With financial support of the European Union Delegation to Montenegro Help in partnership with Roma’s young association “Walk with Us-Phiren Amenca” has started realization of a project aimed to support Roma and Egyptian population, especially youth and women, to facilitate their access to education, jobs and better involvement in public affairs. Help together with Phirena Amenca implement this project in three municipalities: Podgorica, Berane and Bijelo Polje.
The Task manager for the project in the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro pointed out that that the Roma communities have been recognized as most vulnerable and most marginalized in Montenegro.
“They are facing great social exclusion and high rates of unemployment, lower education and restricted access of public and social services. Many Roma people live in illegal settlements and very poor living conditions. Participation of Roma in public life is on a very low level, especially among the young population and women. Roma women are exposed to multiple discrimination and this project will aim at active promotion of participation of Roma and Egyptians in all spheres of interest for their communities.“
“It is very important that Roma and Egyptian community members get the opportunity for education so they can more easily find jobs and in that way walk out from the closed poverty circle. I am sure that an educated woman will lead to an independent woman who is strong enough to confront violence and discrimination “, said Anita Beriša and as example she talked about her on successful case. She is one of the laureates of the EU award “Roma heroine”, and now working in the Montenegro Office for EU integration and studies for master’s degree at the University of Donja Gorica.
Šejla Pepić, student of political science, has said that “role of us young people is not to be passive beholders of events, on the contrary, we have to fight for our place in society, so that we can actively participate in building a better future and better perspectives for us Roma and Egyptians.”
Klaus Mock, Help‘s Regional coordinator has assessed that it is possible to see improvement of human rights in Montenegro, but it is necessary for all stakeholders to work a lot more, so that all vulnerable groups can enjoy equal rights.
“With this new project we are continuing our efforts to improve the position of Roma and Egyptian communities, which comprise the most vulnerable groups of population. Our final goal is to capacitate the RE communities to actively participate in decision making concerning their future, make plans for their organizational development as well as for the development of their respective communities, enter into partnerships with state institutions and other CSOs.” says Mock.
The project will promote active participation of the local NGO sector in efforts to improve human rights of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro. Through a process of establishing working groups and organizations of round tables, Roma and Egyptian women will have opportunities to raise issues that affect their daily lifes and have direct communication with all relevant actors for them.
Social inclusion of young Roma and Egyptians will be achieved through a set of focused activities. Strengthening rules of law and good governance will also be supported through tools for monitoring and overseeing legalization of illegal Roma settlements.
The value of project is Euro 162.941. While the European Union’s share amounts to 150.000 Euro Help co-finances the project with an amount of 12.941 Euro. Implementation of the project started on 13 November and it will last for 18 months.