News Archive 2020

Help mediator Ibrahim Tatari for Roma and Egyptians: I cannot watch human suffering


Ibrahim Tatari is a 27-year-old Help mediator for employment. Together with his family he came to Montenegro during the Kosovo war in 1999 as an internally displaced person and stayed. He graduated from high school with specialization as a waiter, and now he has a family of his own already. He started activism as an intern in the administration for the non-governmental organization Roma Youth, afterward he was recruited by Help and trained for mediator. He has been working as a mediator for two years.

As a mediator he assists Roma and Egyptians in particular, but not only them, in overcoming the language barrier during their visits to different state institutions and in obtaining various services. Many of the Roma and Egyptian people need assistance in translation into Albanian and Romani languages in contact with the Employment Service, hospitals and others.

People, he says, are very happy to accept his offer to help them, as well as from his mediator colleagues, although the most difficult part in the beginning was to earn their trust. Nowadays they call him with help requests by themselves.

“They didn’t believe us at first, but over time situation has changed. We offer them any kind of help for whatever they need and to go with them wherever they need to go”, says Ibrahim.

The fact that he lives in the  Roma and Egyptian settlement Konik in Podgorica helps a lot, because most of the people there know him, although he is helping elsewhere in Montenegro.

During the visits to the hospitals, social work centers, employment offices, in addition to being the mediator, Ibrahim also tries to fill a role of an educator: he carefully explains the procedures to them, how to fill in the applications, what must be provided from the document and other.

He said that him showing up in each institution as mediator immediately makes a difference, especially in changing institutions attitude towards Roma and Egyptian people.

When it comes to medical assistance, Ibrahim, thanks to Help donations, is very often in position to purchase medicaments, baby’s food, or even to pay the medical bill for patients sometimes, in those cases when they are not able to provide legal documents for free social care.

For all other requests he is also trying hard to find best solutions with Help assistance and not reject any help requests.

“We are trying to help as good as we know and can“said Ibrahim Tatari adding:

“I can’t stand to watch when someone is suffering, I have to try and help”.

He would like to continue to work as a mediator because, as he says, it is an indescribably good feeling to help others in need, but he admits that his lifelong desire is to work as an ambulance driver.

The Roma and Egyptian mediators’ programme is part of Help’s regional project “Support to socio-economic stability in the Western Balkans region 2019-2020” that is funded by the German Foreign Ministry.

Biljana Jovićević