News 2023

Help and Phiren Amenca won EU awards for Roma integration

3. 05. 2023

For the 5th time European Commission together with the Roma Active Albania has been organizer of the event #EU Award for Roma Integration in the #WesternBalkans and #Türkiye!

European Commission awarded outstanding projects and people dedicated to promoting Roma inclusion in the Digital and Green Economy as part of the #RomaWeek.

Among 14 winners from the region of Western Balkans and Turkiye for their effort in Roma inclusion on April 27 in Brussels was Roma youth organization Walk with us- Phiren Amenca and Help Montenegro.

The EU is working to improve the social integration of Roma into society and to provide tangible results on the ground. The European Union is also providing substantial funds for social integration measures through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance.

The IPA beneficiaries have adopted Strategies and related action plans on Roma integration that are being renewed to adapt to the new EU 2020-2030 Roma Strategic Framework. Important work is done through public authorities, national and local CSOs and individuals/activists.

Honouring these efforts, since 2014, the DG NEAR Award on Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey has been raising the visibility both of challenges facing Roma in the Western Balkans and Turkey, and of the important work of some dedicated players in support of Roma integration. The Award offers recognition, publicity and support to positive models showing tangible results in the area of Roma Integration.

Help won second prize for Montenegro

Biljana Jovićević PR and media officer,  represented Help Montenegro on the ceremony where Help won second prize. As she said in the video that has been produced by EU Delegation for the purpose of the award ceremony, having in mind Help’s constant and consistent support to Roma people (implemented 43 RE projects in 24 years) – we figured out that education and vocational trainings are the key for getting out from poverty.

„For that reason, Roma people, especially youth and women are included in all our program and projects which are now focused on sustainable development and green digital agenda – it doesn’t matter if the main targets are RE communities or not. Developing digital skills today is a must for everything, from finding appropriate job with decent living wage, to developing any kind of business strategies. Roma Youth with whom we are working are more than happy to be part of this projects because it usually leads to finding a good job for them. Through the projects for building capacity, monitoring and mentoring of Roma NGO organizations we provide support for all green agenda activities – recycling, waste management and other… Youth Roma organization that we are supporting are very aware of importance of this issue, and new opportunities that are opening for the communities”.

Often we manage to help people from Roma communities whose part time jobs for feeding their families is in recycling to advance their business in more productive and sustainable manner, said Jovićević.


“During our projects about RE mediators, all participants that are now working in state provided services on local level had acquired digital skills and conducted their job in digital, rather than hard copy manner: databases, research about community needs and other, basically everything had been digitalized.

Having appropriate education and acquiring skills that are required on the job market are base for  rising above the poverty line are the key, for all vulnerable categories including Roma communities. It is also necessary to change a narratives that Roma people are only able to work low paid jobs – we want and I believe we menage to prove that in many cases.“

The winner of the first prize for Montenegro is Roma youth organization Phiren Amenca – with whom we had successfully implemented one of the previous projects.


Apart of video about Help and others works EC as the organizer produced an publication about winners and the mission.

You can find a link here: file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Roma-Awards-Publication-2023%20(1).pdf

The EU Roma award is recognition of Help’s  hard work for decades- but also proof that we are in the right direction with developing strategies for supporting  inclusion of RE communities, and that we should continue in the same direction.

Other winners are: for Albania – Roma Gate for Integration and Roma Versitas Albania, for Bosnia and Herzegovina – College of Tourism and Management Konjic and Association “Euro Rom” Tuzla, for Kosovo – Office for Good Governance, Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination, Office of the Prime Minister and Organization for Socio – Economic Stability, for North Macedonia REDI Recycling and Romalitico, for Serbia – Forum Roma Serbia and REDI Serbia, and for Turkiye – Hemra Nida Kose, Roma Youth Education Culture and Solidarity Associatio0n.

In addition to award, during the visit to Brussels, all winners – regional activist had participated in a few events organized by EC and Roma Active Albania in framework of Roma Week and title – New Solutions to Old Problem.

Especially interesting was an introductory panel about new grant schemes called – Socially Responsible Public Procurement, that EU and EBRD planning to implement in the future.