“I AM ROMA: Changing mindsets” establishes a partnership of 9 partners convinced of the paramount importance of challenging stereotypes against Roma community and willing to campaign and take action locally.The project has two main aims: to build up capacity and know-how of local actors engaged in anti-discrimination work relating to Roma in general and Roma children in particular, AND support them in developing local/regional campaigns to challenge stereotypes and highlight good practices through a transnational exchange programme.
One of the key element of the project is the Local Action Group (LAG) created by each I AM ROMA partner. This is a small core group responsible for developing the local campaign and a wider network of key actors and organisations working in the territory in relation to Roma issues. The LAG consists of three types of actors:
- Those who are well "connected”. That is those who have extensive contacts (professional and social). These are people who are connected into different niches and sub-cultures. These are "activists" in the field.
- Those who have "knowledge", who are sources of data. These are researchers, policy makers etc.
- Those who are salespersons -that is people who have the skills to persuade and spread the message. These are people in the media, artists, etc.
Each LAG is led by a LAG Co-ordinator who is responsible for implementing at local level the action-plan agreed. The work of each LAG is supported by an online programme of activities which develops the work undertaken in the transnational exchange programme.
The first transnational workshop, hosted by Sintra Municipality on 26-29 September, was a capacity-building event focusing on the theme of “Developing local campaigns to challenge negative stereotypes”. The workshop dealt with the issues of Roma Rights and sought to empower the participants to take action locally in increasing their knowledge of relevant EU legislation and policies and in nurturing their local strategy with relevant materials and a clear methodology before starting to develop their action plans.
The second transnational workshop, hosted by the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara on 22-25 May 2012 has brought together delegates from the LAG as well as external experts in relation to Roma and Campaigning. It focused on an exchange of good practices and development of Local Action Plans.
The ‘I AM ROMA’ project achieved the following key goals:
- Maximised impact at a local level and ensured that the local actions have wide ownership
- Facilitated the effective transnational exchange of experience and learning
- Increased political participation of Roma
- Raised awareness on discrimination and racial violence targeted against Roma community and on discrimination of Roma Children in Educational provision.
Sintra, Lead Partner (Portugal), QeC-ERAN (Belgium), Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (UK), Heraklion Municipality (Greece), European Development Agency (Republic Czech), Intercultural Institute of Timisoara (Romania), European Roma Employment Agency (Slovakia), Romani CRISS (Romania)
Project Period: 1 February 2011 to 31 January 2013