5. 04. 2021
Roma NGOs and individual activists had gathered for a workshop in the previous three days in Podgorica, where the UPRE – the United Roma and Egyptian Movement (“gore” in Romani) had been presented.
This important initiative – Coalition of Roma and Egyptian civil society organizations – UPRE, whose primary goal is to gather RE organizations and their joint empowerment for the best possible action for the benefit of the Roma-Egyptian community or communities, has resulted from various activities and trainings within the project “Civil society in action promoting and protecting Roma and Egyptian rights in Montenegro” which is funded by the EU.
Gathering the RE organizations in one place and their coordination can be a good way or model to solve specific problems of this community more efficiently than before – gaining better insight into specific community problems and formulating a better platform their solution – or more active participation in creating policy and influence on decisions related to the RE population.
Elvis Beriša, Executive Director of the Roma Youth Organization, “Walk with us – Phiren Amenca” and a partner in this project, presented the platform and draft of the statute of this informal civic initiative aimed at bringing together Roma and Egyptian organizations and individuals on common issues that are important for improvement of the situation for Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro.
Those gathered around the UPRE coalition or association – the Roma activists who were present have agreed that the goal is a better and more efficient platform through which it would be easier to identify numerous problems that afflict the RE population, which are being solved extremely slowly or not being solved at all; and then have coordinately campaigned together for the solution of these problems towards responsible addresses – local and state levels of government.
The participants of the workshop, limited to around 15 representatives of RE organizations and individuals due to measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, discussed the best modalities of UPRA’s work and in the next 10 days it was planned to materialize them by signing an application form for this civic initiative.
At the same time, a training for organizing advocacy campaigns has been organized for the participants of the gathering, and the best practical examples were presented.
The trainer was Goran Đurović, who has many years of experience in the NGO sector and in the practice of fighting to overcome various administrative and institutional barriers when it comes to solving certain social and economic problems at the local and national level.
Help and Phiren Amenca are implementing the project “Civil society in action promoting and protecting Roma and Egyptian rights in Montenegro” with the financial support of the European Union and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
In the past year and a half within this RE project, non-governmental organizations and activists have individually participated in numerous activities despite the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to strengthening of the RE organizations through strengthening of their own capacities and capabilities, the project has had and still implements various activities aimed at women and youth from the RE population, both in economic terms and educational and cultural empowerment and promotion, and there is also an important segment of legal and technical assistance in the legalization of informal facilities in Roma settlements.
Photo gallery from the workshop follows: