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The Municipality of Apatin is engaged in the second phase of the ROMACTED program, which is financially supported by the Council of Europe and the European Union, with activities implemented with the support of the Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society.

Through the ROMACTED grant scheme, the municipality of Apatin has received funds to address some of the identified priorities identified by the Roma community in Apatin, as well as in Sonta, where two Local Action Groups have been actively working.

In Sonta, the extended stay area at the “Ivan Goran Kovacic” elementary school has been renovated, used by students of both the Roma community and the majority population, setting a good example of the importance of inclusion and how it is achieved from an early age. One-quarter of the students in this school are Roma.

The students who spend time in the extended stay area are very happy with the new tables that they can use to write and draw.

The Roma Cultural Center in the Roma settlement in Sonta has received an air conditioner, necessary to use the space both in summer and winter. Additionally, new costumes have been purchased for members of the Roma Cultural Artistic Society ensemble, which also practices in the premises of the Roma Cultural Center.

“I can’t wait to perform in our new costumes, to show the beauty of our dance, but also to show how rich Roma culture is,” said one of the members of the cultural artistic ensemble.

The extended stay area at the “Žarko Zrenjanin” elementary school in Apatin has also been renovated.

In addition to equipping the extended stay areas, a series of workshops on identity building, prejudice, respect of diversity, growing up of boys and girls, the importance of education in planning a family, problem-solving, creative thinking, peer violence, communication skills, etc., have been held with students of all grades in both schools during February and March 2024. The workshop topics were chosen in response to identified community problems such as early dropout of Roma children from the education system, family, partner, and peer violence, exclusion, and demotivation.

Representatives of the Council of Europe and the Foundation BFPE visited both schools on March 20 and had the opportunity to participate in workshops designed to discuss inclusion and equality, as well as the challenges faced by elementary school students.

Through the ROMACTED program, work has been done for over 7 years to improve good governance and empower the Roma community at the local level, as well as to create synergy between the Roma community and decision-makers.

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