“Being together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is a success”
Now we can hope for a better future
“A better future”, Obor community, Aleșd city, Bihor county
Grant: 124. 537 euro
Local contribution from other sources: 18,752 euros
Members of the Obor Roma community in the city of Aleşd, faced with multiple problems such as poverty, poor living conditions, low level of education, lack of jobs, reduced access to medical services, were part of an initiative group that, supported by the Aleşd City Hall and the Ruhama Foundation, have developed an integrated project aimed at improving the standard of living in the community.
The project financed with funds from the Romanian Government through RSDF within the Priority Interventions Program (PIP), carried out between October 2008 and June 2010, had two components:
- the establishment of a local public bath
The local public bath responds to the need to ensure the hygiene of the members of the Roma families who do not have conditions in their own homes. In order to respond to a large number of requests for specific services (body shower, washing machines in automatic machines), weekly schedules are drawn up.
- setting up a Children’s Day Center
The Day Center for children has a capacity of 25 places and is addressed to children who dropped out of school and did not exceed 2 years of schooling, school children in grades I-IV at risk of dropping out of school due to low school attendance or school performance and children from families with serious social problems. Following the analysis of the performances obtained with the first three groups of 25 children each, starting with September 2011, first-grade students were co-opted with priority. The results are very good, Roma children reaching and sometimes exceeding the level of other children in school. The center also provides support for homework, learning basic life skills, and solving personal and family problems through mediation provided by the center team.
One year after the closure of RSDF funding, through a local fundraising effort, the Day Center has been doubled by an Information and Counseling Center for 300 adults in the community; they benefit from information and counseling, support for accessing a job, for accessing institutional resources and developing new skills and roles.
A step forward for community health
“Improving living conditions for the Roma community Colonia Bistritei-Buhuși” – Buhuşi town, Bacău county
Grant: 120,600 euro
Local contribution from other sources: 28,076 euro
The project started at the end of 2009 and ended in May 2012. The Bistriţa Buhuşi Colony was located on the outskirts of Buhuşi, approximately 1 km from the Bacau-Piatra Neamţ national road.
It is said that the whole city depended on the cloth factory, and with its dissolution, the city became sad, lifeless, with people trying hard to ensure their daily existence.
The community from Colonia Bistriţei is made up of 600 people of Roma ethnicity living in conditions of extreme poverty, the main source of income in 2009 is the minimum guaranteed income. Paradoxically, however, the large number of poor Roma had, in time, been ignored by both the authorities and other citizens. There is no “colonist” for over 18 years who have not had problems with the police. The over 600 people live in 20 rented households and in 5 personally owned buildings, the households being unsanitary, not connected to the city’s water and sewer network, the main source of drinking water being two taps. However, over 90% of households are connected to the national electricity system. During the period when the cloth factory operated, Colonia Bistriţei was a select neighborhood, inhabited by foreign and Romanian specialists, employees of the factory. With their departure and the occupation of buildings by Roma people, this area became the ugly “stain” of the city. Many of the houses are overcrowded, in two rooms can accommodate 18-20 people, and toilets are missing in many cases even in the yard.
The Roma community and Buhuşi City Hall are looking for solutions
In this context, the need arose to raise funds to solve problems in the community. The opportunity offered by FRDS within the Priority Interventions Program was harnessed for the benefit of the community, through the elaboration, application, and implementation of an integrated project. For this, an initiative group composed of Roma people, supported by the expert-facilitator of FRDS, convinced the Buhuşi City Hall to be the applicant of this project. The data collection and consultation campaign of the Roma population allowed to establish the objective of the project, and solving two of the problems affecting the quality of life of community members, namely, poor hygiene conditions in the absence of bathrooms and health education low.
Public bathing and health education – a priority
The integrated project “Improving living conditions for the Roma community Colonia Bistritei-Buhusi” has as general objective to increase the level of education, socialization, and health of the inhabitants of the Roma community of Buhuşi, by facilitating access to information and creating minimum conditions for ensuring body hygiene in decent conditions. The specific objectives of this project are the construction of a public bath and a medical counseling center in which to provide health, medical, and hygiene information and education services.
