This publication is meant for fellow local and national Roma and pro-Roma organizations throughout Europe, which are seeking new approaches to build power within the Roma community and advancement its social inclusion. It is meant to give both theoretical and practical insight about the model we have designed, tested and planning to move forward.
We have elaborated the ROMA-UP model with the clear idea that the community must become more active in demanding change from those in power and constantly monitor the commitments made. Roma communities must build their own power and when their voice is strong, sustainable and amplified, expectations for effective policies and measures could be expected. We have also found the approach that can support is in that process – community organising. Borrowing from this U.S. approach, we have envisioned a working approach which could give a positively new perspective of how we structure our work on improving the life of the Roma community.
The publication has been prepared by a team of Pro European Network (Sofia) with the invaluable input of the three other partners in the ROMA-UP project, who have done the actual ground work and testing of the ROMA-UP model: LIDER Association (Blagoevgrad), Youth Club Roma-Stolipinovo (Plovdiv) and Roma-Lom Foundation (Lom).