Typical Roma? ERGO launches international campaign
Roma groups from five European countries started the `Typical Roma?` campaign on January 27th in Macedonia, Albania and Bulgaria, with further campaign launches this week in Romania and Moldova. `Typical Roma?` (www.typicalroma.eu) is an international campaign, initiated by the European Roma Grassroots Organisation Network (ERGO). The campaign addresses stigmatization and stereotypes as root causes of social exclusion of Roma. The campaign raises the awareness for active citizenship of ALL in ONE society and intends to promote a positive image of Roma.
"Roma are not accepted as equal citizens, and are refused one of the universal human rights, namely the right to a dignified and worthy life", said Mustafa Jakupov from R.O.M.A, the youth branch of Roma Progres, from the Macedonian city of Kratovo during a press conference last Wednesday. Jakupov: "Young Roma want to stand up and have their own say. Therefore, for the first time Roma will have the chance to choose and make decisions in the first most Roma-friendly Mayor competition in the north-east region of Macedonia."
Most Roma-friendly Mayor
In the coming weeks, each participating country will start a competition: which community has the most Roma-friendly mayor? The competition will be announced in several communities. Participating mayors will answer a question list. The winning mayor in each country will be selected by an independent committee and announced during national events in the middle of March. The winning mayors will go to the Roma Summit in Cordoba, Spain, on April the 8th.
Black & White book
Apart from the election of the `Most Roma-friendly Mayor`, the campaigners will carry out several awareness-raising activities in their countries. They will for instance set up `Inclusion zones` in several cities, where Roma and non-Roma can meet and become aware about stereotypes.
During the coming months, the participating NGOs will also write and collect stories for a socalled Black & White book, which will be presented during the Roma Summit in Spain on April 8th. The organisations are collecting three stories per country: a positive one (succesful integration of Roma into society), a negative one (failed integration of Roma into society) and a third one (Most-Roma-friendly-mayor). Further, the book will include information about ERGO and its members.
EU Roma Summit on April 8th
During the Cordoba Summit, independent Roma youth organisations and ERGO will organise a training for 40 Roma youngsters from all over Europe for a week. During the training, the youngsters will prepare materials and actions for the Summit.
Participating organisations in the ´Typical Roma?´ campaign are: Integro from Bulgaria, RAA from Albania, R.O.M.A. from Macedonia, CRCR from Romania and Porojan and Tarne Rom from Moldova.
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