Center for Roma integration (CRI)

 

Center for Roma integration (CRI) is a non-profit organization with public benefit, a branch of the International Foundation “Europe”.

Our mission: We work for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance, as a leading Roma organization that strives for Equal Integration of Roma and all ethnic groups in the Bulgarian society. The organization plays a central role to inform the Roma community for possible funding of European, national and international programs, developed, managed and consulted by international experts’ team projects, implemented advocacy activities for Roma Integration at the governmental, municipal and national authorities, judicial system and the education sector.

OUR VISION: We want equal integration of Roma in society, based on the preservation of Roma identity and the modernization of the Roma community. Knowledge of the community and their own history and culture are an important factor for increasing their confidence. Introduction of civic values and the development of civilian leadership in the Roma community will help overcome social exclusion and marginalization. Roma organizations, working at local and national level are a catalyst for the modernization of the community; they express its needs and could actively participate in changing existing policies, attitudes and prejudices against Roma permanently enshrined in institutions and society. A key factor for social inclusion is the access to quality education, health and social services. Effective work with schools, teachers, children and their families will lead to a new generation of Roma with a higher level of education, which will open new opportunities for jobs and a better quality of life. Improving the quality of social and health services will help overcome poor health and low social status in some groups of Roma community. Information about the possibilities for European funding and policy of European Union - “Decade of Roma" will help to an equal start in business. Equal Integration of Roma into society requires a change in policies and institutional practices at local and national level and effective participation of local and national institutions for Roma inclusion. Roma must be seen as the other Bulgarian citizens. It is also necessary Roma to take an active part in local and national governments. Roma policy must be formulated, planned, monitored and improved, with the active participation of Roma. System information about the benefits of the integration of the Roma community, as institutions, and the media, will help overcome prejudices and negative attitudes of society towards the Roma and their treatment as development potential, and not like problem for the development of the Bulgarian state. CRI works for:
• Developing capacity within the community by raising the level of education of Roma children and youth;
• Developing skills of self-organization of the Roma community;
• Increasing the participation of Roma in the process of taking decisions;
• Promotion of consistent and accountable public policy that provides for an extension of Roma access to education, quality health care and social services, monitoring and feedback for improvement of policy measures and practices. To protect the civil rights of all ethnic groups in general, to inform, advise and support the risk of discrimination.

Our goal is to:
- Maintain close contact and exchange of information between local and national levels for more effective action in the field of advocacy and whistle blowing to the real needs of the Roma community;
- Equal participation of women in solving community problems;
- Optimization and accumulation of resources through partnerships with other Roma organizations and stakeholders to enhance the effectiveness of integration across the country to reduce the rate of dropouts, introduction of intercultural education, promote lifelong learning in the Roma community and increase educational status of Roma.
An essential part of this activity is empowerment of Roma parents to actively participate in school life and to cooperate with a number of Roma and non-Roma organizations from across the country in activities in various areas, such as education, health, social services, organize advocacy campaigns for the integration of as a means of preservation and renovation of the cultural identity of Roma, as well as mutual understanding and formation of tolerance between children of different ethnicities, prevention of criminal activities and many other. Milestone in the integration of the Roma which our center works hard is the equality in public procurement with no lack of discrimination in business.