At the beginning of July, training for mediators / mediators in social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians (RE) for social care and employment began at the “Slobodan Škerović” High School in Podgorica.
Training for these two areas is attended by 30 participants, who will during a month and a half gain expertise in this certified educational institution; after completion of their trainings the best of them will be employed by Help and placed in the respective institutions where they apply the knowledge in practice, helping members of the RE population in 11 municipalities across Montenegro in the field of obtaining basic rights and daily services in the field of health, employment and social care.
In addition to social care and employment, 19 more participants will start training for health mediators at the end of this week.
This is Help’s project “Social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians through mediation” that is financed by the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro – Directorate for Finance and Contracting of EU Assistance Funds (CFCU), within the program co-finance by European Union and Government of Montenegro.
Help’s partners on this project are the Capital city Podgorica and the municipalities of Ulcinj and Berane while the Roma Council actively supports the implementation.
Upon completion of the training, participants will take an exam and receive certificates of acquired professional knowledge.
It is planned that in each of the 11 municipalities covered by this project, in which we also cooperate with the Ministry of Justice and Human and Minority Rights, three mediators will be employed.
Help, as an organization that since the beginning of its work in Montenegro, more than two decades ago, has been continuously helping the development and integration of the Roma-Egyptian population and their active inclusion in society and practical realization of basic social and economic rights, has been intensively developing the institute of mediators, which has proven to be a very effective means in surmounting a number of barriers, like language for example, in providing basic services at the local level for this vulnerable and marginalized community.
For several years now, Help has had three mediators in Podgorica and Nikšić, who on a daily basis provide mediation assistance to the citizens of the RE population in all three mentioned areas.
Montenegro has previously 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 Help’s projects in three municipalities.
Now the goal is to permanently apply this model in all municipalities with Roma-Egyptian population, since numerous reports have found that “marginalized Roma face limited access to almost all aspects of development, such as basic rights, health, education, housing, employment and living standards.”
The realization of the project, i.e. the training of participants for “Social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians through mediation ” was supposed to start in March, but due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures against COVID-19, the training in Podgorica was delayed and started only in early July.
More than 80 candidates from all over Montenegro applied for the competition for mediators in all three areas, after which the commission selected about 60 participants.
The total value of the project, which is expected to last for 18 months, is 500,382 Euro.