ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A 2 day workshop shares best practices from European non-government organisations in working with Roma communities.

Today a Roma youth advocacy workshop, hosted by UNFPA’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, came to a successful completion in Istanbul, Turkey. Twenty-eight representatives from across Europe (including Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Turkey) attended the 2-day event.
It was an excellent opportunity to discuss and analyse useful grass roots experience as well as practical strategies for working within Roma communities. The focus of the event was developing approaches for addressing sexual reproductive health issues amongst Roma youth (as well as those from Ashkali and Balkan Egyptian communities). Participants placed a particular emphasis on empowering Roma youth to spread awareness about the issues involved amongst their peers.

The outcomes collected from this workshop will be adapted to a wider strategy to be implemented in 2013. It is expected that taking into account the field experiences of the participants will help create a realistic, effective and workable strategy for addressing the sexual reproductive health issues that Roma communities currently face.
Reflecting on the event, Makadonka Trajkovska from the UNFPA’s Macedonia office was optimistic about the outcome, “Not only did participants share a whole range of practices, but we made clear progress in developing our 2013 strategy. Also, as a direct result of knowledge exchanged during the meeting, I hope to hear future success stories from participants”.