Activism

Open call for applications to participate at the Roma Civil Society Forum on Ukraine

Standing with Ukrainian Roma in Europe!

Berlin (Germany), December 4 – 8, 2022  

The key representatives of the Roma and (pro)Roma civil society, policy-makers and various stakeholders are gathering to establish a coalition that strengthens equality, inclusion and participation for Ukrainian Roma in the European context. The Forum contributes to making both European and national policies more inclusive and responsive to the current needs of Ukrainian Roma.

The situation in which the Ukrainian society found itself at the beginning of a war created additional dangers for Roma communities. The full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territories by the Russian Federation since 24 February increased manifestations of discrimination, the influence of Russian propaganda and the manipulation of information. 

We want to use the opportunity presented by the continued support of European civil society and states to tackle antigypsyism and exclusion of Roma in Ukraine and show Roma as active citizens defending the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state shoulder-by-shoulder with other Ukrainians. While thousands of Roma fight in the Ukrainian army, others organize humanitarian support and lobby for the interests of a diverse Ukrainian society in the European political arena.

We raise awareness that the actions taken by minorities such as Roma will be recognised by Ukrainian politics and society. This means that Roma and other minorities are seen as an integral part of Ukrainian society and granted the broadest possible minority rights.

This forum will discuss priorities of Roma communities in Ukraine in the process of reconstruction with a specific focus on youth participation and inclusion. We create a space for young Roma experts to make their voices heard and engage with policy-makers to share our experiences first-hand and present commitments on the way forward.

OBJECTIVES

▪Networking and coalition-building: strengthen networking of Ukrainian Roma activists from Ukraine and in the diaspora across Europe; 

▪Strengthen cooperation between Ukrainian Roma civil society and (pro)Roma civil society in Europe that engage Ukrainian Roma refugees;

▪Understanding / Monitoring and analysis: mapping and analysis the situation of Roma refugees, with a particular focus on children and young people; antigypsyism and the situation of refugees; how to monitor & document thesituation in Ukraine and Europe (e.g. also media narratives)

▪Sharing practices between Roma and (pro)Roma civic society, policy-makers and various stakeholders in order to facilitate discussions that foster mutual visions on further advocacy;

▪Advocate the situation of Roma in Ukraine and of refugees from Ukraine across Europe;  lobby participation of Roma civil society of Ukraine in policy making process on Reconstruction strategies on Ukraine.

PARTICIPANTS

Eligibility & Selection Criteria 

🔹You are an active representative of civil society democracy initiatives, having an experience in advocacy, human rights monitoring, policy-making or media with a particular focus on the context of Roma in and from Ukraine; 

🔹 Be ready to share own challenges and adopt a solution-oriented approach by bringing in new ideas and visions on the question of democracy;

🔹Demonstrate motivation to build equal, inclusive and cohesive societies free from all forms of intolerance and discrimination on local, national and international levels;

🔹 Intermediate English proficiency is required (reading, writing and speaking). Knowledge of Ukrainian and Romani languages will be an additional advantage; 

🔹 You have to be available and able to participate for the entire duration of the event.

Preference will be given to applicants with Roma and Ukrainian backgrounds.

PROGRAMME

◼ Experts’ Seminar “Roma in and from Ukraine: realities, challenges, perspectives”: We build an exchange process, which allows participants to work on mapping the current situation and struggles that Roma communities in and out of Ukraine are facing because of the war. With the gained understanding of diverse experiences, we will be able to take practical steps for cooperation, advocacy, strengthening the political representation of Ukrainian Roma and building a diaspora network.

◼ Conference “The Russian War against Ukraine and Its Consequences for Roma”: We gather representatives of the Roma community in Ukraine, Roma refugees, decision-makers from Europe as well as civil society and think tanks to promote understanding that Roma are an integral part of Ukrainian society and that the international community, and Germany in particular, has an obligation to be an ally not only to Ukraine but also to Roma from Ukraine.

◼ Documentary Theater Public Performance “From Home to Home”: We aim to transfer the knowledge of how today’s generations experience the trauma of the war in order to raise societies’ awareness and influence decision-making processes. The performance is the first attempt to document and preserve the memory of the historical event taking place in Ukraine today, based on the testimonies of various female Roma and (pro-)Roma representatives.

◼ Exhibition: “Catharsis”: Our aim is to offer the path to healing traumatic experiences through visual expression using art therapy methods. We have created a safe space for ten young Ukrainian women, Roma and (pro-)Roma leaders who are not afraid to share their fears and losses, hopes and dreams during the ongoing war in Ukraine. The exhibition shows how much the “personal” can reflect the current political situation. Being a Ukrainian woman today requires a lot of psychological resilience to survive the war and at the same time believe in the future.

◼ Arrival/Departure: All participants arrive on 03.12.2022 and depart on 09.12.2022

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

◼ All participants are expected to join the full 5-days lasting program.

◼ The organizers cover the accommodation, board and program costs in Berlin.  

Travel arrangements

The organizers will cover the travel costs up to the limits set by the Erasmus+ grant

 Only travel with the cheapest means (flight 2nd class, train, bus) will be covered. Travel in a car is possible and reimbursed based on a km flat rate.

You can calculate the applicable rate here:

 Travel costs are reimbursed based on the presented proof of real costs (invoices, tickets, boarding passes).

We would like to encourage all participants to avoid traveling by plane. In this case, higher travel reimbursements are also available (Erasmus+ Green Travel).

If your planned travel costs exceed this budget, please contact us soon to find a solution.

Contact persons:

marius.luedicke@sintiundroma.de

tetiana.storozhko@yngo-arca.com 

Please let us know your arrival time as soon as possible to estimate if we organise the first welcome in the late afternoon/evening

Accommodation:

Hostel A&O Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Lehrter Str. 12, 10557 Berlin

Attention: The coordination with the hotels is in the hands of the organizing team. For any questions, please contact them, not the hotel.

Contact person: marius.luedicke@sintiundroma.de; peter.leponi@sintiundroma.de

Venue

4th – 6th and 8th of December: Jugendgästehaus Hauptbahnhof, Lehrter Straße 68, 10557 Berlin

3rd and 7th of December: Educational Forum against Antigypsyism, Prinzenstraße 84.2, 10969 Berlin

Health Insurance

Please bring along your European Health Card (all residents/citizens of EU countries). All non-EU citizens should make sure to arrange a health insurance for the journey.

Respect the Code of Conduct

ТAll participants, volunteers, team members and leaders are required to respect the official “Code of Conduct” of the event. The Code of Conduct ensures the well-being of everybody. If anybody disrespects the Code of Conduct, he/she may be sent home by the organizers.

Applications must be submitted by Sunday, 13 November  2022, 23:59 CET by completing the online application form available at: https://forms.gle/2qKk68BfkTvxa4na8

The Roma Civil Society Forum on Ukraine organized by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma and Youth Agency for the Advocacy of Roma Culture “ARCA”

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