Our mission is to support our clients “from the cradle to a career,” rather than “from the cradle to the grave.” In order for people living in marginalized Roma communities (MRCs) to take an active role in changing their situation and escaping the trap of generational poverty, we need to facilitate their efforts to find and retain employment, rather than leave them dependent on our help throughout their lives. Having a stable job and regular income opens up countless opportunities for our clients in all other spheres, including housing, education and health. Inseparable from all other areas of our focus, employment is one of our priorities.
The biggest obstacles our clients face in their attempts to enter the labor market is the absence of proper education, practical skills and work habits. The inequality of opportunities and the lack of job openings are the main factors undermining the efforts of many clients to find employment.
In the area of employment integration we help the clients in the following ways:
- An individual approach: personal discussions, facilitation of the contact with institutions, etc.
- Employment counseling: assistance with writing a CV, preparation for a job interview, self-presentation training, etc.
- Opportunities for gaining skills and experience: volunteering as assistants in our Community Centres, participation in the self-help construction (or reconstruction) or during the reconstruction of the new Community Centres
- Contact with personnel agencies
- Contact with employers
- Contact with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family
Our efforts in the area of work integration have enabled dozens of long-term unemployed clients to gain practical skills by engaging them in the activities of the Community Centres. Besides helping clients find employment at their local Municipalities, other organizations or businesses, we have created numerous new positions of Field Social Workers, Professional Community Workers, Community Centre Assistants and Local Assistants, and we have kept engaging our clients as Tutors of our extra-curricular activities. Creating a position of an Employment Integration Mediator has been crucial in developing our clients’ skills and motivation, cooperating with local businesses and employers and building networks to create new opportunities for employment. We propose for every Municipality facing the problem of long-term unemployment of their inhabitants to create a position of a Mediator to provide individualized long-term assistance to jobseekers in the process of their work integration.