V hlavním městě Srbska se opět sešla dvacítka žen z pěti zemí v MINE, v rámci mezinárodního partnerského projektu Erasmus+, aby sdílela své zkušenosti z práce s rodinami menšin, podpořila rozvoj místního centra pracujícího s Romy a motivovala i vznik dalších prorodinných organizací napříč Evropou.
In the capital city of Serbia, twenty women from five countries in MINE gathered again as a part of the Erasmus+ international partnership project, to share their experience of working with minority families, support the development of a local center working with Roma, and motivate the building other pro-family organizations across Europe.
n a visit to the Zvezdara district of Belgrade, the mayor introduced us to EU-subsidized projects to support Roma integration, which are needed here, as this minority makes up almost 10% here.
The MINE ambassador lobbied for examples of good practices from Germany, Slovakia, and Bosnia for larger spaces for the local Aurora (Úsvit) center, and the understanding town hall promised help.
We also talked at the Roma cultural center, where three Balkan artists were exhibiting, further at Media Roma, a service that provides Roma television and radio broadcasts throughout the country, and we also met the most important Serbian photographer here.
We watched an interesting presentation by Dragana from ABW (an association of businesswomen in Serbia, which has existed here for 20 years!) and then we were introduced to a survey by Roma activist Marina on the causes of underage marriage (Serbian brak) in the community (from the age of 14! ) and their consequences on the physical, mental and social life of women in today’s society.
With Lola from the Little Prince theater association, we talked about the informal education of children (and through them gradually also parents), which supports integration and inclusion better than schools… everyone has the same children’s smiles and everyone deserves a bit of happiness. Until they have the same starting line, the world will not improve.
We also visited the local MC Aurora, where we discussed solutions to the most common family problems, but we also got to know the local “sewing” model of co-financing and various aspects of the lives of local women. In the meantime, of course, we discussed many topics in the non-profit area and compared local conditions and customs.
At the end of the intercultural meeting, we Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Bosnians, and Germans together had dinner in a traditional restaurant with national music.
In our free time, we went to the nice interactive Museum of the famous Serb Nikola Tesla and admired the golden Temple of St. Sava and the embankment of the Sava River. From the walls of the 2.5 thousand-year-old Kalemegdan fortress (constantly supplemented at different times and actually such a big Serbian Terezín) we saw the huge confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, We also experienced a lively evening city or a car blockade and a peaceful demonstration for better working conditions for boatmen in front of parliament.
Yes, there are people everywhere with similar lives and it’s nice to learn from each other and help each other.