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In Sumy NGOs shared ideas how to support Roma minorities
The participants of the working meeting in Sumy. Photo by Sumy Regional Research Foundation.
The participants of the working meeting in Sumy.

On 27 October in Sumy NGOs representing the interests of the Roma national minority shared experience of project implementation and generated new ideas regarding the development of a network of active Roma youth.

The main theme of the event initiated by International Renaissance Foundation is the practice of attracting young Romani people to civic work, the way and procedure of education of the Roma youth organization.

The event was attended by members of the Board of Sumy Regional Research Foundation, which is implementing the project of support of the Roma NGOs of the city* and opened Roma community centre in Sumy. Participants were social activists, including representatives of the Roma national minority, Roma youth, employees of the Sumy regional state administration. The dialogue was joined by guests from Pavlohrad – NGO "Romano Kher" ("Our home").

The meeting was headed by the Director of the Roma Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation Olga Zhmurko. She believes systemic communication between social activists from different regions to be an important element of the capacity development of NGOs.

“In order to promote generating new ideas we supported the initiative of the organization from Pavlohrad to visit their colleagues in Sumy and look at the results of the project on the development of a network of Roma youth and initiatives the young activists are attached to. The result of this visit will be new projects and initiatives for the development of public activism in the Roma community of Pavlohrad", commented Olga Zhmurko. “Moreover, the project in Sumy has demonstrated synergy between the different organizations – "Roma" and so-called "Pro-Roma", whose members are not Roma by ethnicity, but have the long-standing relationship with the community and the desire to implement joint projects”.

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The meeting was headed by the Director of the Roma Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation Olga Zhmurko. Photo by Sumy Regional Research Foundation.

“To harmonize relations between the local Roma and representatives of other nationalities, to ensure sustainable development of the Roma community of the city of Sumy are two main goals of the team of the project”, said its Manager, Chairman of the Board of the Regional Research Foundation Oleg Tulyakov. In this respect, a very useful experience for Roma youth is activities of the Roma Youth Congress, recently created in Sumy.

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Roma young activists among the participants. Photo by Sumy Regional Research Foundation.

Summing up the meeting, Olga Zhmurko noted that it is important for International Renaissance Foundation that the positive experience of such inclusion was disseminated in other regions.

Reference
Sumy NGO " Regional Research Foundation” implements the project "Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Roma NGOs of the city of Sumy" in cooperation with the Department of Philosophy at the Sumy State University and with the support of the Roma Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation.

More photos attached.

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