The new communal bathroom has an area of 226.29 sqm, with a built-up area of 75.43 sqm, with a number of 3 levels (B + GF + 1F), the built area being 750 sqm.
The project was an alternative to the current situation that contributed to:
· Increasing the self-esteem of the members of the Colonia Bistriţei Buhuşi community,
· Creation and maintenance of hygienic-sanitary skills,
· Shaping the identity of the Roma community,
- instructive-educational activities: medical supervision, guidance, orientation, counseling, training circles;
- social services: individual and group psycho-social therapy, counseling, mediation, training of hygiene and self-management skills.
The communal bathroom that serves the over 100 Roma families is very much appreciated by the beneficiaries, as well as the sanitary point as well as the information point equipped with computers.
During the project, Roma families receive packages of hygienic materials that are necessary to maintain cleanliness and personal hygiene, in order to form personal hygiene skills.
The race for change
“One step forward” Tudora commune, Botoşani county
Grant: 94,848 euros
Local contribution from other sources: 34,380 euros
The project was started in November 2009 and will be completed in May 2012. The documentary attestation of Tudora locality, dates from January 6, 1395, as the property of the parable Sendrea, counselor of Stephen the Great and Saint. Today, Tudora commune is located in the SW part of Botoşani county, 36 km from the county seat municipality.
The Turbată community from Tudora commune is not very old, being located initially on Valea Şiretului and formed by a maximum of 10 families. The 1972 floods affected a small community that was rescued by transshipping residents by boat. Subsequently, the community was moved to its current location.
Most community members receive social assistance. The Turbata community is young, made up of 102 Roma people, the over 60s being few in number, most being represented by young families (up to 40 years old), with many children. The 27 families also live 2 or even 3 in the same house.
The decision of the community members to find solutions for the problems they face determined a numerous presence at the working meetings in which the problems were identified, prioritized, and proposed solutions were solved. Among the main problems, we mention lack of drinking water, lack of properly arranged toilets, lack of new homes for young families (crowding being large in existing homes), lack of income for Roma families to ensure a decent living, houses in good condition degradation.
The inclusion of Tudora commune in the group of localities where the pilot phase of the Priority Interventions Program (PIP) was carried out by FRDS, represented the chance of the Roma community to start the Race for Change, by solving important problems affecting the quality of life of the inhabitants of the village of Turbată.
The initiative belongs to them
An initiative group consisting of 32 people elected its representatives: Dumitru BĂDĂRĂU – president, Maria BADARAU – vice-president, Cristina BĂDĂRĂU – secretary. Assisted by RSDF experts and supported by representatives of local authorities respectively Aurel LESUC -Tudora commune mayor, Constantin COCOREANU – Tudora City Hall specialist – project coordinator, Elena DASCĂLU – Tudora City accountant and project accountant, successfully developed, applied and implemented, of an integrated project whose components of small infrastructure and community social services have led to improvements in the lives of Roma citizens.
The objectives proposed by the project were:
- Bringing drinking water to the community
- Realization of a public sanitary group
- Awareness and health campaign
During the implementation of the project, the drinking water distribution network was extended (1380 m in length) by connecting to the water supply system of Tudora locality, a public sanitary group was built with toilets, washbasins and showers. heated by its own central heating, the public bathroom being connected to 220V electricity. Also, the domestic sewerage was made in a total length of 20 m and the compact treatment plant for a flow rate Q = 20 m3 / day with the discharge mouth for the discharge into the emissary (Turbată river).
The complementarity of the two types of activities (small infrastructure and social) ensures the presence in the community of the essential element of life – APA – in parameters and conditions that lead in the long run to the significant improvement of the health of the population benefiting from permanent services. health care. The aim is to reduce by 40% the incidence of diseases caused mainly by unhealthy living conditions and poor hygiene.
