Eurodiaconia: Improving health and housing conditions of Roma is possible
On the occasion of the official opening of the 2018 European Platform for Roma inclusion, Eurodiaconia launched its new mapping on the health and housing conditions of Roma people across Europe.
The new mapping titled ‘’Improving health and housing conditions of Roma: Good practices from Eurodiaconia members’’ showcases the successful work of Eurodiaconia members on access to health care and adequate housing for Roma people in different macro areas in Europe. This publication aims at promoting the key role of diaconal organisations in fighting antigypsyism and inspiring national governments and other European civil society organisations to support Roma people in accessing better living standards.
The diaconal projects listed in this new mapping are run by Eurodiaconia members in Serbia, Romania, Czech Republic, Norway, Sweden and Finland, and address both autochthonous communities and migrant Roma.
Despite the different national contexts Eurodiaconia members operate in, the projects presented in this report outline many common points in their approach. Through their holistic support activities, Eurodiaconia members reach out to Roma communities facing closely interlinked challenges (such as poverty, bad housing conditions, and segregation), which are often not addressed by public authorities. Against this context, house upgrading activities and access to basic services are always accompanied by counseling and group work in health and housing education. Those awareness raising projects play a crucial role in making Roma people fully enjoy their rights and improving their social and economic situation.
A key element of the projects listed in the mapping is the empowerment of the beneficiating Roma communities. During the entire project duration, Roma families are asked to take ownership and feel responsible for both in house upgrading projects and education activities. This strong focus on empowerment enables projects to be run at low costs and result in a big impact.
In this context, Eurodiaconia members urge local and national authorities to face the poor health and housing conditions of Roma, improving their cooperation, simplifying the administrative procedures, as well as scaling up the successful pilot project methodology in order to better reach out Roma communities across their countries.
Eurodiaconia has also stressed the need of improving access to health care and adequate housing for Roma people in its recent policy paper on ‘’Promoting Roma Inclusion.’’