Avni Mustafa director of Roma Versitas Kosovo speech for kick off Proud Roma in Free Kosovo:
Dear all, dear governmental and non-governmental institutions representatives, dear ambassadors, dear Roma and Dear non-roma.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today is an important day and it is a great pleasure to take the floor on behalf of Proud Roma in Free Kosovo campaign as well as the Opre Roma Movement in Kosovo. Today is an important day because we share a common interest and that is to offer an equal opportunity for Roma to register in Census 2022.
You are all INVITED! Because each one of us is directly involved in the Proud Roma in Free Kosovo Campaign.
Each one of you will be involved in the Opre Roma Kosovo movement.
Proud Roma in Free Kosovo is an motivated campaign with a purpose of a more accurate and complete count of Roma in the census, it also creates an informal, cultural atmosphere and to get to know each other better, learn about each other’s goals, and therefore unify our efforts in creating better living conditions to all citizens of Kosovo.
Why is this CAMPAIGN important?
The aim of this campaign is to empower as many Roma to publicly embrace their identity and freely take part in the upcoming Census 2022.
We will strengthen our capacities to advance on advocacy, grassroots organizing, and public opinion abilities.
Advance our research, governance, management, and digitalization.
We will also establish a peer-to-peer exchange and support for outreach and enrolment, training, and coaching support.
In the long run, we will use census results to strengthen our political position to influence most important pro-Roma decisions.
The need for belonging has been historically seen as a human need. It simply means acceptance. So, Accountability, cooperation, offering safe space and opportunities for Roma could take to a substantial inclusion in Kosovo society.
It is a longstanding dream, and finally, it is time to accept the fact that Roma people are equal partners and as such to have their say and the power in decision-making processes that directly impact their communities. Unfortunately, we are still yet to see a clear political will that advocates the equal partnership and inclusion of the Roma representatives.
The multicultural environment, social mobility, and integration are the main pillars of inclusion that are requested from the Roma community in Kosovo. However, many times it is mistaken for assimilation because in the same context we force the acceptance of our identity and culture as means of acceptance into society.
We look forward to our cooperation, unity, participation in democracy, taking up of the Roma culture, tradition, politics and partnerships.
Thank you all and thank you for being our partners.
I will finish this speech with quoting Mahatma Gandi, who said; Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.