European projects aim at securing the social rights of Roma and migrants

Fri 08 Mar 2013 12:36:00 PM EET

During the last week two projects´ events took place in Brussels. Although they involve diverse stakeholders and had different aims, they try to tackle a problem which is always more perceived as a concrete and urgent danger in EU: social exclusion.

TTMIRO project: Training trainers for migrants and Roma

Training Trainers for Migrants and Roma (TTMIRO) is a two year project co-funded by the European Union´s Grundtvig Programme which gathers partners from Belgium, Greece, Romania, the UK and Germany. It aims at developing training material that will familiarise adult education teachers and trainers with addressing learning behaviours and stances of adult learners with a social exclusion life-trajectory, especially migrants and Roma.

The project has entered its second and last year of life and the testing phase of the training materials developed so far during a training course held in Athens (16-19/01/2013) will now start. The material explored various aspects of the challenges trainers and teacher faces in a multicultural learning environment, the concept of "otherness" and teaching methodologies and strategy for socially excluded groups.

The event organised in the framework of this project was held on Friday 1 March 2013 and consisted of a panel discussion as well as workshops. Thanks to the panel discussion participants could learn about: the project and its origin, quality assurance policies in education (Tapio Säävälä, European Commission), main challenges of quality assurance on organizational level (Louise Van Couillie / Els Verstraete, VDAB) and the benefits of cooperating with social services in order to fight exclusion (Hans Steimle, Youth and European Social Work Y.E.S.).

The afternoon session has been an interesting occasion to deepen the topics debated in the morning with the TTMIRO project partners and receive more information on the next objective of the project. Key issues appointed as instrumental to quality were:

  • the necessity of tailored-made courses which lead to flexible and innovative methods;
  • constant support and needs-based approach for teachers;
  • decrease of the burden brought by the institutional effectiveness´ standards.

Roma SOURCE project: Sharing of Understanding Rights and Citizenship in Europe

The second event took place on Tuesday 5 March and it was an occasion to present to key stakeholders the results of the Sharing of Understanding Rights and Citizenship in Europe (Roma SOURCE) project.

Roma SOURCE is a two year project co-funded by the European Union´s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme. It aims at combating discrimination through developing mutual understanding between Roma and mainstream communities, promoting equal rights and highlighting best practice. The key areas of project´s activity are: research, health, children, employment and citizenship.

During the event, each partner explained its contribution in those fields and its work in schools, health services, police and employers to tackle exclusion and discrimination. Then an EC representative presented an overview of the actions undertaken at the European level for the inclusion of Roma in the society. She explained how the inclusion of Roma people became a priority on the European agenda and how this issue will be tackled in the future. In particular, she underlined that Roma should be empowered to become citizens and to be aware of their rights.

Participants benefited from the presentation of the research "The limits of Inclusion?" drafted by the University of Salford which explored the social exclusion of Roma in six EU countries. The research outlines findings across a number of issues including work and unemployment, community relations and social welfare and led to clear recommendations for both policy makers and community-based practitioners throughout Europe. Among them, the necessity to ensure the engagement of Roma at all educational levels by facilitating their involvement with targeted policies; the need to adopt approached that support co-developed solutions among local governments, Roma and non-Roma population; and the necessity of subjecting policies to impact assessments on the Roma population.

A very interesting project´s product which aims at reducing prejudices from the non-Roma population is an e-learning platform which serves as free online resource full of content about the life, the culture and the traditions of the Roma in Europe.

EAEA will follow the projects closely

EAEA will follow closely these projects as they have inspiring input for the Outreach, Empowerment, Diversity (OED) network, coordinated by EAEA. OED´s aim is to tackle the need for outreach to marginalised groups, especially migrants and ethnic minorities, for the development of more diversity in adult education, and especially the inclusion of learners´ voices, and for the empowerment of its learners to become active European citizens.

Text: Francesca Operti