2017 – 2021

The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., has launched a project for a multi-purpose Roma centre – Roma Station, funded by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. This is a four-year programme for which we applied in the framework of a public call for proposals for the establishment of multi-purpose Roma centres.

The Roma Station is a space designed to provide additional support to members of the Roma community, and the activities we will be organising will encourage dialogue and strengthen cooperation between the minority community and the majority population. The Roma activators working in the Roma Station will provide individual support, information and counselling to participants on a daily basis, and several times a week we will organise group educational activities aimed at different sub-groups (children, Roma women, Roma youth, etc.) or the Roma community as a whole. We consider it important to create a space where people feel welcome and a place where members of the Roma community can turn. Due to the fact that the Roma community is too often financially constrained, we want to provide quality leisure time for the people who will participate in the activities of the centre, which will be achieved through the organisation of cultural, sporting and other leisure activities. One of the objectives of the Roma Station is certainly to bring the Roma community closer to the labour market, which we want to ensure by providing non-formal education that will empower the target group with skills and knowledge that can help them in their later employability. Through the examples of good practices that we have learnt in the course of our work at home and abroad, we have mastered the appropriate methodology and systematics that have a positive impact on members of minority communities.

Over the years of working with the Roma community, we have gained a good understanding of the needs and problems faced by the Roma community, and we want to work in a way that prevents or mitigates the perceived problems (school drop-outs, early marriages, high levels of discrimination, difficulties in finding a job, etc.). In order to improve the situation, we want to strengthen cooperation with the relevant institutions and dialogue with decision-makers. The Roma Centre will also focus on the promotion and preservation of Roma culture through public events (round tables, Roma commemorations, concerts, literary evenings, exhibitions, etc.), in order to bring the rich Roma folk tradition closer to the majority population and to highlight the importance of preserving minority art.

One of the most important activities of the Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is volunteering, which is certainly an activity that we want to further develop within the Roma Centre. We want to encourage members of the Roma community to volunteer, as this is the only way for individuals to acquire new skills and competences, and at the same time it helps them to expand their social circle.We also want to involve local and international volunteers in the activities of the Roma Station, as we are aware that each individual has irreplaceable potential in co-creating programmes. We will provide mentoring and additional training to all volunteers involved, while encouraging them to actively participate and help in the preparation of the activities that will take place within the multi-purpose Roma Centre.

As we are focused on youth work, we will also place a strong emphasis on the young people who will participate in our activities. It is important that we help young people to acquire formal and non-formal education, help them to acquire new knowledge, competences and skills, guide them in volunteering and mobility projects, and provide them with a safe space where they can network, exchange ideas and express their creativity.

The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is supported by: