Roma groups across Europe are being awarded a series of grants by the FARE Network this Autumn, as part of a drive to challenge social exclusion and support Roma communities in their struggle for equality.
The cash is focused on football activities within Roma communities that can empower young people and aid contact with mainstream communities.
The grants, supported by European football’s governing body UEFA, will benefit 17 groups in nine European countries with a focus on some of the most impoverished Roma communities on the continent. Groups have been awarded funds of up to €3,500 each.
The successful projects will organise discussions with local politicians, youth forums, film workshops, seminars, anti-discrimination themed tournaments and coaching and refereeing courses.
The beneficiary groups are focused in Eastern and Central Europe but include many in southern European countries. The list includes:
ETIS Social Care (Cyprus), Foul (Greece), Phralipe Independent Roma Organisation (Hungary), Football and Roma (Italy), Progress Roma (Macedonia), Organization of woman of municipality of Sveti Nikole (Macedonia), National Roma Centrum (Macedonia), Fatima and the Association “Porojan” (Moldova), Association for Youth and Students in Partium (Romania), APIS – Association for Promoting the Social Inclusion (Romania), FCDA – Ferentari Community Development Association (Romania), Policy Center for Roma and Minorities (Romania), Potlogi (Romania), TRUST – Roma Youth for Unity, Solidarity and Transparency (Romania), OZ Mladez Ulice-LPR (Slovakia), FAGiC – Federation of Roma Associations in Catalonia (Spain), Fundación Red Deporte y Cooperación (Spain).
The grants follow a highly successful
FARE Action Week which has seen around 1500 events taking place across in more than 40 European countries, and signals an increase of activities by the FARE Network amongst minority groups.
Piara Powar, Executive Director of FARE, said:
The treatment of the Roma community in some parts of Europe is one of the great social scandals of our time. These grants are intended to support and empower Roma groups by seeing how football can be used to meet their objectives.
We hope they will set their own goals relevant for their communities and directly benefit their position.
Valeriu Nicolae, of the European Policy Center for Roma and Minorities and a member of the FARE Interim Board commented:
Some politicians and governments are still rewarded for anti-Gypsyism, these Roma focused grants signals the fact that differences need to be treated differently in order to achieve equality.
Football is a great medium to get across messages of this kind, I hope many will learn from it including those in decision making position at the national governments and EU level.