Calvini

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Ongoing
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Niculae Curelea
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Corneliu Pârvan
Facilitators: 
Duţă Didina Diana
Total population: 
4 363
Source: 
Census 2011
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 832
Description of the Municipality: 

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Last update 11/10/2016

Calvini is located in the North-Western part of Buzău County in Romania, Calvini is the administrative center for 5 villages (Calvini, Bâscenii de Jos, Bâscenii de Sus, Frăsinet and Olari). According to the last census the population is 4,363 with 1,832 recorded as members of the Roma community. However, local estimates place the number of Roma citizens above 2,000, the majority of whom are from the “ursari” group and a small minority of “kalderash”. Most Roma live in Calvini and Bâscenii de Jos.
Traditionally, many Roma in Calvini are fruit vendors or aluminium goods manufacturers - there are 60 registered vendors in the Roma community. In many cases, Roma families with fewer prospects choose to look for job opportunities in Western European countries, in particular France, Spain, England, Denmark and Sweden. The unemployment rate among the Roma population is as high as 80%, which could explain the migration trend combined with other factors.

Most Roma inhabitants in Calvini speak Romani, a circumstance which local schools have tried to adapt to by ensuring classes are in the mother tongue of Roma children. Nonetheless, the school dropout remains a serious concern in the municipality, an issue due either to the professional activity of parents (vendors travelling through several municipalities), or to the decision to migrate. In order to help reduce the school dropout rate, several projects have been implemented in the past years in Calvini schools which have been led by UNICEF, as well as by the Community Development Agency of Buzau with the financial support of EEA & Norway Grants. An afterschool project designed to provide sustainability to these earlier initiatives is supported by the Daily Centre founded in Calvini through the Romanian Social Development Fund (FRDS).
From the point of view of housing and infrastructure, it is estimated that around 170 families in Calvini do not have property documents for their dwellings. A project run by the National Agency for Roma has been trying to address the issue of a lack of property documents. The Roma neighbourhoods in Calvini lack paved roads, running drinkable water and a proper sewerage system. The latter issue is also linked to a pressing public health issue and the construction of a water network is progress, a proper sewerage system is vital for the households that cannot be reached by vacuum trucks. In addition, the most deprived Roma families’ access to electricity and other amenities is limited by their inability to pay for these services.
With regard to community health, there is a need for a Medical centre in Calvini – which is indicated below in the long-term priorities of the Community Action Group (CAG). At the moment, all citizens in Calvini must travel 15 km to the nearby city of Pãtârlagele in order to consult a General Practitioner.

The ROMACT Process

With the Mayor’s signature on the Letter of Commitment on the 21st October 2015, Calvini joined the ROMACT programme.    A Community Action Group (CAG) was formed and is composed of Roma citizens who began identifying the needs of the community in the months that followed joining the programme.
 
Local Action Plan (LAP) concerning Roma citizen needs, was officially adopted by the Local Council of Calvini on the 1st of February 2016. Although the CAG did not have time to negotiate with the Local Authorities,  the measures were on the whole already included in the plan prior to its adoption.  In review of the LAP and in discussions with the ROMACT facilitator the conclusion was reached that most of their identified needs were already included. Also worth note is that the JAP was included in the Local Development Plan of the Municipality – The Action Plan for Roma Inclusion 2015-2020 is the 1st Appendix to the Local Council Decision HCL no.7/01.02.2016 of the Strategy for local development of Calvini.
At the moment, the CAG is showing signs of autonomy, with meetings organised by the CAG without the assistance or attendance of the ROMACT facilitator. The cooperation between the CAG and the local authorities is ongoing and developing into a regular method for the design of local policies regarding the Roma community.

ROMACT Calvini photo gallery

Short-term priorities of the CAG:

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
EducationExtra-school activities for children: dance, music, wrestling, football and art classes;“ Second Chance” programmes
HealthBuilding and equipping a medical centre

Long-term priorities of the CAG:

Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3
EmploymentBuilding and equiping a factory for processing nut core (the fruit) Founding of social enterprises
HealthCreating a Permanent Centre within the Calvini – an Emergency Room with a full time programme
InfrastructureBuilding a sewerage infrastructure and modernising water infrastructurePaving the streets in the Roma communityBuilding a playground and a sport centre

