AID has published the first video relevant to Roma women talking about Education in the framework of the RTransform project. This is one of many audio-visual materials that will be created to collect Roma women’s voices at the Roma Women Student Gatherings around Europe, which will include interventions and interviews with participants and experts. You can find it here
On Saturday 28th May, the XXI Roma Women Student Gathering of Catalonia took place in the city of Amposta
The activity, which was attended by about 60 Roma women from different parts of Catalonia, had as its central theme Family Education.
Roma Women Student Gatherings are a pioneering activity organized by the Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen, the first of which was held in 2000. Drom Kotar Mestipen is the first Roma women’s organization that existed in Catalonia.
If last October 2021 the 20th edition of the Gathering was held at the Rovira i Virgili University, in Tarragona, this Spring edition took place for the first time in the area of Terres de l’Ebre and Montsià, in the Catalan region of Tarragona. You can see more in the following video.
The main conference of the Gathering was delivered by Professor Carme García Yeste, Professor of the Department of Pedagogy at the University Rovira i Virgili, and director of the Consolidated Group recognized by the Catalan government, Methodology of Educational Research with Social Impact (MEDIS).
After the inaugural conference, the role model table was held, with the testimonies of Roma Women from different backgrounds. From vocational training students to undergraduate students, to women who are studying for their university access exams.
It should also be mentioned that during the Trobada, a childcare service was in operation. This space, run by members of the organization team and volunteers, was designed so that the little ones could enjoy themselves by doing different activities while their mothers took part in the Trobada.
The event was opened by Ms. Cesca Domènech i Ruera, Director General of Civic and Community Action of the Government of Catalonia; Mr. Adam Tomàs i Roiget, Mayor of Amposta; and Dr. Rosa Maria Kostic Cisneros, President of the Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen.
In February 2022, Rosa Cisneros and Kauser Husain from Coventry University delivered an RTransform Workshop for the Widening and Participation team at Coventry University.
The session allowed for the RTransform team to present the project, discuss Successful Educational Actions, point to positive role models within the community, and highlight possible next steps. The session was titled: RTRransform: Improving Education for Gypsy, Roma, Travellers in the UK’s Higher Education System.
Rosa Cisneros (Coventry University) and Terezia Rostas (CYFP) delivered the RTranform Workshop on April 26th, 2022. The two met with the University of Sheffield staff and Faithstar team to support the education and teacher’s manual being developed that aims to discuss education and diversify sex education materials. Evie Muir from Sheffield University is tasked to create resources for teachers around Sex and Relationships, informed by parents of faith and culture. The research team reached out to Cisneros and Rostas to learn more about the RTransform project and the workshops.
In late April the online workshop was delivered to members of the research and teaching team and in Mid-May, the group will reunite to carry out an in-person workshop with grassroots Roma women from Sheffield, UK, where the National Coordination Committee including Lucia Mohamad will be present.
On the 10th of February, 2022 the RTransform UK team, which included Rosa Cisneros from Coventry University and Terezia Rostas from CYFP, helped develop the educational strand of their work. The workshop allowed the duo to meet and teach the Theatre Deli staff and to present the RTransform project and our work. The session opened up questions about engaging young Roma girls in their educational activities and highlighted how education is important to young people and the community. The workshop not only engaged the directors, key teachers, and facilitators of the educational side of Theatre Deli but also included the trustees and finance and marketing staff.
Drom Kotar Mestipen releases the video of the XX Roma Women Student Gathering of Catalonia, which took place last 23rd of October in the Catalan city of Tarragona. The activity, organized by the Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen and hosted by the University Rovira and Virgili, gathered around 200 Roma women with the purpose of discussing education-related issues. The video shows some of the more important parts of the Gathering, such as the role model table, the main conference, or the working groups. DKM wants to thank all those who made this inspiring video possible.
Link to more information below:
The 1st Hungarian Roma Women Gathering took place on 4th December 2021 with the aim to make sure that the women find a safe place to talk about burden issue concerning them on daily bases. We had range of type on age, education, place and social level. We host the meeting in the south of Hungary from 13:30-20:00.
