ACTIVITY OF DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL MINORITIES UNDER THE GOVERMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA IN THE ROME INTEGRATION PROCESS

The Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania takes part when shaping and implementing national minorities policy that guarantees the satisfaction of legitimate interests and needs of the residents of the Republic of Lithuanian belonging to national minorities, their national identity preservation, as well as that enabling them to participate fully in the country’s social, political and cultural life, that develops their citizenship, tolerance, intolerance of ethnic incitement.
In order to ensure the integration of the Roma minority in the Lithuanian society, the Department coordinates the 2015-2020 Action Plan for Integration of Roma into Lithuanian Society; supports the dissemination of the Roma culture and traditions; provides funding for Sunday schools; to ensure the Roma non-governmental organizations cooperation with local authorities, it implements the project “Local Roma Platforms – Path Towards Cooperation with Municipalities”.
Particular attention is paid to the integration of the Roma living in the Kirtimai ghetto. In 2001, the public institution “Roma Community Centre” was established in Kirtimai, which is managed by four founders – Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality, Lithuanian Children‘s Fund, Lithuanian Gypsy Community “Čigonų laužas”.
Department of National Minorities under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania from the Roma Community Centre annually purchases education, social and cultural enhancement services provided by teachers, teacher assistants, inter-cultural mediators and other administrative staff. Roma Community Centre also offers a day centre “Laipteliai į viršų”; organizes remote learning through Akmenė Adult and Youth Training Center.

 

Following services are purchased from the Roma Community Centre:

Computer literacy and free Internet servicesThe Centre has three PCs, provides advice relating to computer literacy.Lithuanian language coursesThe courses are annually attended by 8-10 people.Promotion and dissemination of the Roma cultureConcerts, exhibitions, seminars.Platform for the activities of the Roma peoplePremises and equipment for Roma non-governmental organizations.

Organization of integration and socialization activities in the pre-school and pre-primary group of the Roma children Classes are attended by 20 children who are taught social skills in seek for easier adaptation at school. Also, classes are organized for school-age children. They are attended by 30 children.
Organization of extracurricular activities The Roma Community Centre has three extra-curriculum activities: Roma music and singing, folk dancing, arts and crafts.
Community capacity development Each month various trips, educational activities and other events are organized for children.
Inter-cultural mediation services Goal – to help the Roma to solve various social issues and mediate in public institutions

2015-2020 Action Plan for Roma Integration into Lithuanian Society

The Minister of Culture upon Order No ĮV-48 of 29 January 2015 approved the action plan for Roma integration into Lithuanian society, which provides for the following goals:

  • Promotion of Roma people integration into educational system;
  • Increase of access to health services for the Roma people;
  • Promotion of employment of the Roma people;
  • Seek of empowerment of the Roma women;
  • Improvement of housing conditions of the Roma people;
  • Promotion of inter-cultural dialog.

Measures of action plan are implemented by: Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Education Development Centre, National Centre for Special Needs Education and Psychology, Education Supply Centre, Lithuanian Centre for Non-formal Youth Education, Lithuanian Children and Youth Centre, primary health care institutions, Lithuanian Labour Exchange, Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, Vilnius City Municipality, other Lithuanian municipalities, public institution Roma Community Centre in cooperation with Lithuanian Gipsy Community “Čigonų laužas”, Lithuanian Roma Community, Roma Integration House, Roma Integration Centre, Lithuanian Gypsy Community “Čigonų laužas” Šalčininkai Division.
For the first time, when implementing the action plan, the attention has been paid to the Roma women, and effective monitoring mechanism has been developed.
The Department of National Minorities under the Government of Lithuania coordinates the implementation of the action plan.