Barcea

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Closed
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Zamfir Constantin
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Marcela Creola Trandafir - Department for Local Economic Development
Facilitators: 
Florin Nasture
Total population: 
4 957
Source: 
Census 2011
Roma living in the Municipality: 
815
Description of the Municipality: 

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Last update 11/10/2016

Barcea is a community in Galați County, Romania.  It has a population of 4,957 according to the latest census. Officially Roma citizens in Bareca represent close to 16.5% (818 people) of the population, although local estimates place the Roma population as higher (as much as 20% (991 Roma)). 5% of the population during the last census did not declare its ethnicity. Most of the Roma community live in the Podoleni village of the municipality, an area with a high level of unemployment and serious infrastructure problems. The municipality is largely rural, with agriculture as the main economic activity, combined with a few opportunities in industry, education, health and food. Traditionally, many Roma men from Podoleni are also musicians.
Among the most urgent issues affecting Roma in Barcea is the lack of property documents for their households.  The lack of legal document for properties is particularly problematic as it affects their access to utilities and public services.  It also prevents the municipality from implementing infrastructure projects in the area. There are around 15 houses (30 families) with dwellings built on a flood plain which makes their legalization particularly problematic (due to National Water Company regulations). Another challenge the community face is that area they currently inhabit is also the only possible location for young Roma families to settle, the municipality has very few building plots available. Efforts at the County and Municipal levels are in progress both for the legalization of the area and the protection of the houses from flood risks. Roma families with relatives working abroad tend to have better housing circumstances than the rest of the area’s Roma.
 
There are no reported cases of a lack of identification documents for Roma citizens in Barcea. However, elderly Roma citizens have difficulties accessing their retirement rights due to a lack of understanding and financial means to follow the required administrative procedures.
The Roma community experience a generally poor infrastructure, particularly in Podoleni village (unpaved roads, no public lighting, many houses do not have electricity) and the entire municipality has neither a sewage system, nor a water treatment plant. The municipality has initiated a project for the extension of the water supply system targeting Podoleni village among other areas.
The community as a whole has challenges in accessing health services, due to the fact that there is no clinic close to Podoleni village.  In the village there is only one General Practitioners’ office set up in a private property. With regards to education, there is a very high school dropout rate for Roma children in Barcea, where close to 85% of the 350 Roma pupils did not complete secondary school. On the other hand, there are 10 Roma young adults who have graduated from university. Two projects on “Second Chance” education and vocational training which were financed through the European Social Fund have recently concluded.
There is one health mediator and one school mediator active in the municipality, both are involved in the ROMACT programme as Community Action Group (CAG) members, the CAG also includes two Roma municipal councillors from the municipality and Roma citizens from Podoleni.

ROMACT Barcea photo gallery

 

The ROMACT Process

Barcea joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015 with the signing of the Letter of Commitment.
The Community Action Group (CAG) is not yet officially recognized through a local municipal decision.  However, the CAG is formed and comprises of a group of Roma citizens including the two Roma municipal councillors, the school and health mediators, the municipal Roma expert and other Roma citizens.  They have already met to define measures to be included in the Joint Action Plan. The needs identified can be summarized as follows:
 

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
InfrastructurePaving of dirt road in Podoleni villageGrant at least 50% of the Roma families access to public utilities (water, electricity)
EducationCreating of a school drop-out prevention cell (specialized office, psychologist)
EmploymentCreation of more job opportunities for Roma citizens
HealthRegistration of at least 10% of the Roma population with a General Practitioner
OtherCollect stray dogs in the villageFacilitate connection to electricity network of 30 houses
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
HousingSolving of the issue around property documents for illegal houses
OtherAccess to a cultural center for Roma musiciansBuilding of a sports hall

The ROMACT Process in Barcea, as indicated in the timeline below, is in progress.
While a Joint Action Plan has not yet been formally adopted, thanks to the civic engagement of the Community Action Group in Barcea, two actions to address short-term priorities are in progress since autumn 2016, they are the collection of stray dogs in the village and the issuing of construction permits allowing residents in a more secluded area of Barcea to connect to the electricity network. 
Local authorities benefit from the guidance of the ROMACT facilitator and ROMACT expert in terms of identifying funding opportunities in addition to the Operational Program Human Capital Development*, 4.1 – Integrated Local Development in marginalized communities, already engaged with Amare Rromentza.
In order to build the capacity of the local authorities to cooperate with and improve the living conditions of Roma, the ROMACT programme has also given 3 staff members of the Barcea Municipality the opportunity to attend a 3 day training on Writing Project Proposals and Project Management. It is worth noting that the municipality has received the approval of a project for the asphalting of unpaved roads under the National Programme for Regional Development (NPRD), which also targets the area where most Roma live.
* Priority 4, with €940 million, aims to promote social inclusion and to fight poverty. Integrated measures will help disadvantaged people, including Roma, to access the labour market, by improving their skills and supporting entrepreneurship and social enterprises, among other actions. Several vulnerable groups will be supported, such as homeless, persons suffering from dependence, victims of domestic violence or trafficking, prisoners or ex-offenders, elderly and disabled people. Specific support will also be provided to social services, such as social assistance, health and care services, including support the so-called "de-institutionalisation" (assistance to groups with care needs allowing them to live more independently instead of committing them in institutions). Source: http://ec.europa.eu/esf/main.jsp?catId=576&langId=en
 

 

Timeline Points

19 Nov 2015
STEP1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Letter of Commitment signed by the Mayor
31 Mar 2016
Training for LA on accessing funds
1 Apr 2016
Creation of the CAG
5 Jun 2016
Local elections in Romania - Round 1
19 Jun 2016
Local elections in Romania - Round 2
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