraising, promo.

Idea

Idea pitch

Roma firefighters go on a road trip with their 50 years old Mercedes fire truck, transformed into a mobile cinema. (1)The purpose is to visit Roma communities in the southeast where stigmatisation, segregation, intolerance are strongly present, and screen a documentary film about their own positive story for tolerance, inclusion. (2)By performing at the local firefighters' events, they will present their culture to local communities and organise a joint fundraising action for their fire station.

Where will your project idea take place?

Pušča ( Prekmurje region); Novo mesto, Črnomelj, Kočevje, (Southeast region-2nd biggest Roma region)

What is the local challenge?

Widespread intolerance towards Roma in the Southeast, locally rooted segregation and prejudices. Roma is completely disengaged from any local community activities which lead to (1) huge boredom, lack of interest for any involvement, inactivity, addiction, even crime and (2) deeper social exclusion, disengagement from the local political process, lack of any interest/support from local authorities. We will invite them, by offering an opportunity to interact with the Roma community from Pušča which is successfully coexisting within local community succeeded by social engagement, to also become active members of their local communities.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

(1) By Roma firefighters being engaged in the project, present at Roma communities, invite and empower Roma from the Southeast region to join or establish a local volunteer fire department or get involved in other local civic activities. By being an active member of a community, one has a better chance to have their opinions and suggestions heard. The more all members of communities get involved as active citizens, the more democratic local community is and more open for diversity, dialogue, tolerance. (2) By being present at traditional local firefighters events where the presence of Roma is already an intervention into local community space and can challenge widely accepted stereotypes of Roma.

Who are you doing it for?

Southeast Roma communities, municipal representatives, members of local communities (Southeast region) and wider society. For the Roma communities to inspire and empower them for civic engagement, increasing visibility. Municipal representatives from different municipalities with different political backgrounds and opinions; active and passive local authorities will have an opportunity to see the positive outcome of marginalised groups' civic engagement, united diverse community. Members of local communities - introducing Roma culture, the importance of united communities, challenge prejudice, intolerance.

How do you plan to get there?

The film will be finished by March 2021. In the period of 3 months (until the 1st event in June 2021) we will: prepare the content and logistics for all events, start communicating with relevant partners and spaces (Southeast Roma communities&local firefighters). Roma community Pušča will be in charge of the content. Sagar collective is responsible for the logistical part and for the communication between partners, supporters. Most of the partners are already confirmed. Implementation (3 months): 1 event in June, 2 events in July and 2 events in August. The events will be carried out in the DIY spirit - the scene, decoration, etc. will be arranged by a group of volunteers active at Sagar&local fire department. In September we plan evaluation with all the relevant holders.

What are the expected results?

- through publications in local, national media we expect increased visibility of life, the culture of the Roma communities, increased interest of the members of the local community (cultural, artistic, activist, NGOs) to cooperate with Roma communities;
- by emphasizing the importance of civic engagement at least 1 joint activity of southeast Roma community and local community;
- local institutions being more open for a dialogue with Roma communities;
- socially excluded Roma will have the opportunity to become involved in local, cultural, social, political and creative life;
- and starting a DIY renovation of Roma fire station with the whole community involved.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

One of the most important ways that Southeast Roma communities can begin their engagement in community life and political activity is at a local level; they will be more aware of the particular issues that are concerning and issues with which they come into contact, and they will be more able to have a direct impact. Democracy is not just about voting, it is about being an active member of the local community; it does not only deal with national/international issues; it needs to begin in our own neighbourhoods! Democratic systems can nearly always be made more inclusive, more reflective of people's requests and more responsive. By presenting opportunities for involvement to Southeast Roma we expect to strengthen the democracy in them and consequently at the local level.

What is your story?

As a filmmaker, I have devoted my career to those whom I consider being disadvantaged, discriminated, forgotten, unheard. My work includes street children in Nepal, the victims of the Syria wars, Iraq, Eastern Turkey, unrecognized ethnic groups in China, forgotten Roma in Kosovo. After years of travelling, I realized that people with very different lives are ours neighbours. I am talking about the Roma community. The first time I came among them, they accepted me in a long-lasting friendship. Through my own experience, I have learned that only when we as a society is able to accept diversity will we be able to realize that we are responsible for each other. ​​With our projects, we want to revive basic human values; connect and overcome fears.

€ 41640,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 41640,-

Total budget

Major expenses

If we include the cost of film production than the whole project budget is 94,440 eur.
Travel and accommodation costs = 6,920 eur
Food costs = 3,520 eur
Roma music group concert = 3,000eur
Production of the events: 10,800 eur
Promotion costs: 3,600 eur
Personnel (fees, salaries): 12,000 eur
Office costs: 1,800 eur

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We strongly believe in this project, are highly motivated, passionate. We have the competence, knowledge, support but maybe we missed something. If you have an suggestions on how to upgrade it, improve it, ideas? Please let us know. Thank you.

Team

sagarkolektiv

miha.mohoric

Kaja Rakušček

Idea created on May 24, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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