The Jilava City Hall has initiated a project aimed at sustainably improving the quality of life for the Roma community, contributing to the increased inclusion and empowerment of the Roma in Jilava commune, Ilfov County.
As part of the program for ”Local Development, Poverty Reduction, and Increasing Roma Inclusion” funded by the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014-2021, the project ”Intercultural Development in Jilava Commune, Ilfov County” will run for 22 months and benefit from a grant totaling 4,680,362 lei.
The project addresses needs that the Jilava City Hall, through specialized departments, identified following field research. Discrimination on multiple fronts, low socio-economic status, high risk of school dropout, lack of access to information, material deprivation, and lack of future prospects are just some of the issues faced by the Roma community in Jilava.
The project aims to foster intercultural expertise among 40 specialists working directly with the Roma community. Alongside this, 37 Roma specialists and leaders will be trained in advocacy and human rights, ensuring that both external specialists and community leaders are well-equipped to address challenges and advocate for change. For the younger demographic, 300 vulnerable children will be provided with educational and health services. This initiative will specifically address functional illiteracy and ensure that children have the knowledge required up to the eighth grade. Moreover, programs will be set in place to enhance student motivation and self-esteem. To further support this, 200 adults will undergo parental education to create a nurturing environment at home, aiming to reduce school dropouts and improve academic results.
In the broader scope, the project will cater to 1,400 vulnerable individuals in Jilava commune, Ilfov. They will be given access to employment services and medical assistance, focusing on improving their professional readiness and overall health. Lastly, empowerment stands as a key pillar of the initiative. An empowerment program designed for 837 Roma individuals will be rolled out. This segment emphasizes the importance of ensuring all Roma participants, especially women and youth, have comprehensive access to their rights and can engage deeply with their culture and advocacy.
The actions initiated by the Jilava City Hall (educational services, overall project and working group management) carried out in partnership with the Amfiteatru Foundation (the non-formal education program for children and the specialist training, professional development, empowerment, health, community organization programs for adults and anti-discrimination toolkit development) will ensure access to quality services and the lasting alleviation of challenges faced by the Roma community in Jilava.
Jilava is a commune located in the southern part of Ilfov County. It has a population of 10,500 residents and covers an area of 26.76 km2. The oldest known document confirming Jilava’s existence was issued in Bucharest in June 1716. By legal provisions, Jilava functions as an official entity under government jurisdiction, possessing its own assets and having full legal rights. Official Jilava City Hall website: www.primariajilava.ro.
Amfiteatru Foundation develops local, national and international programs, projects and partnerships so as to support communities’ anthropic and natural resources. The organization focuses on integrated approaches that lead to considerable results in the social field. Official website: www.fundatia-amfiteatru.ro.
The European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthening bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary countries in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic states. These financial mechanisms are based on the European Economic Area Agreement which reunites the EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as equal partners in the internal market. In total, the three countries have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. A further €2.8 billion has been made available in the 2014-2021 funding period. The EEA grants are jointly funded by all the three donors, while the Norway Grants are funded exclusively by Norway and are available in the 13 countries having joined the EU after 2003. For more details on the EEA and Norway Grants see www.eeagrants.org, www.norwaygrants.org and data.eeagrants.org.
The Romanian Social Development Fund (FRDS) was established in 1998 as a public interest body under the authority of the Romanian Government. Using this platform, projects aimed at improving living conditions in poor communities and disadvantaged groups from both rural and urban settings are funded. Over its 15 years of activity, the FRDS has funded over 1,430 local development projects, amounting to a total value of over 100 million euros. The funds managed by FRDS primarily came from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), supplemented by contributions from the Romanian Government and direct beneficiaries. Starting in 2013, FRDS has been the Program Operator for the RO10 Program “Children and young people at risk and Local and regional initiatives to reduce national inequalities and promote social inclusion”, financed through the EEA Grants. More details can be found at www.frds.ro.
This material was produced with the financial support of the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014 – 2021. The content (text, photos, video) does not represent the official view of the Program Operator, the National Contact Point, or the Financial Mechanism Office. The information and opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author/authors.