After more than 20 years of mediation between Roma children, their families, schools and local municipalities, Catalonia has young Roma very well prepared with post-compulsory education. Young Roma are taking the lead in neighborhoods’ assemblies and local councils in order to express what it means to be Roma today, and how Roma community is facing day by day racism and the multiple ways of discriminations and high levels of poverty that they suffer.
During the celebration of International Roma Day in Barcelona, Susana Martínez Heredia from FAGIC who is finalizing Economics at University of Barcelona made an excellent speech about how young Roma are starting in having social and political representation. “This is possible thanks to our grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers and fathers who were struggling to give us the possibility to go to school, to learn the importance to finish compulsory studies and to fight in order to defend Roma rights and Roma cultural heritage” – said Susana, who was sharing table with the President of the Parliament of Catalonia, Ms Núria de Gispert.
At the end of the speech Susana offered us a dream: “I want my children recognized and defended by all those wonderful features that Roma Community offer to society and being proud of being Roma in the future, without stigmas nor stereotypes”
Later on, all Roma organizations and Roma neighbors met at the bank of the Besos River offering roses, petals and candles. This tradition remembers the victims of the holocaust with candles and the Roma travelers around the world with petals.
From Mediation4Roma project we would like to express our recognition to Roma International day at regional, national and European level.