lördag 30 april 2016

The reason why I work for Roma rights

The film "Time of the Gypsies" by Emir Kusturica opened up my eyes for the situation for Roma people on the Balkans. I saw it many times and I still recon it as one of the best films that I ever seen.

But it was not until 2002 that I started to take a active part in the work for the inclusion of Roma people. A article by the Romanian sociologist and Roma rights activist Nicolae Gheorghe opened my eyes for the tough situation for Roma people in Romania. He had been working for Roma people since the mid 70s together with his fellow Roma activist Professor Vasile Burtea.

Last year I met Professor Vasile Burtea for an interview and he spoke with great honour about his good friend Nicolae Gheorghe who passed away in 2013. Nicolae was a one of the most carismatic Roma leaders in Europe and his work has been very important for Roma rights in Europe.

In 1993 Nicolae and Vasile founded the first Roma NGO - Romani Criss (the Centre for Social Intervention and Studies) with the intention to provide Roma people with education and work in the formal economy. 

Nicolae who spent almost 35 years working for Roma issues in various roles had a wider dream for the Roma people. His dream was that Roma people should be included in the nations were they live and also represent a wider society that is freer and more boundless than the national state.

Text and photo: Mikael Good

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