Roma teenage motherhood is deeply embedded in a tangle of multiple discriminations in society. It also impoverishes the lives of women and girls, increases the risks of mental and physical health, making them vulnerable to domestic violence, school dropout and precarious employment.

Nearly 90% of the girls who become mothers before the age of 18 don’t complete primary schooling and dedicate themselves to housework and family.

This negatively affects not only their chances for work realization, but also the prospects for the future of their children.

For that reason The Trust for Social Alternative is part of the consortium behind the transnational project RoMoMatter that tackles gender discrimination by empowering Roma girls. The project supports Roma girls in making informed decisions about their lives and reaching their full potential.

Aims: 

- Identification of the psychosocial patterns that may drive Roma girls to make the decision of becoming mothers from an early age as well as the impacts of such decision on their lives.

- Empowering girls to be active actors in creating a vision for their own future and become agents of personal and collective change.

- Deeper knowledge on how Roma girls combine the development of the individual, relational, and collective strengths (i.e., knowledge, skills, networking) using available resources in their communities.

 

How:

Facilitators – selecting and training motivated key Roma women in the community to be facilitators. Facilitators will guide and encourage Roma girl’s participation and will facilitate the empowerment activities of the project in each local context. 

 

Selecting girls for the Roma Girls Group in each local context – 20-25 Roma girls (age 10-14) will take part in the empowering activities and trainings that aim to develop self-expression and critical thinking skills of the participating girls. The facilitators will be take an active part in adapting and conducting all activities in the group according to the group’s interests and decisions. 

Building collaboration among Roma girls’ significant adults – create a group with Roma girls’ parents as well as other significant adults (e.g. teachers, Roma women who participated in other activities of the project, key Roma women in the community). Monthly meetings will be conducted with significant adults in each context throughout the project in order to build collaboration, assure implementation, reflect on the process and provide support to the participating girls.

Expected results of RoMoMatter:

Identification of psychosocial patters that drive Roma girls to make the decision of being mothers and impacts of such decision.

Deep analysis on how discriminatory and oppressive mechanisms are present in every poor context of the participating countries and mapping solutions.

Fostering a sense of community and promote the values of reproductive justice.

Deepen knowledge on how at-risk Roma girls combine the development of individual, relational, and collective strengthsusing available resources in their communities.

Reverse the discrimination suffered by Roma girls due to teenage motherhood in at-risk contexts through an empowering process.

RoMoMatter is a transnational project and involves Roma communities, civil society groups, local institutions and scientific communities from Bulgaria (NNHM, TSA), Romania (PCRM, UB), Spain (FAGA, KAMIRA, USE, UA), Hungary (HLMDI) and UK (BNU). 

The project is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020) and will be implemented during 2019 and 2020.

The budget of The Trust for Social Achievement under the project RoMoMatter is 65 677 euro.