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2 CONTEXT The Municipality of Menemeni is situated in the west side of Thessaloniki City, an area that displays social inequalities in comparison to the rest of the City and is inhabited by populations that face the danger of social exclusion due to low educational level, poverty, unemployment etc. The Municipality has around 20.000 inhabitants, of which almost 15% are ROMA that mainly live in the district of Agios Nektarios (Saint Nektarios), and co-exist without any major problems with the general population.

3 MAIN OBJECTIVE Actions not only for the benefit of the sensitive population group of ROMA, but in favor of the general population and other vulnerable social groups as well. The Municipality attempts to formulate an integrated approach by responding to as many issues as possible and collaborating with local social partners and other bodies in order to achieve cohesive responses to the poverty challenge. Some of the activities are still in operation, whereas others stopped functioning with the ending of the programs.

4 SECTORS OF INTERVENTION Promotion to employment/Vocational Training Education Health Social welfare Housing Civic situation

5 FUNDING SOURCES National Funds (i.e. Housing Policy) Municipal Funds( i.e. Health, Civic situation) European Social Fund ( i.e. Community Initiative Equal, Social Welfare)

6 PROMOTION TO EMPLOYMENT/ VOCATIONAL TRAINING Office of Social and Supportive Services Provision of counseling concerning vocational training, techniques of job seeking, information about vacancies, etc. Psychological support Facilitation in liaison with other units of employment and social provision (Greek Manpower Organization, Social Welfare Services, Educational services, Centers of Vocational Training etc)

7 PROMOTION TO EMPLOYMENT/ VOCATIONAL TRAINING Community Initiative Equal: ¨ROM- ACTION FOR THE EQUIVALENT PARTICIPATION IN EMPLOYMENT¨. The Project was implemented by the Development Partnership Network for the encounter of discriminations against ROM¨. The partnership involved the cooperation of ROMA which was achieved mainly through their associations and Network ROM, institution of networking and representation of Greek ROMA. Τhe main problem this project faced was the integration of ROMA in the labour market.

8 EQUAL PRODUCTS 2 one-stop shops in the Municipalities of Menemeni and Echedoros. Provision of counseling concerning vocational training, techniques of job seeking, information about vacancies, etc. Psychological support Participation of mediators, derived from the ROMA population who provided information to the target-group and facilitated the access of the ROMA to the counselling structures.

9 EQUAL PRODUCTS Development of the Electronic Observatory for the ROMA. Information regarding the target-group, such as: The products of the Partnership Sectors which are very important, employment, health, education etc. The Observatory is cited in the following address:

10 EQUAL PRODUCTS Awareness and Dissemination Activities for the promotion of the objectives of the project and also the awareness-sensitization of the dominant population, as well as the public servants.

11 RESULTS Around 300 ROMA people have benefit from provision of counseling by expert consultants concerning employment and vocational training, of which almost 30% have been promoted to professional training seminars, according to their needs and skills.

12 HEALTH Medical care is provided by personnel including a pathologist, a gynecologist, a pediatrician and a nurse. Every year around 900 people visit the unit, 65% of those are ROMA and 3.500 sessions are provided. The main issues to be faced are the following: respiratory problems, cardiological problems, juvenile diseases, holding of TEST PAP for ROMA women, prescription writing.

13 SOCIAL WELFARE Development of a Municipal Nursery School. The nursery provides services to children from 2.5 to 5 years old. Non-ROMA and ROMA children have the opportunity to coexist, as 30% of the 35 enrolled kids per year, are ROMA. Development of a Centre for Creative Activities for Children. The unit addressed children from 6-12 years old, with the main aim of engaging them in creative activities, drawing, music, handicraft etc. The unit hosted 30 children per year, all of them were ROMA.

14 SOCIAL WELFARE Help at Home unit at the level of Municipality. The units staff provides services to old lonely people and handicapped individuals that cannot attend to their own needs, but also to families with elderly suffering from long-term illnesses. The program services 65 people and 10 of those belong to the ROMA population. The reason for the relatively low percentage is the fact that most ROMA do not meet the requirements of the program, as they live with their families that take care of them at home.

15 EDUCATION Seminars of Greek language for the illiterate ROMA, who have dropped out of school Acquisition of the diploma of primary education 2 multi-cultural primary schools for students with cultural and social particularities, such as the ROMA.

16 HOUSING Τhe Municipality carries out a funding program by the Ministry of Interior, Decentralization and Electronic Governance which concerns the provision of loans up to 60.000 per ROMA family, with the aim of purchase, construction or reconstruction of an apartment or house in general, that will ameliorate the conditions of living. From 2002, 448 ROMA have benefit from the program.

17 CIVIC SITUATION Βranch of the Center of Civic Service, in the area where the majority of ROMA live Issuance of : Birth/death certificates Certificates of family status, single state, social security numbers, permanent residence etc. Approximately 120 people visit the structure every month, 95% of them are ROMA.

18 LOCAL CHURCHS INVOLVEMENT Activities in benefit of the general population and other social groups as the ROMA: A daily meal is scheduled and offered in favor of the people in need, among them a significant number of ROMA. Courses of English Language for children and adults and Greek Language especially for the ROMA. Courses of Byzantine music and Theology.

19 MAIN OBSTACLES Lack of funding sources Special characteristics of the ROMA population: marginalization, fear and distrust towards the good intentions of the general population and the realization of supportive activities Distrust and uneasiness of the general population towards the ROMA, such as employers, institutions etc. Difficulty/Reluctance of the ROMA people in adapting to the way of thinking and acting of the general population ( mainly concerning employment and education) Parallel existence of multiple factors that contribute to the social exclusion of ROMA, such as family status, great number of dependent members, low school attendance, poverty, unemployment, inappropriate housing etc.

20 CONCLUSIONS In conclusion, the confrontation of the ROMA problems should be based on an integrated intervention with a long-term perspective. This is possible when there is –Continuous funding to guarantee the sustainability of policies. –Change of mentality of the general and the ROMA population –Activities should be planned and materialized for the benefit of the basic element of the Roma communities, the family.

21 CONCLUSIONS In essence, working with the family, we can guarantee better perspective for the ROMA children, the target should be the amelioration of the future of the ROMA family and especially the youth. This is a great social problem that we have to approach from all its dimensions and not separately. The planning and realization of a complete intervention is required.

22 Thank you for your attention!


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