08042015Today is 8th April – International Roma Day, day when the position, cultural, historical and traditional values of the Roma population are promoted worldwide in order to reduce ethnic, educational and socio-economic discrimination.

In the same context, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in 2005 adopted the Strategy for Roma (2005-2015) as a public document intended to achieve better inclusion of the Roma in the society and to increase the opportunities for a better life and at the same time Action plans from the Decade of Roma Inclusion.

This year we “celebrate” 10 years of commitment of both, institutions and the Roma in the implementation of this public policy and therefore we can say that it has been noted that progress in most of the activities/measures of the health component is almost invisible.

Same attitude on whose basis the Strategy was written is still valid – “lack of official data on the situation of the Roma community i.e. lack of records on nationality is a key obstacle in defining the problems or needs of the Roma, as well as planning/monitoring of the measures/activities to improve health”.

 Same conclusions were drawn at the promotion of What do experience and data show about (non) realization of the health component of the Strategy for the Roma 2005-2015″ on 6th April 2015 at the Holiday INN – Skopje between representatives of the civil sector and state institutions/bodies.

The publication was prepared as a result of the initiative taken by the association ROMA S.O.S. from Prilep, RRC from Skopje, CDRIM from Skopje, H.E.R.A. from Skopje, KHAM from Delcevo and LIL from Skopje, and through it in the period from June 2014 to February 2015 were requested and summarized responses to 70 Requests for public information from 55 institutions/facilities about eight priority issues.

The interpretation of the data, causes and factors are subject to further analysis and comparison in the period ahead and that will contribute to creating future public policies and action plans intended to promote health of the Roma. Thus our hope that one day we will see through “pink glasses” as it was expected in 2005, instead of seeing through “gray glasses” as it is in reality, continues even though it may last for next twenty years, and for which the Government of the Republic of Macedonia adopted a new Strategy for Roma 2014-2020.

We will continue to cooperate with the institutions and state organs/bodies to provide better life for the younger generation that in their analyzes and data in the future will be able to determine concrete progress and unlike today, instead of our 0%, 1% or a maximum of 14% of the realization of the Strategy for the Roma, will proudly say that the health condition of the Roma has been at least slightly improved and is closely if not equal with the health condition of other  ethnic communities.

Until then, Happy 8th April!

Photos of the activity