Today, Help begins the implementation of a new project “Social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians with the mediation of inclusion associates”, funded by the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro – Directorate for Finance and Contracting of the EU Assistance Funds (CFCU).
Both Help and the Municipality of Podgorica have been working successfully for some time to develop the role of agents for inclusion / mediator. Montenegro has successfully systematized the role of RE mediators in health care in Podgorica, as well as the role of mediators in employment, health care and social protection through pilot projects in three municipalities.
The aim of this new project is to extend this successful model to all areas that will encourage and expand the inclusion of Roma and Egyptians (RE) in Montenegrin society, especially in the field of basic public services.
Help mediators will provide support to RE citizens in the Montenegrin institutions of the system to facilitate their access to public services.
At least 60 potential mediators are expected to participate in the accredited training program. At least 40 trained mediators will be engaged in state institutions to work with RE communities and public services will be provided within the framework of the project for 12 months. It is expected that the RE mediators will be taken over by the respective state institutions after the end of the project.
In the municipalities of five coastal regions, three central and three northern regions, mediators will mediate for RE citizens in the areas of employment mediation, provision of health services and mediation in social protection.
In addition, the aim of this project is to establish and develop a RE mediation network and to develop and transfer best practices in mediation to improve the social inclusion of the RE population.
In light of the limited experience of most national institutions in Montenegro in working with mediation services for RE, this project will prepare national institutions to work with mediators from the RE population and provide support to mediation programs in their services in a sustainable way.
It is also planned to organize a capacity building based on anti-discrimination approaches for professionals in national institutions.
National institutions providing health care, employment and social care services will be motivated and become sensitive to work with RE mediators and support mediation in RE communities in providing their services by thematically strengthening anti-discrimination capacity.
The project will be implemented in a period of 18 months, from September 2020 to February 2022.