1 Nov., 2022 – 1 Nov., 2024

The EPEKA Association, soc.ent., is a partner organization within the international project for Strengthening the Capacity of the Non-Governmental Sector working in the field of the Roma community and involving Roma women in the functioning of NGOs.

This is a project funded by the Erasmus+ program, under the KA210-ADU action – Small Partnerships in the Field of Adult Education, coordinated by the Slovenian partner Association for Connecting Roma Women – Loli Luludi. The project aims to strengthen the capacities of the non-governmental sector, focusing on improving equal opportunities for the Roma community, with an emphasis on empowering Roma women. As part of the project, we will strengthen the staff of participating NGOs (members of the Roma community who work in NGOs and employees in NGOs who are not members of the Roma community but focus on collaborating with the Roma community), aiming to enhance the effectiveness of the non-governmental sector in targeted work with the female population of the Roma community facing specific circumstances and needing effective treatment and support essential for achieving changes that would enable long-term progress for Roma women and stimulate their equal participation in all life processes. Within the project, we will carry out several transnational activities, mainly focused on transferring good practices among organizations, creating methodologies aimed at individual, group, and community work with the Roma community, and preparing final project results.

Within the project, we will create two final project results R1 and R2, with R1 representing a set of good practices that will be freely available online and include developed methodological approaches and recommendations for implementing good practices in different geographical areas. To better understand the situation of Roma women and to record the needs of the Roma community, we will also conduct local activities within which participating organizations will work directly with the Roma community and capture their observations and knowledge in RS – preparation of a podcast series that will provide information about the functioning of the Roma community (with members of the RS, experts, and educational staff as guests) and the role of RS education.

The project consortium consists of: Association for Connecting Roma Women Loli Luludi, EPEKA Association, soc.ent., CENTER FOR INTERETHNIC DIALOGUE AND TOLERANCE AMALIPE (Bulgaria), ROMNI-APS (Italy), and Együttható Community Building Association (Hungary).

Mobilities carried out in 2023

  1. Introductory meeting of the partner consortium (Rome, Italy; January 29 – 31, 2023)

The meeting was dedicated to mutual acquaintances of the partner consortium and the topics we will address within the project’s implementation. The introductory meeting was intended to review and sign cooperation contracts, plan all phases of the project, future transnational mobilities, introduce the partner consortium to tasks related to the project, design dissemination and evaluation strategies of the partner consortium. At the meeting, the partner consortium reached a common understanding of the project; the partner consortium was precisely informed about all phases of the project, both in terms of content and schedule. We also discussed preparing project results (R1 and R2) and steps needed for successful realization and broad usability of the project results during the project meeting. Within the 3-day meeting, we dedicated one day to preparations for the implementation of local activities, explained clearly to all members of the partner consortium how to carry out the upcoming activities, what we want to achieve with them, which methodology to use within local activities, how to connect with the project’s final target groups (i.e., with the Roma community), we developed strategies related to how to include female members of the Roma community in local activities and how to encourage and maintain mutual trust between NGOs and various Roma communities. Within the meeting, we defined which target groups to include in the project activities (i.e., which target groups to include in transnational activities, which target groups to include in local activities), with the aim that when implementing the project, we address the same target group, otherwise, we will not get the relevant information and results necessary for preparing R1 and R2.

2. I. Transnational meeting (Maribor, Slovenia; May 22 – 26, 2023)

The first transnational meeting took place in Slovenia; it was organized by the partner organization – EPEKA Association, soc.ent., and the coordinating organization, Loli Luludi Society, also actively participated in its execution. The activity was intended for participants to get acquainted with good practices of Roma community inclusion at the local and national level during the first two days. The first two days, therefore, relied on field visits and visiting good practices, within which we focused on the inclusion and employment of female members of the Roma community. In the following days, we focused on presentations of good practices in integrating Roma into society by partner organizations and other organizations operating in countries from which partner organizations come. The activity was therefore partly focused on exchanging good practices. The other part of the activity focused on defining the needs of the final target group based on the findings of documents created within local activities. In line with the identified needs, we prepared drafts of a set of good practices during the activity and prepared methodological and strategic guidelines for transferring good practices to different environments. Participating organizations have upgraded their capacities related to content adaptation in such a way that when transferring various good practices, they could more easily implement activities in various environments where the Roma community lives.