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RomaNet Co-operation Network

The project entitled RomaNet Co-operation Network was realised within the framework of Hungary-Slovakia Cross-Border Co-operation Programme between 1 February 2010 and 31 January 2011. Through the support of the European Union, the programme was aimed at the joint development of Hungarian-Slovak border region areas.

The reasons calling for the project

In general, Roma communities are characterised by a low level of qualification, a high rate of unemployment, the difficulty (or lack) of accessing medical provisions and other essential services, poor residential conditions and strong discrimination demonstrated towards them. As compared to majority society and the other minority groups, the European Roma population is in a multiply disadvantaged situation, their social and economic situation is aggravated by the prejudice surrounding them.

The development possibilities of Roma communities are greatly influenced by the professional preparedness of Roma civil organisations.

Our experiences acquired during the course of the realisation of our programmes and our partners’ feedback indicate that, with respect to their professional preparedness, the Roma organisations operating in the Slovak districts of Banska Bistrica and Kosice, and the Hungarian area of the North Hungarian Region (the most disadvantaged areas in both countries) are at disadvantage as compared to Roma and other organisations operating in other Hungarian and Slovakian regions. They have to overcome significant obstacles in order to enforce their rights and interests.

The reason for the main shortcomings is the lack of appropriate information and knowledge, which secures the long-term success of the initiatives of integration. The achievement of all these requires the strengthening of the Roma civil sector, which is impossible without the establishment and maintenance of trainings and new, strongand effective forms of cooperation.

2009-2011 RomaNet Érdekképviseleti Hálózat – Fórumsorozat

During the joint work it has been a recurring problem that the talented proactive Roma young people were excluded from Roma civil life and continuity of actions between the generations was missing. A program, for young people was established in 2009 to rectify this problem. The program was called “Zhas amenge!’ Or in English “Let’s Go!”

First, in 2009/2010, the participants during 20 ses­sions in seven settlements in four counties developed skills necessary for non-government organizations. Among these skills taught were communitiny organis­ing, interest representation, and putting interest into action. A professional co-operation network organising process was also started. The 2010/2011 period, ending in May 2011, had as its major success, the completion of a sociographic manual, jointly produced which de­scribed the settlements, residential environment, and settlement communities of the participants.