Foundation Desire participated on the The Roma solidarity march „City for the people, not for profit”, and it assumed an important role in elaborating and disseminating the Open letter for the local, county, national and European authorities submitted on the occasion of this March – 17 July 2015.
The web-site of Foundation Desire offers space for presenting cases from Cluj-Napoca facing housing insecurity and precariousness, and/or the risk of demolitions and evictions:
A series of actions against territorial and social segregation and Roma ghettoization targeted the aim to put on the public agenda of Cluj-Napoca Municipality this concern. They were run by Organizația Amare Phrala and Fundația Desire since 2010; by Grupul de Lucru al Organizațiilor Civice since 2011; by Asociația Comunitară a Romilor din Coastei and prior to its establishemment by people belonging to the families evicted in December 2010 from Coastei street; by Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire – Cluj since 2014; or by The Roma solidarity march „City for the people, not for profit”, dedicated to victims of forced evictions, which took place in Cluj-Napoca on 17 July 2015 as a cultural-civic action, part of the “So Keres, Europa?! – Changemakers’ week in Cluj-Napoca.
PAR through LERI in Cluj-Napoca (March-June 2015)
In the first part of 2015, members of Fundația Desire and of Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire – Cluj got involved on individual bases into the program Local Engagement for Roma Inclusion (LERI). Developed by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights as “a project to investigate how the involvement of local communities in Roma integration activities can be improved” the LERI project left open the policy domains on and concrete plans through which to conduct this investigation in the 22 localities of 11 EU Member States. Consequently, this program facilitated a participatory action research (PAR) on a topic considered by the Romanian national experts (Enikő Vincze and Simona Ciotlăuș) as relevant and urgent in the city of Cluj-Napoca. Data collection was run through the means of the action of filling in and submitting social housing request files. The latter was conducted between March and July 2015 in cooperation with academic co-researchers Robert Matei and George Zamfir, and with some community co-researchers, inhabitants of the targeted areas. The efforts needed to fulfil the defined objectives during this period of time exceeded the resources provided by LERI. Through this action our research made the participatory assessment of the local manifestations of housing exclusion and of the need for housing inclusion, in particular of how local social housing policy, and other housing policy measures should respond to the needs of the impoverished citizens, predominantly ethnic Roma, living in the marginalized and segregated Pata Rât area (in particular on Cantonului street, and in the modular houses), and in another disadvantaged housing area from Cluj-Napoca (Stephenson street) endangered by the risk of eviction and demolition. Materials elaborated during the implementation of the LERI project (between March-June 2015), and as well as the materials elaborated later (in July and August 2015) but also based on its empirical results, were presented into the attention of public authorities, since they defined demands and recommendations reflecting on issues that belonged to the sphere of their accountability. These materials, written in Romanian, included the following:
catre_prefectura_fundatia_DESIRE_mart2015 – Stephenson
decl_caz_forta_majora_modulare – modular houses area
decl_caz_forta_majora_baraci – modular houses area
The opinions expressed in these materials are those of national experts and academic co-researchers from the Romanian PAR team, and do not represent FRA’s official position, or the opinion of the Consortium that runs LERI in 22 countries from Europe.
OCTOBER 2015 – FEBRUARY 2016
On the base of a contract with BIPA, the regional coordinator of the LERI project, Foundation Desire participates in an organizational, administrative and consultative capacity on the LERI project implemented in Cluj-Napoca and Aiud between October 2015 and February 2016. The project team, besides the national experts, also includes community, academic and institutional co-reasearchers. In both localities they run initiatives that strenghten the local engagement for Roma inclusion on the domain of housing. Between October 2015 and February 2016 – in its organizational, administrative and consultative capacity – Foundation Desire provided support for the implementation of the local action plans developed in Aiud and Cluj-Napoca in the framework the Local Engagement for Roma Inclusion program, a multiannual program of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. The major actions through which the local action groups from Cluj-Napoca and Aiud formed under LERI documented – on the one hand – the needs of marginalized people produced by housing exclusion, and – on the other hand – the ways how local public administration responds to these, are noticed here.
Fundația Desire, împreună cu Asociația Comunitară a Romilor din Coastei, Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire, locuitori de pe strada Cantonului și din colonia Dallas din Pata Rât precum și de pe strada Stephenson, European Roma Rights Centre, Amnesty International, tranzit.ro/cluj, SOS – a pregătit și a organizat în 17 decembrie 2015 manifestarea publică socială și culturală ‘Suntem egali, nu ilegali!‘ (public action ‘We are equal, not illegal!‘) prin care cetățeni ai orașului au comemorat 5 ani de la evacuarea forțată a 350 de familii de pe strada Coastei, precum și alte evacuări întâmplate în oraș de-a lungul ultimelor decenii care au rezultat în formarea unei zone de locuire precară pe strada Cantonului, dar și viața celor care au locuit în colonia Dallas/ vechiul Pata Rât și și-au pierdut viața muncind pe rampa de gunoi.