Trainings, jobs and home repairs for Roma returnees and internally displaced persons in Niska Banja

Ivana Savić Jovanović

28. September 2020

Trainings, jobs and home repairs for Roma returnees and internally displaced persons in Niska Banja

Finding employment, organizing trainings, but also repairing houses and buying rural households – are just some of the activities that should enable a better life for Roma returnees and internally displaced persons from the territory of the municipality of Niska Banja.

Full social and economic inclusion of returnees is the goal of a two-year project whose realization is based on an already successfully tested model of cooperation between civil society organizations, local self-government and the private sector. Identification of those who need help the most was the first task of the project “Sustainable Reintegration of Roma Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Niska Banja Through Housing and Economic Empowerment”, within which more than 100 social maps were made to create a database of Roma returnees and internally displaced persons from the territory of this municipalities and on the basis of which assistance in the form of adaptation of housing facilities is granted to those who need it the most. The project is implemented by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, the Roma League and the City Municipality of Niska Banja, and is funded by the European Union.

At the very beginning of the project, an assessment of the needs of the labor market was made, when 20 companies interested in employing this target group were identified. Training for future work engagements is provided to users through training in safety and security at work, but also through training that is tailored to their abilities, qualifications and skills. By the end of the project, more than 100 interested parties are expected to undergo training, in accordance with their needs and interests. During the works on the housing facilities of the project beneficiaries, 40 interested workers, members of the Roma population, were engaged in the repair of their own and other houses of other returnees and internally displaced persons. Reconstruction of 27 homes is planned, as well as the purchase of 2 rural households for users whose homes could not be adapted, due to the poor condition of the facilities.

At the very beginning of the project, a local office was opened in Niska Banja, where users receive all the necessary information, as well as free legal and other assistance. The project also envisages the development of local action plans, which will provide a strategic approach to solving the problems of Roma and other vulnerable groups.

“Sustainable Reintegration of Roma Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Niska Banja Through Housing and Economic Empowerment” is a program implemented by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, the Roma League and the City Municipality of Niska Banja, and funded by the European Union. The project partners will work together to develop and promote its results, as well as transfer the model to other municipalities in Serbia.