Dosta! Enough! Go beyond prejudice, meet the Roma!

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The project that fascinated Europe

Every two years the Council of Europe awards a prize to municipalities and regions which undertake innovative, brave and most importantly - effective actions for the integration of the Roma communities. The city of Madrid has been awarded the prestigious Dosta! Congress Prize twice. This year in Strasbourg, the Municipality of Gliwice has joined this prize list with the 3rd prize, alongside with the Turkish municipality of Şişli (1st prize) and the Greek municipality of Volos (2nd prize). We are the first Polish municipality to receive this important distinction!

The municipality of Gliwice was appreciated at the European level for the large-scale actions for Roma children and their education, realized in the framework of the Strategy for Social Integration of Roma in Poland 2014-2020. This project is not superficial, it is living and still growing.

Thanks to the cooperation between the municipality of Gliwice and the Roma Association in Gliwice, the small “Pod Lipami” day room in the former Gymnasium N° 10, Lipowa str. (today Primary School no 10 in Primary School and Nursery Unit N° 12) was established 4 years ago. Today many Roma and non-Roma children interested in Roma culture take part in its activities and workshops.

  • In the first year of activity we knew that only 14 Roma children were enrolled in Gliwice’s schools. Activities, mainly dancing, singing and general tutelary, were organized for them 3 times a week and attended only by Roma children – When the centre was first established, Mrs Aleksandra Szyszka, the head of the Primary School and Nursery Unit no 12, who was then deeply involved in the activity of the “Pod Lipami” day room.  

The cooperation between the school and the Roma Association got better and better. As requested by the Roma Association, a Roma school assistant was hired to better recognise the Roma needs.

  • Thanks to the intense and guided work of Mrs Magdalena Kwiatkowska, appointed as the Roma school assistant, we learnt that the Roma community in Gliwice was more important and that their needs were larger than initially estimated.

The “Pod Lipami” day centre is now a kind of “institution”, with 60 children enrolled, including 38 of Roma origin, with afternoon activities conducted 4 times a week. There are teachers – volunteers who do take care to link daily school duties of pupils with the development of their talents and passions. A lot of attention is given to the promotion of Roma culture and to their integration within the local community, through the project: Gliwice melting pot.

The Dosta! Congress Prize is a great distinction and a huge responsibility at the same time. It leads to the next efforts for the Roma integration. On 19 October the Gliwice Municipality signed, at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg, the Declaration of Mayors and elected local and regional representatives of Council of Europe member States against anti-gypsyism.   

The ceremony of Dosta! Congress  Prize award. On the photo from the left: John Warmisham and Thorsten Afflersbach (Council of Europe), Władysław Kwiatkowski (Roma Association in Gliwice), Anna Wilińska (Municipality of Gliwice) and Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Council of Europe).

Ms Ardant, Dosta! ambassador

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