The Future is in your hands! 

Rosa Cisneros, Coventry University (UK) Feb 18, 2023 

Romano Lav, a community-based organisation and registered charity working in Govanhill, Glasgow with the local migrant Roma communities. Romano Lav comes from the Romanes language, meaning ‘Roma Voice’. 
The organisation is steered and shaped by the voices of the Roma communities they work with; and in particular the voices of Roma youth. The staff and sessional workers work together to support and empower the local communities, with Roma youth-led decisions at the heart of everything they do. The Roma young people are the leaders of the organization, and work within their communities through street work to achieve a number of outcomes, such as identifying real-time needs and concerns that the communities may have. This grassroots approach to their work is also present in how they organise their events and activities. All their decisions are made horizontally and work through an ethos of equality and mutual respect and shared responsibility. 

For the last year and half Rosa Cisneros has known the organisation and was involved with the first iteration of the Community Catalyst programme. Rosa travelled up to Glasgow, Scotland to meet and work with Roma young people from the vibrant Govanhill area. The session presented the RTransform project and our ethos and values. Health inequalities were discussed and the manner that voices can be amplified through education. There were a total of 12 young people from the age of 15-22 years of age. We discussed the RTransform Gatherings and the importance of bringing together policy and grassroots voices. Specifically, we looked at real-life,  evidenced-based examples of health inequalities and problem-solved how we would react in those situations. The young community catalysts were engaged and super excited to know more about the project and to contribute to the thinking happening. The participants discussed the various ways they have and lose control within health environments and offered powerful insight into what could be done. Personal stories were shared and deep listening took place. The young Roma leaders acknowledged that education is key to defending human rights.