Together they set the rules
„For the good development and the achievement of the objectives proposed within this project, the Program for the functioning of the public sanitary group was elaborated immediately after the completion of the constructions of the infrastructure objective and the acquisition of goods. The services are permanently available for all beneficiaries in the Roma community, only some components having a program that involves their use a few days a week (body hygiene – use of showers, washing machine). This program is established by community members, depending on the real needs of use, taking into account the efficient use of resources (water, electricity).
The regular meetings aimed to inform community members about the rules of individual and family hygiene, in order to prevent future diseases with high incidence at present, mainly due to unhealthy living conditions and poor hygiene.
The history of the birth of a partnership
“Multifunctional Social Center for the Roma population Chiojdeni”
Grant: 123,090 euros
Contribution: 12,717 euros
Chiojdeni commune, located in the southern part of Vrancea county, on the Râmnicu-Sărat river valley, in the hill to mountain area, has 8 villages: Chiojdeni (residence), Catauti, Lojniţa, Luncile, Mărăcini, Podurile, Seciu, Tulburea .
Using the opportunity offered by the Romanian Social Development Fund within the Priority Interventions Program, an initiative group consisting of Roma people from Luncile village, managed to mobilize the community to develop and implement an integrated project in which a Multifunctional Social Center.
The initiative was supported by the City Hall of Chiojdeni commune, which agreed to be the applicant of the project and which, together with the RSDF facilitator, supported the activities of data collection, consultation of the Roma population, and writing of the application.
During the implementation of the project, the building of the Multifunctional Social Center was built and, starting with May 2011, the services addressed to Roma citizens were opened, through which it is desired to improve the quality of life of the 700 Roma citizens in the community. These services are of the day center type (after school activities, recreational, cultural, sports activities) for children and adolescents, which aim to prevent school dropouts and improve school performance. Information is also provided and medical and social counseling is provided for adults.
The official opening of the Chiojdeni Multifunctional Social Center took place on the occasion of the International Children’s Day (June 1, 2011) by organizing a ceremony that also included a cultural program dedicated to children and adolescents.
At almost one year of operation, the activities of the Center are carried out regularly, the satisfaction of Roma people being measured by the large number of beneficiaries of the services offered within this institution.
And now, let us remember the reluctance of the same Roma, today beneficiaries of their self-confidence and teamwork, who initially stated: “We have never been helped to build something in the community and we do not want promises to be made that will not be honored. , we do not want to be used as a polling station “. The trust was established on the basis of discussions, information, explanations offered to Roma in the community, by facilitators, evaluators, FRDS supervisors, Roma citizens in the initiative group and City Hall representatives. Thus, it was perceived important for the community to carry out the project, the profile of social activities that will be carried out for the benefit of Roma ethnics, the positive impact of these activities on the whole community, especially on Roma children and young people.
Here is the history of the birth of an extended partnership that included the entire Roma community, its representatives (Initiative Group, Local Monitoring Unit), Local Public Authority, Project Implementation Group, Project Coordinator, each of those involved showing professionalism in implementation and the desire to achieve the proposed objectives. Let us also mention the names of those Roma people who thought they could and managed to coagulate the whole community: Ionel STAN – president, Marcel IOSIF – vice president, Mugurel MÂNCA – secretary (Initiative Group), Gheorghiţă STAN – president, Gabriel IOSIF – member, Mirela STAN – member, Georgian DOBRA – MEP agent (Local Monitoring Unit). The project coordinator was the expert for Roma issues from Chiojdeni commune City Hall – Danut TĂNASE, helped in the implementation process by local people, representatives of the majority population, namely, Mia SECARĂ – accounting, Mariana SOARE – teacher, Liviu BOBOC – supervising teacher.
The involvement of the Roma community in the project, shifted the responsibility on the “shoulders” of this ethnic group, demonstrating to the Roma population that the situation of the entire community can be improved by its involvement in the development and implementation of projects funded by European funds. Within the Roma community, the sense of responsibility, the good of the community and the collective participation in the social life of the whole community, has seen a visible rise.