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Last update: 03/10/2016
Șimleul Silvaniei is located in the Sălaj County, around 29 km from the county capital Zalău, in North-Western Romania. According to the last census of 2012, the total population of Șimleul Silvaniei amounts to 17 341 inhabitants, of which 2 362 people are Roma. Nevertheless, unofficial estimates mention that the Roma population could go as high as 3000 people. The Roma live in communities of different sizes, with the largest one being Pusta Vale, situated 7 km away from the municipality.
It is a traditional community where Romani language is used on a daily basis and where religion plays an important role. As a consequence, the community is quite attached to the local Pastor, who is considered their spiritual leader, and he is very involved in the community life.
The area where most Roma live in Simleul Silvaniei is connected to the water, electricity, sewerage networks, with the exception of a few streets, accounting for approximately 500 people that are not covered by these services. Most of the homes in the community are modest; some of them are in an advanced stage of degradation and they required urgent pest control measures, as well as rehabilitation and connection to utilities.
The main problems that Roma face in Simleul Silvaniei are in the field of healthcare (lack of access to medical insurance and facilities, and lack of health mediators) and employment (there are high rates of unemployed among the Roma). A large share of the Roma population is a welfare recipient and is working on day to day jobs or seasonal jobs.
Simleu Silvaniei joined the ROMACT Programme on 19th January 2016, when the Mayor signed the Letter of Commitment. The Local Authorities (LA) of Simleu Silvaniei have taken a series of actions towards the improvement of Roma citizenry living standards, materialised in several educational programs, improvement of infrastructure and of social services. There is a Roma representative in the Local Council.
As in most locations where the ROMACT Programme is being implemented, the Community Action Group in Simleul Silvaniei (CAG) came up with lists of short-term and long-term priorities for their community:
|Short-term priorities||Objective 1||Objective 2||Objective 3|
|Infrastructure||To ensure all houses have electricity||Rehabilitation of an old building which used to be a school||To build a medical facility|
|Education||Extending the day care and the school in the community, physically and in terms of study possibilities||To restart second chance school and an after school programme||To ensure there is available transportation for children to attend school at all levels|
|Employment||Help Roma citizens access funds for small business development|
|Long-term priorities||Objective 1||Objective 2||Objective 3||Objective 4|
|Infrastructure||Extend the water, sewerage and electricity networks so that it reaches the entire community|
|Education||Decrease the number of school dropouts among Roma children||Develop educational programmes for Roma parents and for adults in general||Employ a school mediator||Implementing programmes in order to develop and sustain permanent education|
|Health||Have a pharmacy in the village||Employ a health mediator|
|Other||Build social houses||Build a chapel in the cemetery for religious burials||Create a playground for the children in the community||Renovate the church in the community|