Romani communities in the Vojvodina, Vojvodina society at large, authorities and institutions in the Vojvodina
Association of Roma Students, Novi Sad, Serbia Khetane, Novi Sad, Serbia Vojvodina’s Roma Center for Democracy
Project Empowerment and Integration of the Roma in the Vojvodina, funded by the European Commission and CARE International Deutschland Luxembourg was implemented by CARE Serbia in the Vojvodina region, in cooperation with the local Roma partner NGOs Association of Roma Students, Khetane and Vojvodina’s Roma Center for Democracy, all from Novi Sad. The main project objective was to contribute to the empowerment and integration of the Roma minority in the Vojvodina Region, in three areas – community development, education and employment. This is achieved through creation of new mechanisms/opportunities and more effective use of already existing ones. Community development component initiated the development process in 13 Roma communities in Vojvodina. The focus was on strengthening of the Roma citizens to recognize their needs, problems and potentials and to instigate initiatives in their communities according to priorities and in cooperation with the project partners and local authorities. The second project component was focused on providing the access to the information and services of the labor market for unemployed Roma. It was in the line with the Action Plan for the Employment of the Roma (within the Roma Decade), foremost with efforts concerning the affirmative measures of the National Employment Bureau. The third component was focused on the improvement of educational status of the Roma, through spreading information on the affirmative measures for Roma education, set up by the Secretariat for Education of Vojvodina. The assistance was focused on enrolling Roma
To contribute to the empowerment and integration of the Roma minority in the Vojvodina The Roma constitute the most vulnerable ethnic community among the more than two dozen ethnic communities in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. Despite certain, limited efforts of the Republican and provincial authorities, the situation of the Roma did not improve. In addition to important external factors, the lack of capacity and of self-initiative inside the Roma community puts up obstacles for their empowerment and integration and to tackle the extreme poverty among Roma. The dire economic situation of the region with its high unemployment, which hits the Roma even more than the other ethnic groups, is an aggravating factor. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to strengthen the Roma community and make better use of existing opportunities and
Increased participation of Roma in different spheres of civil society (community development, education, employment) through establishment of new mechanisms/opportunities and more effective use of already existing ones. In order to allow for a better participation the action intends to establish new mechanisms for participation such as community development processes. Roma are hardly involved in the discussion and decision-making processes at local level which at the end contributes to further exclusion. Training young Roma in community development allows for a Roma-to-Roma approach and creates in addition “role models”. In the sectors employment and education, Roma could not make yet efficient use of existing opportunities since these opportunities are not transmitted to the communities or Roma are not fully aware of advantages connected with these opportunities.