We had 3 main topics to discuss and look for solution with the leaders of the group, experts and role models. The empowerment of the Gathering had active effect on the participants. Girls started to get online assistance on their education from each other. Our self-help program started online for some of the girls who are on the stage to pass the final exam on the school and write the exams for the new school. On the needed subjects such as mathematics, literature, grammar, history, their peers are helping with extra online classes. This practice has already good effect on many girls. We also disseminated to our participants the project’s aim and activities, and we discussed on how each of them who are willing to take an active role, can get involved in project’s activities.
The topics we put on the table were the following:
- Impact of Online Education,
- Conscious family planning,
- Children’s removals from family,
- Housing (CSOK eligibility)
These topics play active role on their daily life and are connecting closely so we gave a platform and experts on the topics to talk and try to come up with solutions that will be communicated to the decision makers.Satisfaction was expressed from all of them, and now they are looking forward to the next Gathering in which they can bring some new solutions or recommendations on area in which their opinion was never asked, or they were not involved.
Roma Women transforming the educational systems around Europe through their social and political Mobilization This Gathering was held Saturday, Nov 27th, 2021 (Sheffield Hallam University). The EU-funded RTransform project is about transferring the DKM’s Gatherings to 5 different countries. The UK is part of this network and the Sheffield-based organization Care for Young People’s Future is a key player tasked with organizing three Gatherings in the UK. Saturday, Nov 27th from 10.30-5.00 the first UK Roma Women’s Gathering took place. The event welcomed many role models from the community and also local grassroots Roma women and girls to talk about the importance of education, identity and culture.
The films are located on the CYFP YouTube Channel. You can watch the short trailer and the longer film online. Various talks will also be featured online later this year. Watch this space for more exciting items from our UK partners.
On Friday 14th of November, the Educational Workshop Meeting that was performed by Drom Kotar Mestipen and the educator Andrea Khalfaoui within the framework of the European Project RTransform.eu was successfully completed!
Staff members from the organizations from Spain, Hungary, Greece, the UK, Romania that attended the Educational Workshop, and participate in the overall project implementation, concluded the specifications for the upcoming 20 Workshops. The Workshops will be held in the next period until June 2023 by each partner organization.
The aim of these Workshops is to train adult educators, youth workers, youth organizations, and training centers and institutions, on issues relevant to successful practices in education for grassroots women and people, particularly Roma women, whereas the Workshops will pursue also to provide room for open discussions relevant to examples of Roma Women that have overcome barriers in education.
Furthermore, at the Educational Workshop, the participants had the opportunity to analyze other successful practices, examples, and role models included in the research that has already been implemented by the consortium.
The online event entitled “Dialogue for Education: 1st Gathering of Greek Roma Women” was held through ZOOM, on November 20 between 16:00 and 20:00 from AID. The event was ended with smiles and success. A representative from the Municipality of Ampelokipi Menemeni, Mrs. Vatali Vasiliki has also joined the event. The aim of the event was the national gathering of Greek Roma Women in the framework of the Rtransform European Project. Roma women from all over Greece such as Thessaloniki, Serres, Corinth, Florina, Larissa, Crete, and other areas, connected and developed a concrete dialogue.
The women talked about their own history, they shared the obstacles and difficulties they faced in education, the reasons they left school early, as well as their desire to continue school. Some women also shared their motives who have found the courage and the strength to complete school education and continue into higher education by attending the university.
During the online event, Fenia Papakonstantinou explained the project, its goals, and activities, coordinated the event dialogue, and empowered Roma women to share their stories, while at the same time Rapti Ourania, a specialist in education for Roma women, referred to examples of women who continued their education.
At the second half of the event, the women were divided into groups and discussed in more detail the problems they faced in the school years, explaining the reasons why most of them left school early. Some of the reasons were the frequent mobility of their families across Greece due to seasonal jobs in different cities, the marriage obligation, starting a family from a very young age, the devotion to the family and the children’s upbringing. Moreover, the multiple obligations and symbolisms that frame the Roma Woman and her role within the Rome community. The women also discussed on taking measures that could help to overcome these difficulties and reverse obsolete habits and situations. The Gathering ended with all women emphasizing the importance of such actions and initiatives. They expressed their positive feelings towards the event as they had the opportunity to take part in the Gathering, to speak, share stories and thoughts, and have their voices heard. All the women are being committed and looking forward to the next Gathering which is expected to take place in February 2022.