Signed cooperation agreement with Municipality of Surdulica
On the day of 12 Aprila 2016, EHO and Municipality of Surdulica signed Agreement on Cooperation, for the purpose of common realization of the project ”Improvement of living conditions for Roma and other vulnerable groups, preventing irregular migration and fostering reintegration of returnees in Serbia”.
The project goal is improvement of living conditions in Roma settlements in Masurica, Binovce, Jelašnica and Zagužanje, Municipality of Surdulica.
For the purpose of improvement of living conditions in Roma settlements in Serbia, EHO has developed a unique approach to the members of Roma community “Dweller Driven Roma Settlement Up Grading Model”. This working model involves comprehensive approach in management of existing problems and participative methods of work.
The greatest importance in the entire process is owned by representatives of the Roma national community, who contribute to sustainability of the entire process through their active involvement. The process of settlement upgrading is managed by settlers who have professional experience. Settlers are responsible for the entire process of settlement upgrading, namely for construction of bathrooms and other housing improvement: settlers perform construction work or pay to professionals. In this process they are guided by professionals – most often Roma with professional experience. The most important side-effect of the controlled self-aided construction is Roma’s own increase of personal professional competences which helps them to become more competitive in labor market. By this working method, settlers become more responsible and more active participants in the settlement upgrading process.
Such form of participation of the target group is strengthening “ownership” of the process / project; it is contributing to the project sustainability, and promotes active civic participation.
The project “Improvement of living conditions for Roma and other vulnerable groups, preventing irregular migration and fostering reintegration of returnees in Serbia” shall be realized in Roma settlements in villages Masurica, Binovce, Jelašnica and Zagužanje, Municipality of Surdulica, in the period: 01.03. - 31.12.2016. Until December 2016 EHO shall (in cooperation with the Roma from mentioned settlements in Masurica, Binovce, Jelašnica and Zagužanje, build bathrooms, repair damaged parts of houses, undertake major house reconstructions, build small core houses and thus improve living conditions for 12 most vulnerable families. All bathrooms shall be completely furnished and functional by December 2016.
Beside project activities aimed at housing conditions improvement, EHO shall also organize two educational outreaches: one for children and youth and the other will include all settlers on the subject of healthcare education and environmental maintenance. Also, settlers shall have opportunity to regulate their own legal rights through organized field visits of EHO legal assistants.
In the period from 01 March 2016 to 31 December 2018, Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization shall, in consortium with Swiss partner HEKS-EPER, realize the project ” Improvement of living conditions for Roma and other vulnerable groups, preventing irregular migration and fostering reintegration of returnees in Serbia”, in amount of 1,9 mill CHF, financed by the SSM (State Secretariat for Migration, Switzerland), SDC (Swiss agency for development and cooperation, Switzerland), HEKS-EPER, Switzerland with several local self-government units in Serbia.