The 6th Dosta! Congress Prize for Municipalities and its 10th anniversary
The Dosta! Congress Prize for municipalities was awarded on Thursday, 19 October, to Şişli (TR), Volos (GR) and Gliwice (PL) for their efforts for Roma inclusion.
The Dosta Congress Prize for Municipalities is awarded btwice a year since 2007. The prize rewards, innovative projects that tackle different problems but follow all aim at achieving the same goal; to ensure diversity in community life and combat anti-Gypsyism. The municipalities of Şişli, Volos and Gliwice managed to implement comprehensive and successful measures that highlight the role of equality of opportunity for children as a way forward to include Roma and Travellers.
1st place - City of Şişli (Turkey)
The project carried out by the municipality of Sisli followed an integrated approach which is the key to its success. An Office for Equality was set up that acted in close consultation with the appointed local Roma contact point. The City Council Executive Committee appointed a person of Roma origin. Thus Roma were involved directly into the decision making process. Moreover, the activities ranged from free cultural services for children, social and vocational support, literacy courses, social financial aid, to the free use of shuttles in special cases, financial support for two Roma sport clubs and a Roma Art Centre.
2nd place - City of Volos (Greece)
The second prize went to the municipality of Volos, in Greece. Volos has a history of progressive municipal policy towards Roma. Volos had already received the second prize in 2009. The goal of their project submitted for this year’s Dosta Congress Prize, was to increase the number of Roma children in secondary education. The project was facilitated by a range of local stakeholders such as the municipality, the university, social enterprises and the church. A local informal support network promoted “role models” who incentivised young Roma to finish secondary education. Since then drop-out rates of Roma have decreased significantly.
3rd place - City of Gliwice (Poland)
It is the first time that there is a Polish municipality among the top three projects. The municipality of Gliwice received the third prize this year. Gliwice focused its activities on children and education. The municipality directly responded to the needs of the Roma community that were articulated by the Association of Roma in Gliwice. An afterschool center for four schools was set up. In total, 300 children have profited from the offer of the center which emphasises learning by experience. This included activities such as thematic excursions, museum lessons and meetings with interesting personalities and professionals. The fact that all activities were carried out with groups of Roma and non-Roma children enhanced social cohesion among the children. Furthermore were all groups accompanied by a Roma education assistant. The project was initiated in 2015 and is still running.