Background to the programme
The association, La Solidarité de Roubaix, began its activities by welcoming undocumented immigrants arriving in France. In 2008, it came to the aid of ROMA families living in the first camp in Roubaix (in the Mercure neighbourhood). Initially, it provided temporary support. In 2009, faced with the proliferation of camps in Roubaix, it created more organised supportive action.
Objectives of the programme
- Promote access to rights
- Facilitate the integration of Roma families from their arrival in France
- Enable and maintain Roma children’s schooling
- Improve the living conditions of these families and stabilise their situation
- Defend the interests and rights of Roma people
Programme lead by volunteers and accessible by any Roma family living in Roubaix. Nevertheless, the requests from families are verified to see they correspond to real needs.
- Initially, issuing of a temporary address, that provides access to some social benefits.
- Since obtaining approval (with the help of a technician from the Roubaix town hall), provision of a complete address, that is to say an administrative address that allows families to access their rights
- Support with administrative procedures to access services and rights (school registration, submission of files for state medical help ...)
3 machines available. 4 euros per use and 1 euro for the dryer.
CHANGING ROOM - FLEA MARKET
- Many donations of furniture, clothing, shoes, dishes, knickknacks, books, magazines ...
- At the beginning of each month, a 3-day sale. One week before and one week after each sale, the association is open to all to freely give clothes
- The money collected allows other activities to be funded (welcoming undocumented and Roma people, the social laundry ...)
- Adults or children
- Between 2 and 4 hours of 9 volunteers per week in 3 training rooms (individually or in pairs).
- Free education method
OTHER VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES:
Management of a committee (treasurer, secretary, memory of the association ...), maintenance of trees and wildlife, coordination of volunteer networks, reception and supervision of trainees, young people doing community service or even management of the open kitchen
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- 80% of people domiciled receive support.
- 80 children from Roma families living in the camps were sent to school.
- Nearly 80 adults and ten children learnt French.
- Several families have managed to stabilise their situation: they have been guided towards an integration village.
- The clothing donations mainly benefit the Roma families.
Starting from sporadic support activities, support for Roma families is today the central initiative of the association. This support is based on the collective engagement of the stakeholders: the collective "Roma and Travellers solidarity" and actors from the association (employees, volunteers and interns) who work together in this action.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Roma and Traveller solidarity collective
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
Due to the instability of Roma families’ situation, continuous monitoring of Roma families is difficult and does not always allow good results to be achieved in terms of support.
Suggestions for future improvement :
- Up to now, this action does not benefit from funding. A search for funding could be useful to improve the support.
- For families who have found a certain stability, there is a plan to help them obtain stable housing, particularly via a housing benefit request.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Strong support
- Real commitment from volunteers and the association
- Assess the real needs.
- Always be present on the ground, in contact with the Roma people to understand their problems and establish a relationship of trust
- The promotion of children's schooling is an entry point to helping Roma families. The association requires some investment on the part of families in the education of their children in order to continue the follow up.