The project addresses the problem of early marriage involving girls, aged between 9 and 15 years, in Roma communitiesin Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Italy. These are countries both of origin and where Roma live today, carrying on this patriarchal tradition of violence. Combined child marriage is a cultural tradition, aggravated by economic difficulties and social segregation. It prevents normal growth in a large number of girls who are deprived of the right to education, work, choice of partner andpersonal development. The psychological, physical and economic consequences are far reaching.
2 . Activities
The project lasts 18 months and has two workstreams: Community work, for awareness raising, and Recommendations and dissemination, to impact on policies.
Community work (15 months) – Common working method will be established through an exchange (initial staff training in Montenegro) with Associate Partners with expertise on the issue. The operators will organize meetings to raise awareness and provide informationon the physical and psychological risks and economic impact arising from early marriage. Special focus is on rural and segregated areas. Both adults and community leaders are targeted, and children and youth, encouraging them to continue schooling. It is the startof a long path, that aims to trigger a change of cultural attitudes. The work is based on informal meetings, theatrical performances, movies and progressive role models. Experiences, materials and documents form the basis of evaluation and discussion among partners (meeting in Romania).
Recommendations and dissemination (8 months) Analyses and methods from Community Work will be processedinto the Red Notebook, with practical and policy recommendations on European, national and local level. It is a call to action for eradication of child marriage, so far inexistent as issue in policies and strategies for Roma integration. Red Notebook with indications on how to frame legislation, policies and support, will be presented to policy makers and stakeholders in a conference in Bruxelles and in 5 national conferences.
The direct beneficiaries are Roma girls and their families and communities, 30 in 5 countries. At least 7.200 individuals will be engaged through direct contact. The other main target group are policy makers on European and national level of 5 countries. Indirect beneficiaries are stakeholders working with and for Roma communities inclusion: public institutions on local level, school and health authorities and workers, social services and mediators, NGOs workin
4 . Expected Results
• Obtain a new awareness in institutions and civil society organization at EUand national level, about the dimension and severity of the problem and the need to insert it as a transversal priority in Roma inclusion strategies.
• Initiate a cultural change in the attitude towards the forced child marriage, mainly within the Roma communities but also in general public.
• Forge a strong partnership of Roma women organizations with capacity to pursue this work as priority.
• Formulate practical and po
5 . Type and number of outputs produced by the project
Website; social channels.
At least 1250 community meetings.
Documentary archive; videos.
7 public theatre performances.
Publication “Red Notebook: Practical and Policy Recommendations..