Ramnicelu

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Ongoing
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Dumitru Stanciu
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Caldararu Corina, Hotescu Nicolae
Facilitators: 
Duţă Didina Diana
Total population: 
4 789
Source: 
2011 Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 879
Description of the Municipality: 

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Last update 11/10/2016

Râmnicelu is a commune situated in the North-Eastern part of Buzău County in Romania, situated at around 6 km from Râmnicu Sărat, also part of the ROMACT Programme. It is composed of four small localities: Râmnicelu (administrative centre), Ştiubei, Colibaşi and Fotin. According to the latest available census figures, out of the total population of 4789 persons living in Râmnicelu, 1879 declare to be of Roma ethnicity. In terms of households, out of a total of 1313, around 370 are inhabited by Roma citizens. As in many other municipalities in Romania, the number of Roma people living in the municipality could be much higher than registered during the census, local estimates mention at least 2200 people, bringing their share close to 50% of the total population. It is a community of Kalderash Roma with a less traditional way of life than other communities in Romania and having preserved the use of Romani language. 
Selling of fruits and vegetables is one of the main economic activities of the general population in the municipality, and the city hall recorded 104 authorized individuals within the Roma community conducting this type of activity. Other members of the Roma community choose to look for job opportunities abroad, mainly in Germany, England and Spain - a trend mostly explained by the lack of job opportunities within and around Râmnicelu.

Within the Roma community there is a high birth rate which overpassed the capacity of local services in terms of healthcare and education. There is a particularly high demand for general practicioners in the commune, forcing many citizens in Râmnicelu to head for the closest city for emergency care (Râmnicu Sărat) because of the overcrowding of the service (1 doctor for 1500 adults and children on average). Within the community there is one health mediator and two community nurses.

In Râmnicelu there are 5 schools and 5 kindergartens, Roma children register however a low attendance rate within these facilities. One of the reasons is that many families depend on selling fruit and vegetables around Romania to make a living and have no alternatives to leave their children in relatives' care during their absence. Children are thus obliged to accompany them. A similar pattern applies to families choosing to migrate to other countries. There are two schools mediators in the municipality and a total of 690 students.

In terms of housing and infrastructure, 53 plots were distributed to young families in the municipality between 2010-1016, plots included in the Emplacement Plan of Râmnicelu municipality and situated in the continuation of the Roma community as the residents of the new neighborhood are of Roma ethnicity as well. There are utilities – roads and water system created by the authority of local public administration, the only remaining item to solve being the connection to electricity network. Only 60% of Roma population have property documents for houses / plots. The houses are built from reinforced concrete, metal, wood, stone, burnt bricks. Households are crammed, located next to each other, with little or no space for yards.
 

The ROMACT Process

  • The ROMACT Approach started to be implemented in Râmnicelu during the last quarter of 2015, a process initiated through the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the mayor. The Local Plan of Action for Roma was adapted to include priorities as defined by the Roma community, and it was finally approved by the Local Council on 31 March 2016.  The LAP was annexed to the Local Development Startegy for the period 2014-2020 of the municipality. 
  • The Community Action Group (CAG) in Ramnicelu defined the following priorities for their community:
Short-term prioritiesObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 4
HealthRenovate and equip a medical centre for the Roma communityEmployment of 1(one) doctor and 2 (two) medical assistants
EducationReconstruction of Secondary Schools No. 1 and 2 Providing auxiliary materials and equipment in schools”After School” Programs
HousingAddress the issue of lack of ownership documents
InfrastructureExtending the natural gas network Rehabilitation of the local playgroundRehabilitation of 1 (one) sports centre
EmploymentOrganise vocational training

To respond to needs common to the Roma and non-Roma communities in Ramnicelu, local authorities have already initiated two infrastructure projects : ”Rehabilitation of the water supplying system in Ramnicelu Village» and « Sewerage system and filtering plants of the villages Ramnicelu and Stiubei ». These projects were developed through the National Local Development Plan, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration of Romania. 
Together with the ROMACT expert and in consultation with the CAG, local authorities are exploring funding opportunities and will rely on the expertise provided to build applications for projects.

Among some of the short-term issues already addressed, at the request of the CAG, is the organisation of vaccination campaign among the Roma community between 30 August - 3 September 2016, where more than 50 infants were identified as needing vaccination. More on this story in this article. 

Later in September 2016, an additional campaign was organised for awareness raising on reproductive health and risks related to early marriages.

Timeline Points

21 Oct 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Letter of Committment signed by the Mayor
31 Mar 2016
STEP2 - AGREEING ON NEEDS AND PLANS - Adoption of the Local Action Plan for Roma in Ramnicelu
3 Sep 2016
STEP3 - TRANSLATING THE COMMUNITY PRIORITIES LIST INTO CONCRETE MEASURES AND PROJECTS - Vaccination campaign in Ramnicelu
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