SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE FINAL EVENT OF THE REACH PROGRAMME
On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, the online Final Event of the program “REACH: Roma women’s Empowerment and fighting discrimination in ACcess to Health” (https://romahealth.eu/) was completed with great success, where more than 100 people from all over the country participated.
The opening of the Event was announced by the Secretary General of Social Solidarity and Fight Against Poverty, George Stamatis, who referred to the importance of empowering Roma women and promoting health in their communities, the national strategy for the Social Inclusion of Roma as well as collaborative actions. Then, Sotiris Voulgaris, Deputy Mayor of Social Policy and Welfare in the Municipality of Larissa, expressed the warm support of the Municipality to the REACH project and its actions and stressed in his greeting the importance of strengthening the Community Centers. The Deputy Mayor of Environment and Social Policy in the Municipality of Halandri, Kostas Efthymiou, also addressed a greeting, who stressed the importance of focusing integration efforts on Roma groups living under the most adverse conditions.
Eleftheria Koumalatsou – Representative of the Secretary General for Social Solidarity and Combating Poverty, presented in detail European guidelines and the new National Strategy and Action Plan for the Social Inclusion of the Roma, 2021-2030 – Goals for Health, while Manolis Rantis – Coordinator of Mediators of the Action Group for the Social Inclusion and Empowerment of the Roma, commented on the conditions of exclusion and their impact on access to the health system.
In the 1st Session entitled “Access to health”, Katerina Harokopou, Scientific Associate of the National Commission for Human Rights, made the opening presentation entitled “The challenges faced by Roma women and the role of the NCHR”, followed by the “Recording and interventions in incidents of discrimination against Roma” by Maria Voutsinou, Special Scientist of the Circle of Equal Treatment, Representative of the Greek Ombudsman.
Next, Eleftheria Koumalatsou – Representative of the Secretary General for Social Solidarity and Figt Against Poverty, presented in detail European guidelines and the new National Strategy and Action Plan for the Social Inclusion of the Roma, 2021-2030 – Goals for Health, while Manolis Rantis – Coordinator of Mediators of the Tasl Force for the Social Inclusion and Empowerment of the Roma, commented on the conditions of exclusion and their impact on access to the health system
This was followed by Rania Pinaka PhD, General Practitioner, Coordinator of the 4th TOMY of Ampelokipi of Larissa and Spyros Sapounas, Head of the Directorate of Preparedness and Response of EODY, who presented actions at local and national level in the Roma Communities implemented by Local and Mobile Health Teams, highlighting the importance of cooperation between institutions especially during the pandemic.
Konstantinos Paiteris, President of the Association of Greek Roma Mediators and Their Associates, who analyzed the role of mediation in Health and highlighted its necessity through the REACH programme, while the session concluded with the highlighting of the Challenges of Roma women in accessing health by Eleni Desiotou, Representative of the Municipality of Halandri and the Association of Greek Roma Mediators and Their Associates through videotaped testimonies of Roma women.
In the 2nd Session, the results of the REACH project were presented. The REACH project through capacity building activities for professionals and empowerment of Roma women activities, which were piloted in two regions of the country, aimed at promoting and ensuring the rights of Roma to access health, focusing on sexual and reproductive health. The project also aimed at strengthening the interconnection of the staff of Community Centres and primary health care services, in order to make the response to the health needs of Roma communities more effective.
Specifically, Nansia Gatopoulou, from CMT PROOPTIKI, analyzed the objectives and methodology of the REACH project, while Athanasios Papatheodorou, Administrative Employee and Evanthia Boukorou – Sociologist Coordinator of the Roma Branch of the Municipality of Larissa made a presentation entitled “Intervention in professionals: Research in capacity building professionals – tools and educational program”, while Elisavet Hatzopoulou spoke about her personal experience from participating in the project.
Presenting videos of Roma women, Eleni Desiotou, representative of the Municipality of Halandri and Vicky Sarridis and Maria Nikolaou- Roma mediators discussed the project’s intervention in Roma women and their personal progress during the REACH project’s pilot implementation.
Completing the proceedings of the Final Event, Eleni Asimaki, PhD candidate at the Department of Obstetrics of the University of West Attica, presented the first results of impact evaluations, from the project’s interventions to professionals and Roma women.
Following the completion of the Final Event, a closed round table discussion on policy proposals took place as the Joint Workshop of the project. The outcome of the Joint Workshop will be presented shortly.
We warmly thank the distinctive speakers and all those who honored us with their participation in the Final Event of the project. We also thank D. Lemonidou, D. Lalo and A. Zampetaki for the support for the organisation.
More information about the objectives of the project and the material that has been developed is available on the project website romahealth.eu.
The implementation of the program is officially completed on September 30, 2022