Reform Fund Linked to the
Inclusion of Roma and other Vulnerable Groups
Together for Empowerment, project implemented by the Consortium led by Tdh Switzerland, aims at improving the living conditions of Roma and other vulnerable groups by organising activities in areas such as education, health, community development, housing and economic empowerment.
zefiR - Together for Empowerment: lnclusion Fund for Roma and other disadvantaged groups.
Consortium is formed by: Terre des Hommes, Switzerland is the lead agency for the project steering; local partners, Roma Centre Amare Rromentza, Împreună Agency for Community Development, PACT - Partnership for Community Action and Transformation, Pestalozzi Foundation Romania, Habitat for Humanity and Sastipen – Roma Centre for Health Policy.
zefiR project is aimed at improving the living conditions of residents from 12 communities from Olt, Dolj and Gorj, through providing support and services in areas such as education, health and community development. Using housing as a transversal component, the project team envisions healthy, better educated and empowered communities whose members work together for achieving local prosperity.
Starting with May 2016, the project team is starting the implementation of the economic empowerment component.
Dolj: Amărăștii de Jos - Ocolna, Filiași, Barca, Negoi;
Gorj: Polovragi, Târgu Cărbunești, Bumbești Jiu, Baia de Fier;
Olt: Grădinari, Caracal, Slatina, Piatra Olt.
Duration: May 1st .2013 – August 31st 2018
Objective 1: Access to Education
Main goal: 1180 children have improved access to quality education services at kindergarten and primary schools and improved homework conditions at home. The project will be focusing on three actors: parents, pupils and teachers.
Objective 2: Health and social assistance
Main goal: to improve access to health and social services of 3000 children aged 6-17 and 700 pregnant and lactating mothers.
Objective 3: Community empowerment
Main goal: 12 empowered communities benefit from improved perception at local, district and national level, enhanced self-esteem, improved problem-solving capabilities and enriched intercommunity dialogue.
Objective 4: Economic empowerment
Main goals: At least 40 people of Roma origin and other vulnerable groups have increased business and entrepreneurial skills in supportive community environments 20 supported income generating activities and individual businesses are efficient and profitable in minimum 5 local communities with a high number of Roma or other vulnerable groups.
Results achieved in 2015
Education: 616 children have participated in after-school and Joyful Thursday activities. At the Summer events, fair-play games and social inclusion events took part 572 children from the three counties. From the 180 children targeted by the project, by the end of 2015, 177 kindergarten children part of the project had comparable results at the end of the first grade with the majority of the children of their age (who are not part of the project). 42 teachers were trained in 2015 on intercultural education, while 4 kindergarten educators were trained on intercultural education methods. 36 trainers have increased their knowledge and skills in implementing integrated psychosocial activities. 288 parents participated in events organised especially for them.
Health: In 2015, 1686 children and 183 pregnant and lactating mothers benefitted from the services offered by the socio-medical community centres established since 2014 in Ocolna, Baia de Fier and Slatina. The Community Centres are in progress of being integrated in the structures of the local authorities, ensuring in this way the continuity of the social and medical services in the communities. The Centres offer the following type of services: basic medical services, like consulting and screening; first aid interventions; information campaigns for the prevention and early diagnosing of diseases such as tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer; campaigning for a healthy life style (reproduction, hygiene); medical and social counselling; facilitating access to public social and medical services; monitoring the evolution and registration on the lists of a family physicians of new born children, of pregnant women or lactating mothers; development of medical programmes in accordance with the communities’ needs. The majority of the patients have declared being satisfied by the services provided to a large extent.
Community empowerment: All 12 Local Initiative Groups (LIG) elaborated Local Action Plans (LAPs) and projects for the grants available for them within the project. In 11 communities, projects were implemented by the LIGs. All of them are addressed to improving conditions for children at local level: construction of playgrounds, providing field-trips for school children, or enhancing their abilities through extra-curricular activities. The projects were implemented with support from the local authorities. Except for the projects on education, several other initiatives were implemented in Piatra Olt, where the LIG has successfully advocated for the creation of a crosswalk near the school and for the hiring of a health mediator to serve their community; in Grădinari, where the LIG and the community has improved the flooding prevention infrastructure by digging a ditch; in Baia de Fier, where the LIG has started a health awareness campaign; and in Caracal, where through a project, in which the LIG participated, and with financing from the hospital, two monitors were acquired by the Paediatrics and Neonatology Department of Caracal Hospital. In the communities, in total, 136 members were trained in order to have improved communication skills, entrepreneurial skills, lobby and advocacy skills and in Aflateen methodology. 30 women and 30 youngsters have participated in mentoring activities.
Housing: The needs were identified in all communities with support from the LIGs and local authorities, and project locations were agreed for 5 communities. The first project was the rehabilitation of the roof of a 24 family block in one of the project location. 9 houses in Piatra Olt and 1 kindergarten in Caracal have been renovated.
Results achieved in 2014
Education: 46 teachers are trained and coached in 12 schools; Intercultural preschool teaching is available for 91 children; 270 children take part in afterschool activities; Psychosocial activities offered for 270 children; 120 parents participated in parental support activities.
Health: 3 community resource centres are established; Health promotion activities organized in 12 communities; 12 community dialogues between Roma communities and local authorities established.
Empowerment: 12 community initiatives to solve common problems are set-up (and on-going); Training on leadership for 75 community members took place.