The LAP contains measures targeting education, employment, health, housing and small infrastructure, justice and public order, administration and community development. Most measures included match the needs identified by the CAG. Among the measures included in the LAP it is worth mentioning:
 

Measures from JAPObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3
EducationCombatting school dropout (awareness raising for parents, support for teachers’ and mediators’ involvement)Ensuring teaching in Romani language, raise awareness on affirmative action places in schoolsTraining teachers in inclusive education
EmploymentIdentifying and counseling job seekers of Roma origins (Employment Office)Organising second chance schooling, as well as vocational training and self-employment coachingBuilding a nut core factory in order to support Roma families who sell this product
HealthEmploying a health mediatorOrganising awareness raising campaigns on vaccines, family planning, etc. Providing emergency funds for health-related situations: social aid for heating, emergency aids;
HousingObtaining property documents for illegal Roma dwellings in cooperation with the Prefecture of BuzauEnsuring funding for facility projects in the Roma community of Bascenii de Jos (water, sewerage, paved streets, library, rehabilitation of the cultural centre)Building of a sports centre and playground
CulturePromoting Roma history and culture (including commemoration of the Roma Holocaust, Roma slavery, celebration of the International Roma Day)Organising music, dance, drawing and football classes
Justice and Public OrderOrganising rights awareness campaign so as to prevent discrimination Identifying and solving conflictual relations between families, communities or ethnic groups
Administration and community developmentIdentifying and providing legal consultancy to Roma families living in illegal housingGranting trade authorisations for Roma citizens who are street vendors

The municipality of Calvini does not have a “project writing” department. There is only one person in charge of writing/implementing projects within the City Hall, who acts as contact person for the ROMACT Programme as well. The intervention of the ROMACT Programme is, therefore, deemed necessary to support the community.  Two staff members were trained on relevant topics at the beginning of the implementation of ROMACT.   In addition, 3 members of Calvini City Hall (including the Mayor) took part in the Project Management courses organized in Buzau county on 11-13 March 2016.
One of the main priorities of the local authorities is to access funds for the construction of a proper sewage system in the Roma community. The ROMACT expert, together with the ROMACT National Support Team, is currently assisting local authorities to identify and apply for the right funding. The targeted fund for this project is PNDR 2014-2020 – 7.2: Investments in creation and upgrade of small-scale basic infrastructure*.
A second line of funding through POCU 4.1** is targeted by the municipality and will be pursued with the help of the ROMACT expert.  The project will aim to tackle some of the measures included in the Local Action Plan. The development of the application is currently in progress.
Other projects led by the municipality outside of the ROMACT programme which will impact the Roma community in Calvini are currently under development or have recently been completed are:
1) “Asphalting Roads of local interest in Calvini commune, Buzau county” (The Gaul Buzau Valley – Cislau) – The National Program for Rural Development Programme (PNDR) 2007-2013, coordinated by the Agency for Financing Rural Investments (AFIR). The implementation term is 13.01.2015 to 31.03.2016;
2) “Counselling in the daily centre,  driveways and passages for passers-by, septic hole, water well, reservoir in water storage, chlorination station, pumping station, utilities and water connections in the Roma community of Biscenii de Jos village, Calvini commune, Buzau county” – The Romanian Fund for Social Development (FRDS), EEA & Norway Grants – RO10  Programme ” At risk Children and young people and local and regional initiatives for reducing national inequality and promoting social inclusion”. The implementation term is from 18.12.2014 to 30.10.2016;
3) "Extension and rehabilitation of the water infrastructure in Buzau county“, a project co-financed through the Operational Sectorial Environmental Program (POS Environment) 2007-2013, Priority Axis 1.
The commitment of local authorities to improving the situation of Roma citizens in Calvini is also expressed through the attention paid to Roma culture and history, and contributions to the celebration of the 8th of April – International Roma Day, which was organised by local authorities in 2016 with the cooperation of the CAG and other local stakeholders.
On 7 September, in line with measures included under the health chapter of the JAP, a vaccination information campaign was conducted upon the request of the CAG. More on this activity in this article. 
* PNDR 2014-2020 stands for “Programul Naţional de Dezvoltare Rurală” (National Rural Development Programme), through which non-refundable funds are allocated from the European Union and the Romanian Government for the socio – economic development of the rural area in Romania.
** 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

21 Oct 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Letter of Committment signed by the Mayor
7 Sep 2016
Vaccination information campaign led in the Roma community in Calvini
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