Emil Voráč: In the Czech Republic, nonprofits able to integrate Roma are often blocked from financing
The attitudes held about Romani people today are not just due to errors in the policies of the states they live in - while Romani people themselves are also part of the equation, an even bigger role is played by donors, ministries, nonprofit organizations, regional authorities, towns and villages. All of those entities have made it possible for those who draw funding for the integration of Romani people to do so in a corrupt way.
Those entities present various cities and municipalities to the rest of the public as if they were the greatest experts on this issue, including cities that very often are to blame for the current state of affairs - which in some aspects is equivalent to the Middle Ages - and cases where right-wing radicals have won local elections by promoting anti-Romani policy. The state of affairs and the hatred that exists will never improve because the sources of financing for the area of the integration of Romani people are currently being kept as inaccessible as possible, basically at an infinite remove.
Competition has been created among Christian associations, local police, secular NGOs, towns and villages, all of whom are able to draw from grant programs whether they are run by cities, the EU, or even global donors. While the volume of these funds is enormous, it does have its limits, and for that reason it is "necessary" to purge unwanted applicants from among those interested in the funds for Roma integration.
Yes, I exactly mean purges, excluding those organizations that do not toe the party line - which means those who have the potential to demonstrate positive outcomes that will benefit these Romani target groups. After all, if the donors were to ascertain that in a certain area Romani people were already absolutely doing fine, that they were integrated, then the priority of their need would be greatly reduced, as would the volume of the financing allocated to that area.
For those who are not involved in this sphere of activity, what I am writing here will probably seem like it's in a foreign language. Over the last 25 years I have encountered many people sailing in these waters, some of whom actually take their calling seriously, many for whom this is a business and who actually hate the Romani minority, but even more whose falsity shines from their eyes.
I don't want to sound hateful myself here, so I must point out that it is not just some Non-Romani people who are corrupt and hateful, but also some Romani people. For a long time I have been doing my best to explain to those buying the services from the entities financed within the framework of these integration projects that they should be requiring actual resolutions to the unhappy situations being addressed.
Instead, as part of establishing their eligibility for financing from the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry (MPSV), NGOs are even being forced to kiss the asses of cities and municipalities currently promoting xenophobic policies. Yes, I am being blunt, but this is just a fact, no NGO that disagrees with that kind of local government will be recommended for a regionally-funded or state-funded project and sometimes not even for an EU one - and mainly, they will not be recommended for inclusion in the regional network of social services.
Exclusion from that network would cost an NGO the financing it receives from such donors, and therefore it is easier to kiss ass and promote xenophobic policy along with cities of that sort - and mainly, it is easiest to just keep in place the unalterably unfavorable status quo prevailing for the Romani target group. Esteemed readers, if we ask whether the approach currently being taken by politicians here means Romani people will be comprehended as equal to the majority society, then I must regretfully announce that if the MPSV rules do not change, if Act No. 108 on the provision of social services persists as it is drafted and plays into the hands of those responsible for this dismal state of affairs, I can actually say to you that Romani people will never be equal here.
NGOs must function independently of cities and municipalities, they must demonstrate results that benefit these Romani target groups, and they must use absolutely different approaches and methods than the cities do. The NGOs should be an example to local government, and the tiniest hint of corruption should be grounds for ending collaboration with them.
For the time being, the opposite is the reality here. As long as this will be the case, there is no chance of breaking down the imaginary barrier shoring up the opinion that Romani people are incapable of being integrated.
- Emil Voráč: Czech Govt COVID-19 measures have not stopped our work, but the poorest are being forgotten
- Civil society: The Czech state is not fully implementing its Roma integration policy
- Emil Voráč: Some non-Romani social work clients in the Czech Republic refuse aid from Romani people
- Czech Public Defender of Rights: Segregating Romani children in the schools obstructs integration
- Czech Public Defender of Rights recommends 10 measures to improve Romani integration into mainstream schools with non-Romani children
- Fifteen anti-racist and Roma NGOs call on EU countries to commit to updating their Romani Integration Strategies after 2020
- Michal Miko: Amendment to education decree violates the Romani Integration Strategy, Czech state obliged to implement inclusion
- Czech lower house approves budget, SPD did not succeed to reduce financing for Romani integration
- UN tells Czech Republic to improve Romani integration, compensate illegally sterilized women
- Czech mayor once praised for Roma integration halts subsidies to part of housing estate, impact on tenants unreported
- Bernard Rorke: Bulgarian government sticks a middle finger at Europe and appoints a fascist to head integration unit
- Bulgaria: Chair of the Council on Ethnic Minority Integration is now right-wing extremist Valeri Simeonov
- Hungary: Protests criticize Government, including over Roma integration
- Gabriela Hrabaňová: We need to discuss Romani integration with MEPs to promote our approaches at EU level
- Commentary: Integration of impoverished Roma must begin immediately in the Czech Republic
- Hungarian teachers take to the streets seeking integration of Roma and apology from PM
- Czech town segregating Roma in housing and at school - mayor says integration will only happen over his "dead body"
- European Commission wants concrete statistics on the integration of disadvantaged children into Czech schools
- Bulgaria: Switzerland investing in Roma integration there
- European Commission reports on Roma integration: More work needed
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency holds workshop on indicators of Romani integration
- Emil Voráč: Attacks on Romani people can be expected in our region, racism is rising here
- COVID-19 impacts impoverish most of humanity while the assets of the ultra-rich expand
- Czech nonprofit Romodrom celebrates its 20th anniversary
- Czech Spolu (Together) coalition: Education is the path to better integration of Roma, "inadaptables" don't want to conform
- Romania: "Gipsycoin" cryptocurrency launched by Romani community leader
- T-Mobile, general partner of Czech Republic's Sparta Prague football club, calls meeting with their leadership over their fans' racism
- Czech Republic plans billions for "nonprofits", but half will go to sports - targeted Romani projects will receive exponentially less money
- Czech activist on 8 April: the Romani position in society is deteriorating, zero results from the financing invested
- Czech organizations insist the lower house and Prime Minister reject the anti-Romani remarks of the ombudsman
- Romani community members debate the Czech Govt Strategy on Roma for 2021-2030
- Czech Govt to divert billions of crowns from the EU away from social services even as COVID-19 increases demand for debt counseling
- Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner expects new Roma strategy to be adopted by the end of January
- Czech Republic: Further action needed to integrate Roma children in schools and prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons